“KORTRIJK, BELGIUM – Rich Chinese pigeon fanciers are offering tens of thousands of euros to buy Belgian champions, to the despair of local pigeon-lovers unable to compete in such sky-high auction bids.Pigeon-breeding is an old Chinese passion, even though long-distance pigeon-racing has never caught on the way it has in northern Europe.In Belgium, the Netherlands, northern France, and Britain pigeon-racing can take place over distances of over 1,000 kilometres 660 miles with birds vying to return as quickly as possible to their home roost, their homing instinct allowing them to find the way.Champion racing pigeons can win large sums in prize money for their owners.In Belgium, pigeon-fancying had been on the decline in recent years, but the arrival of Chinese aficionados has changed the markets dynamic.Pigeon racing in China goes back to the Ming dynasty, when they were used as carrier pigeons. Banned during the Cultural Revolution, it made a comeback in the 1970s.According to Chinese state media, there are about 300,000 people in the country involved in the sport.In late January, a rich Chinese industrialist Hun Zhen Yu came to Europe and paid 250,000 euros S$328,000 for “Special Blue”, a world record for a champion.The birds former owner, Pieter Veenstra from Holland, has sold 245 pigeons over the past few years for more than two million euros, according to the specialised Pigeon Paradise PIPA website which claims that half its customers are from China.Rich Chinese fanciers will pay very large amounts “if the pigeon has won several prizes and is of good lineage,” said Nikolaas Gyselbrecht, the head of PIPA, speaking on the sidelines of the second world pigeon fair in Kortrijk, Belgium.”I think Belgium is the kingdom of homing pigeons,” said one of the fairs visitors, Johnson Kiang from Taiwan.But not everyone is pleased with the Chinese invasion.”
Archive for the ‘China’ Category
What an astounding statistic : “Water is clearly essential for hydropower, but a lot of it is needed for coal power, too — to mine the raw material, to process it and then to cool the power plants that burn it. In 2010, coal-fired electricity in China used more than 30 trillion gallons (114 trillion liters) of water, or about 20 percent of the country’s total consumption. And over the coming decade, roughly 40 percent of the nation’s increase in water demand will be associated with coal power…”
“An American trucker barreling down Interstate 95 bemoaning the high price of diesel fuel might never imagine that one of the things driving up his bill is the way water in China is being mispriced. But the truth is, water shortages are indirectly causing increased use of diesel generators for electricity in China, and that, in turn, is helping raise diesel prices in the U.S.
Smarter pricing could help China — and the rest of the world — avoid further problems allocating water resources, and mitigate some of the side effects. Coal plants generate most of China’s electricity. Hydropower is the second-biggest source. Water is clearly essential for hydropower, but a lot of it is needed for coal power, too — to mine the raw material, to process it and then to cool the power plants that burn it. In 2010, coal-fired electricity in China used more than 30 trillion gallons (114 trillion liters) of water, or about 20 percent of the country’s total consumption. And over the coming decade, roughly 40 percent of the nation’s increase in water demand will be associated with coal power, China’s Ministry of Water Resources says.”
This development is exacerbating an already severe shortage in China. The country accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s consumption of fresh water. Yet its supplies are limited, and pollution is a significant hazard.
According to the World Bank, the amount of water per capita in China is only one-quarter of the global average. Furthermore, about 80 percent of the total supply is south of the Yangtze River, while only about half the Chinese population lives there. So the north is chronically short. The North China plain, which encompasses both Shanghai and Beijing, contains more than 40 percent of the national population, but less than 15 percent of the water. In this region, the per-capita amount is only about one-quarter the level considered the minimum for people to live on.
MAjor play by China in global economic / geopolitics.
“For Europe, the rise of China is exacerbating its own decline. Until recently the economic debate turned on whether Europe could keep up with America; now it is whether it can stay ahead of China. “Beyond a certain size, China is disturbing,” says one Eurocrat. It not only threatens Europe’s low-end manufacturers of shoes and textiles but is quickly moving into making cars, trains and, perhaps soon, planes. Yes, the Chinese love BMWs and Gucci bags. But can Europe survive on high-spec and luxury goods—Switzerland on a continental scale?
The EU is surely right to demand reciprocity, but it must be the right sort. Starting a tit-for-tat trade war would leave Europe worse off: consumers would pay higher prices, taxpayers would suffer and firms would lose markets. What Europe needs is more open markets and clearer rules. For China, too, these would be a better buy than dodgy bonds.”
The increasing role and importance of China within the Brazil Russia India CHina South Africa (BRICS) trading group .
“South Africa’s entry into BRICS represents a diplomatic coup for China. By roping South Africa into the group, China is trying to undercut the relevance of the IBSA Dialogue Forum (with India, Brazil and South Africa as members) that aims to promote South-South cooperation among democracies. South Africa knows that despite having more in common with India, China may ultimately hold more economic and political clout. Trade between China and South Africa was $25.6 billion in 2010, making China South Africa’s largest trading partner, and South Africa China’s second largest partner in Africa. In contrast, in 2009-2010, India-South Africa trade was just $7.73 billion. Chinese investments in South Africa also provide far more jobs than Indian ones, and China’s backing can further South African interests in forums like the UNSC.”
Now Coming out of Chinese Factories: Cities in a Box | Global News – Advertising Age Leave a comment
“Perhaps it was inevitable in a country that is building cities at an unprecedented pace that the city itself would become a brand, and that Western architects would quietly become marketers.
Last summer’s 2010 World Expo in Shanghai was the largest marketing campaign in history, lasting six months, drawing 73 million visitors, and spending $58 billion to demolish and rebuild large swaths of the city, all to sell the message “Better City, Better Life.” The Chinese had already bought it.”
Xeroxed Village: Chinese Secretly Copy Austrian UNESCO Town – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International Leave a comment
Residents of the Austrian mountain town of Hallstatt, population 800, are scandalized. A Chinese firm has plans to replicate the village — including its famous lake — in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, Austrian media reported this week.
Now this is subtle….doing a complete replica of a UNESCO world heritage European city. Do read about the other replicas as well…
“As China ventures abroad to sustain the world’s fastest economic growth, how the government meets the political and diplomatic challenges that this expansion presents will be a key issue for investors…”
“China’s continued support for countries such as North Korea and Myanmar has also been an irritant in its relations with the U.S. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and Myanmar President Thein Sein both visited China last week.
China, accounted for 83 percent of North Korea’s $4.2 billion of international commerce in 2010, up from 70 percent in 2009, according to the Seoul-based Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.
Concerns that much of China’s increased clout, including the $3 trillion in reserve assets, more than double the amount held by Japan, is driven by the trade advantages it gets from keeping its currency artificially weak.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said last year that a bigger say at the IMF should see increased “responsibilities” in the global economy, a hint at China to accelerate currency appreciation.
More than 2,100 institutional investors, representing $15 trillion in assets under management, from over 30 countries will attend the “Ascending New Heights” China conference in Beijing on June 1-3, Ulrich said. “