Czech Republic Spreads Her Legs, China Can’t Get It Up

China badly wants to take the Czech Republic, and the Czech Republic wants to be taken. So what’s the problem?

Czech President Milos Zeman has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping eight times — an unusual amount of face time for the leader of 10 million people.

Zeman has welcomed Chinese investment and tried to position his country as China’s portal to Europe. He even appointed a Chinese business tycoon, Ye Jianming, as an economic adviser. Ye, the chairman of energy company CEFC China, proceeded to buy stakes in a Prague soccer team, a brewery, an airline, a media company and an investment bank.

Meanwhile, China hired former Czech ministers and other retired politicians to press its case in Prague.

“They’re [Czech elites are] trying to rearrange the political arrangements to be more conducive to Chinese interests,” said Martin Hala, director of Sinopsis, a group that studies Chinese influence in Central Europe. “Some systems are more resilient than others.” __ WaPo

But recently China has been proving reluctant to consummate the relationship. What could possibly be wrong? No money, no honey? In an economic squeeze, even a high-rolling “John” like China has to become more selective.

China Debt is Over the Tipping Point

China economist Michael Pettis has been warning about treacherous levels of Chinese debt for several years now. And other observers are starting to notice the problem

“China is very much past the tipping point where the debt simply no longer can be ignored. The cost of servicing the debt … simply distracts from almost everything else,” said Howie.

China’s total debt — corporate, household and government — rose to over 300% of its GDP in the first quarter of 2019, slightly up from the same period a year earlier, according to a report by the Institute of International Finance.

“China … (had) this huge stimulus and turn on the credit taps and they drove all this global demand,” Howie said. “But there clearly was going to be a cost … and now they are suffering (from) it.”

China’s debt levels rapidly shot up a few years ago as its banks extended record amounts of credit to drive growth, which led to the Asian giant undertaking deleveraging efforts, or the process of reducing debt.

But the trade war has put a dent in its efforts to pare its massive debt as Beijing sought ways to boost its slowing economy, which was at its lowest growth in 27 years. Earlier this year, banks started to increase its lending again, with new loans surging to a record high. __ https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/23/chinas-debt-levels-amid-its-slowing-economy.html?

China simply cannot learn its lesson. The Communist Party of China is too fixated on global domination to the point that it is unable to stop — even to remove a poisoned splinter from its rapidly swelling foot.

Donald Trump seems to be the first US president to notice the threat from Communist China. He is limited in what he can do on his own, but he seems willing to swing his big stick in unpredictable fashion to keep Beijing guessing. His unconventional tactics are having an effect on the Chinese economy, where capital flight is once again taking wings.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests often feature millions of protestors at a time, something rarely seen elsewhere in the world. Beijing would be nervous even with just a fraction of that number turning out in the streets — but millions? Antiperspirant deodorant must be selling off the shelves in Beijing’s exclusive convenience marts. Especially since so much of the wealth of China’s elites is moved in and out through Hong Kong channels.

Hong Kong is irreplaceable to China. If China destroys international trust in the integrity of Hong Kong, then a huge arterial of wealth will dry up for China and a large number of other global players. It will not be Shanghai or Shenzhen that picks up the lucrative remains, but rather Singapore. The CCP leadership is aware of the problem.

This is not a problem that the Communist Chinese want to deal with at this particular time, but there it is. One of the world’s most prestigious financial capitals clearly wants to keep its distance from Beijing. It is almost as if Hong Kong is afraid of catching a sexually transmitted disease from the dirty commies.

People around the world are watching. Perhaps even people in the Czech Republic?

Belt and Road projects are being canceled in Africa and across Asia. Beijing’s debt-slave diplomacy flagship is not being received as favorably as previously — especially in democratic nations where a new set of leaders revokes China deals made by previous corrupt leadership. Democracy — what a nuisance for aspiring global hegemons!

Meanwhile: This is what happens when you tell the truth inside China…

https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinese-businessman-arrested-and-loses-assets-after-exposing-past-atrocities-committed-by-chinas-red-army_3053862.html

Tiananmen Square is a much smaller place than Hong Kong… with much less economic significance. The CCP risks letting things get out of control if they overstep.

Beijing is manufacturing the circumstances to justify brutal intervention in Hong Kong

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/02/chinas-hong-kong-dilemma

China trade war: better now than later

The Geopolitical Logic of the US-China Trade War

China has a lot more to worry about:

https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/how-long-will-chinas-soaring-growth-last

China is now an unpredictable hybrid monster, budding off a motley mess of progeny that threaten the survival of the parent monster. Chaos ensues.

