How would you like to be dragged out of your home and shipped off to a camp? Sadly, that is what is happening to countless numbers of Chinese citizens right now. Anyone that is sick or anyone that has been in contact with anyone that is sick is being rounded up and sent to a […]
The post China Is Literally Dragging People Out of Their Homes and Sending Them to “Mass Quarantine Camps” appeared first on DC Clothesline.
China Is Literally Dragging People Out of Their Homes and Sending Them to “Mass Quarantine Camps”
Mon, 10 Feb 2020 06:48:09 GMT
November 02, 2019
This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.
Despite a commitment from President Xi Jinping to make China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative green, a new study shows that air pollution may persist for decades in many parts of the vast infrastructure and investment project.According to the study done by leading experts inside China, the nations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, often referred to as the BRI, now account for 28 percent of global carbon emissions.
But if the Chinese experts’ method for measuring carbon intensity continues to apply, that 28 percent could rise to an alarming 66 percent by 2050, say the experts who worked on the study led by Ma Jun, a special advisor to China’s central bank.
The experts’ research was published by the Tsinghua Center for Finance and Development, the London-based Vivid Economics, which is an employee-owned business based in London, and the U.S.-based charity organization Climate Works, which provides advice on climate issues.
Citing the new study, Reuters succinctly summed up the challenge facing China: The BRI, the news agency said, “must bring cost-effective new low-carbon methods to developing countries and avoid outdated polluting technologies in order to ensure global climate change goals are met.”
Low-carbon sources of energy include power generated by wind and solar power as well as by hydro and nuclear power.
Most of the more than 70 countries involved in the BRI are low-income, developing countries that depend heavily on coal-fired power. Getting these countries to reduce their dependence on coal may prove to be a huge challenge.
Although China itself has promised to “de-carbonize” all of its energy projects, it has continued to finance coal projects. According to Reuters, China has used $1 billion in “green finance” to fund coal-fired power projects in the first half of 2019.
At a BRI forum held in Beijing in late April of this year, President Xi stressed a commitment to the BRI’s “environmental sustainability.” Representatives of 37 nations attended the forum.
But Xi stopped short of mentioning specific measures to be taken to achieve this goal, according to an analysis written by Jane Nakano of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
In February of this year, a group of Portuguese scientists and environmentalists highlighted another potential environmental danger: They said that the planned exploitation of oil and gas reserves throughout the BRI nations could cause permanent environmental damage.
The stakes are high both for China and the world. In addition to the “Road,” which will include railroad lines, pipelines, and airports, the BRI includes a “Belt” which is described as a “Maritime Silk Road.” It will require the leasing or building of new seaports in a number of locations.
If fully funded, investments in the BRI could exceed $1 trillion. According to one report, the BRI could eventually involve infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries in Asia, Europe, African, the Middle East, and the Americas.
As it stands now, the BRI will easily surpass the investments involved in the Marshall Plan devised by the United States to help rebuild Europe following World War II. Meanwhile, the environmental website Mongabay calls the BRI “the largest infrastructure initiative in human history.”
The BRI is also frequently described as President Xi Jinping’s “signature project.” And Xi has arranged for it to be mentioned as a goal in China’s constitution. That appears to make it too important to fail.
Coal lives on
China is the largest producer of coal in the world, followed by India, the United States, Australia, and Indonesia respectively, according to a report produced about a year ago by the WorldAtlas website. Roughly 70 percent of the energy consumed in China is produced by coal.
At the same time, it should be noted that China has been introducing renewable energy projects at a rate surpassing that of a number of other countries.
In an analysis published by Radio Free Asia two months ago, Michael Lelyveld noted that China has sent “conflicting signals” on environmental and economic issues through increases in coal production, rising coal imports, and plans to build new coal mines.
He quotes one expert as saying that coal is certain to remain an important, if declining, part of China’s energy mix for decades to come.
According to the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), air pollution from coal-fired power plants is linked to asthma, cancer, heart and lung ailments, neurological problems, as well as acid rain and global warming.
Global warming is driven by emissions of heat-trapping gases that rise into the atmosphere and act like a blanket, warming the earth’s surface. Consequences include rising temperatures and sea levels as well as growing risks of both storms and drought.
Pushback in Kazakhstan
On Oct. 1 of this year The Atlantic magazine published an article describing how the BRI had encountered skepticism among local citizens at one of its key gateways and rail transfer stations in Khorgos, Kazakhstan.
Reid Standish, the author of the article, said that the Khorgos Gateway had once been touted as the site of one of the most ambitious of the BRI’s infrastructure projects but “has now come to represent the limits of Beijing’s global push.”
According to Standish, Beijing hoped that Chinese freight could be reloaded onto Kazakh trains to make the 5,000-plus mile journey to Europe, thus expanding land-based trade across Eurasia.
But despite China’s provision of subsidies paid to the Kazakhs aimed at reducing their costs if they ship by rail, freight is still moving more by sea and air than by rail.
According to one report, some Kazakhs are shipping empty railroad cars to Europe in order to collect the subsidies.
Nargis Kassenova, an expert on Central Asia at Harvard University, concludes that so far, Khorgos is “not a game changer.”
Visitors to the transshipment site give it mixed reviews.
Aside from the BRI’s main goal of reaching new markets for Chinese products and gaining access to natural resources, one of China’s aims for the BRI is to win hearts and minds along the way.
But a poll of more than 2,000 Kazakhs conducted in Khorgos indicates that the BRI isn’t so far winning friends and influencing people.
The survey results reveal widespread apprehension concerning China’s ultimate goals and intentions when it comes to Khorgos. Some local Kazakhs worry that Chinese migrants might begin arriving and taking over land.
Philippe Le Corre, a non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says that it’s almost impossible for Kazakh Muslims and others living in Kazakhstan to have a favorable view of China when they look across the border at what’s happening in China’s neighboring Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
In Xinjiang, more than a million Muslim Uyghurs as well as members of other Muslim minority groups are being held without charge in “re-education” camps that look more like prison camps. An undetermined number of ethnic Kazakhs of Chinese nationality are among them.
Not surprisingly perhaps, Chinese officials deny that these are internment camps and assert that they are providing vocational training.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
By DONALD J. TRUMP
Nov. 9, 2015 7:33 p.m. ET
If we are to make America great again, we must do all we can to make sure that American interests are protected and that all Americans benefit from the actions of their government. Sadly, that is currently not the case. The incompetent, rudderless Obamaadministration’s negligence in foreign policy, trade and national security is making America less confident, less prosperous and less safe. Americans deserve better, and a Trump administration will turn us into winners again.
In late September, President Obama signed an agreement with the Chinese head of state that was intended to add a layer of protection to intellectual property in both countries. The ink was not dry before Chinese-sponsored agents began cyberattacks on private companies in the U.S. That agreement is not worth the paper it is printed on and the Obama administration is not doing a thing to fight back. Unfortunately, this has become an all-too-common pattern of behavior for President Obama.
The American people need to be told the truth about our “partner” China. China holds over $1.4 trillion in U.S. debt. The Chinese are, by far, the largest foreign debt holder. As of the end of August this year, the U.S. trade imbalance with China is already at $237 billion, on the way to an annual trade imbalance north of $350 billion. China’s economy is controlled by the government. Any notion that their economy is based on a free-market system is simply not true. If an American company wants access to the Chinese consumers, that company must share its intellectual property, a condition that violates international fair-trade standards, World Trade Organization rules and common sense.
But the worst of China’s sins is not its theft of intellectual property. It is the wanton manipulation of China’s currency, robbing Americans of billions of dollars of capital and millions of jobs.
Again, special interests and crony capitalism have weakened the resolve of the Obama administration in confronting China over its currency ploys. Economists estimate that the yuan is undervalued anywhere from 15% to 40%. Through manipulation of the yuan, the Chinese government has been able to tip the trade balance in their direction by imposing a de facto tariff on all imported goods. Imagine the impact these practices have had on our weakened manufacturing base, our agriculture industry and every small business unable to compete internationally.
By watching the Obama administration, you might think that nothing can be done about all this. What is most alarming is that much can and should be done, but the White House chooses to do nothing to protect American workers and companies.
On day one of a Trump administration, the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China a currency manipulator. This designation will trigger a series of actions that will start the process of imposing countervailing duties on cheap Chinese imports, defending American manufacturing and preserving American jobs. Add to these actions direct and focused protection of intellectual property and we will be back on the path to being the world standard for economic liberty and growth. But these actions alone won’t ensure Americans’ long-term security and prosperity.
When I am president, I will go to the American people and ask them to join me in getting Congress to reform our oppressive tax code. Specifically, capital held offshore will be brought back at a one-time tax rate of 10%. Corporate tax rates will be cut to 15%. This will spur immediate investment in America as we will once again be competitive. We will also need to attack deficit spending through budget discipline and begin the painful, but necessary, process of reducing our debt—especially reducing the debt held by foreign countries. To ensure the security of the nation and our investments, we will build the military we need to contain China’s overreach in the Pacific Rim and the South China Sea.
The American people need an administration that will tell them the truth and a president who will put America first. That’s what I intend to do.
Mr. Trump is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.