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6 Responses to Czech Republic Spreads Her Legs, China Can’t Get It Up

  1. ROBERT SYKES says:

    You need to apologize for the obscene title to this posting. We experience more than enough obscenities from white and black trash almost every day to find it on our computer monitors.

    • alfin2101 says:

      In this case, obscenity is in the eye of the beholder. What we are experiencing broadly around the world is the act of base prostitution by corporations and governments toward a vile and murderous gang of thieves who have taken over a now enslaved population. This act of global betrayal by opportunistic elites is far more obscene than any sexual double entendre that one may see here. If somewhere in the world someone was truly hurt by the choice of words here — instead of only pretending to be offended — then of course we apologize to their excessive sensitivity.

  2. Alexander Bryant says:

    Al Fin – I’ve enjoyed your blog for years, and I’d like to get your feedback on something.

    I’m about 40, with a CPA and a law license, and though I technically work on Wall Street, I’m extremely underemployed, at about $120K/year in NYC, with $300K in student debt. Basically, I took a traditional path, and as we all know, those have dried up in the last decade or so. I was in a rut for the past seven years (yes, wasted a lot of time), but listening to Jordan Peterson (“JBP”) and Scott Adams has been getting me out of that. I need to take control and get to where I should be.

    JBP has some videos in which he discusses the unfortunate situation of people in the bottom 10% of the IQ distribution. I’m the opposite of that. For my whole life I’ve always been able to learn anything and to do so better without a teacher.

    JBP says that if you “really” know how to use a computer, you’re “dangerous,” and I think such learning could help me get out of my career rut. I’m upping my math skills using MIT open courseware, refreshing myself on Calc 2 right now. (Calc I and II are their core math classes.)

    My question for you: Where would you go from there? Tough to use their materials in the employment market because there’s no accreditation, but I think employment is the past for our society. I want independence. I go on that site and know there’s unlimited opportunity there, but in a way, my current lack of computer knowledge makes me blind to it. I can go through the MIT site and similar sites and learn anything, computer science, higher math, anything, but I lack knowledge of what to subjects will increase my financial self-sufficiency. This may sound stupid to hear, but I do not know what specifically I could do with advanced computer knowledge. I have the tools (IQ and a computer) but no roadmap.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks a lot for your time.

    • alfin2101 says:

      It is my impression that cybersecurity is a promising field at this time. This site: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/training may offer some ideas. Another site: https://www.cyberaces.org/ may also provide an overview of the field. Udemy offers a course in cybersecurity which provides a certification for a fee. Another interesting computer related field is digital currency. I don’t know enough about it to suggest how to earn a living that way, although your accounting training may suggest some ways.

      I know a CPA/JD who specializes in international business law and there are no doubt many other niches that call for that combination of skills. But you may be trying to get into something entirely different.

      It is tough to start out in a new field when you have already paid your dues in one or more other fields. But increasingly that is what bright people in white collar jobs are being required to do, as advanced computing takes over more and more types of work once thought beyond the capacity of silicon.

      NYC is an expensive place to live, although stimulating. Somewhere down the road you may have to cut your moorings, however. If you can balance Jordan Peterson’s self-authoring program against Dave Ramsey’s program to get out of debt, you should begin to see a glimpse of the way forward.

      Finding a Dangerous Childhood in the middle of one’s adulthood requires an attitude of simultaneous openness and skepticism. It is a balance requiring confidence and competence plus risk-taking, a lot of boredom interspersed by sheer terror. No one else can tell you when you are doing it right.

  3. Alexander Bryant says:

    Al Fin – Have enjoyed your blog for years.

    Quick question: Trying to have a “dangerous childhood” just past 40. I’m currently a lawyer/CPA, but with the decline of these careers (though the student debt lives on, lol!), learning new things is always a good idea.

    I have have the IQ and the drive, and I want to take advantage of the new online tools (like MIT Open Courseware, Khan Academy, etc.) to survive and thrive as the employment paradigm declines. You sound like a guy with a lot of knowledge and insight. Any advice on what computer-related topics (and why) to study? I know such resources open limitless opportunity, but I lack enough knowledge to envision a goal, so it’s tough to make a roadmap. It may sound absurd to hear, but I do not know what I’d be able to do with advanced computer knowledge.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

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