Archive for ‘Trade’

03/03/2019

Across China: From imitation to creation, Chinese village paints new life

SHENZHEN, March 2 (Xinhua) — Zhao Xiaoyong was once called “China’s Van Gogh,” as the farmer turned oil painter made over 100,000 replicas of Van Gogh’s work over the past 20 years.

However, he never saw a single authentic piece of the Dutch post-impressionist painter until 2014 when he finally saved enough for a trip to the Netherlands.

The trip inspired him to think over his business and create his own works. “The masterpieces that I saw at the European museums made me realize that I have to develop my own style.”

Zhao is from Dafen, a village known for oil paintings in southern China’s Shenzhen City. Home to 1,200 studios and 8,000 painters, the village produces millions of replicas of Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso that are sold at home and abroad. According to statistics, 80 percent of oil paintings exported from China come from Dafen.

While the market demand for replicas is shrinking, Zhao and other painters in the village are creating their own art styles and attracting tourists.

Neighboring Hong Kong, Shenzhen is one of China’s first special economic zones for the country’s reform and opening drive. The painting industry started in Dafen Village in 1989 when Hong Kong purchasers sought to establish an oil painting base nearby.

Zhao, who quit his job at a craft factory, started learning how to paint from scratch in 1996. He imitated Van Gogh’s works via a painting album, including “sunflowers” and “almond blossoms.”

He sold his first works in 1999 when an American buyer ordered 20 paintings. More orders later came from abroad, prompting Zhao to recruit apprentices.

“My wife and my younger brothers are all my students,” he said with a smile. “I was even called ‘China’s Van Gogh’ in a documentary.”

Zhao and his team worked from 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. painting eight pieces per person every day at most. Prices for the replicas ranged from 200 yuan (30 U.S. dollars) to 3,000 yuan per piece, depending on the size.

In 2008, when the economic recession hit most parts of the world, a drastic reduction of foreign orders forced Zhao to explore the domestic market. Profits kept shrinking after 2012 due to consumers’ diversifying tastes and rising costs.

Since then, many painters in the village have given up making replicas and turned to innovation and creation.

Chen Qiuzhi, who used to paint copies of masterpieces like Zhao, has worked hard to develop his own style, combining Chinese calligraphy with painting. To support him, his wife sold two apartments and had an art center built.

The center, located at the far end of Dafen village, covers an exhibition area of over 3,000 square meters and has become a landmark of Dafen. Some 100 calligraphy works are exhibited at the center with other craftwork.

Ten years of hard work has won him fame, with his works popular in the auction market. Now, one piece of his calligraphy is worth tens of thousands of yuan, almost 100 times the value of replicas he painted in the past. The art center also draws visitors.

“Only by creation can one’s works be remembered,” said Chen.

Today, Dafen has gathered nearly 300 art creators. In 2017, the annual output value of Dafen reached 4.15 billion yuan, among which the original works have accounted for 20 to 30 percent.

From imitation to creation, Dafen Village has been making the transition from a low-end oil painting workshop cluster to an art center, said Liu Yajing, director of the village’s oil painting office.

She said an oil painting museum, a performance theater, a training center and a hotel are being built to develop the village into a tourist resort featuring oil painting production, trade, training and exhibition.

Compared with his Van Gogh replicas, painter Zhao finds his own works hard to sell. But he believes that he will finally be recognized someday in the future.

“Imitation leads me nowhere. I will continue to concentrate on creation for the market and also for my dream as a real artist,” Zhao said.

Source: Xinhua

Advertisements
12/12/2018

In Vietnam, anguished mothers search in vain for the children they have lost to China’s booming ‘buy-a-bride’ trade

  • In the borderlands, most people have a story of bride trafficking – from kidnapped cousins and disappeared wives to vanished daughters

Vu Thi Dinh spent weeks scouring the rugged Vietnamese borderland near China after her teenage daughter vanished with her best friend, clutching a photo of the round-faced girls that she now fears have been sold as child brides.

The anguished mother showed everyone she met the snap of the 16-year-old friends Dua and Di in white and red velvet dresses, the words “Falling Into You” printed above their picture.

They went missing in February during an outing in Meo Vac, a poor mountainous border zone that is a stone’s throw from China. Their mothers fear they were sold in China on one of the world’s most well-trodden bride trafficking circuits.

“I wish she would just call home to say she is safe, to say ‘please don’t worry about me, I’m gone but I’m safe,’” said Dinh, bursting into tears.

I wish she would just call home to say she is safe
VU THI DINH

She is among countless mothers whose daughters have disappeared into China where a massive gender imbalance has fuelled an unregulated buy-a-bride trade. Most people in this part of Vietnam have a story about bride traffi

High-school students talk of kidnapped cousins. Husbands recall wives who disappeared in the night. And mothers, like Dinh, fear they may never see their daughters again.

“I warned her not to get on the backs of motorbikes or meet strange men at the market,” she says from her mud-floored home where she expectantly keeps a wardrobe full of her daughter’s clothes.

She has not heard from Dua since she went missing, unable to reach her on the mobile phone she bought just a few weeks before she disappeared.

The victims come from poor communities and are often tricked by boyfriends and sold, kidnapped against their will or moved across the border by choice for marriage or the promise of work.

Like many of the missing, Dua and Di are from the Hmong ethnic minority, one of the country’s poorest and most marginalised groups.

Traffickers target girls at the busy weekend market, where they roam around in packs dressed in their Sunday best, chatting to young men, eyeing the latest Made-in-China smartphones or shopping for lipstick and sparkly hair clips. Or they find them on Facebook, spending months courting their victims before luring them into China.

It is a sinister departure from the traditional Hmong custom of zij poj niam, or marriage by capture, where a boyfriend kidnaps his young bride-to-be from her family home – sometimes with her consent, sometimes not.

Others are enticed by the promise of a future brighter than that which awaits most girls who stay in Ha Giang: drop out of school, marry early and work the fields.

“They go across the border to earn a living but may fall into the trap of the trafficking,” said Le Quynh Lan from the NGO Plan International in Vietnam.

Vietnam registered some 3,000 human trafficking cases between 2012 and 2017. But the actual number is “for sure higher”, said Lan, as the border is largely unregulated.

Ly Thi My never dreamed her daughter would be kidnapped, since the shy Di rarely went to the market or showed much interest in boys.

Just two weeks after that photo shoot with Dua, the giggling girls went for a walk in the rocky fields near their homes. They never came back.

“We think she was tricked and trafficked as a bride, we don’t know where she is now,” said My.

Her worst fear is the teenagers are now child brides or have been forced to work in brothels in China where there are 33 million more men than women because of a long-entrenched preference for male heirs.

The trip across the 1,300-kilometre border is an easy one, said Trieu Phi Cuong, an officer with Meo Vac’s criminal investigations unit.

“This terrain is so rugged, it’s very hard to monitor,” he said at a border crossing marked by waist-high posts near where a Vietnamese man was selling a cage of pigeons to a customer on the China side.

Many victims don’t even know they’ve crossed into China – or that they’ve been trafficked.

Lau Thi My was 35 and fed up with her husband, an abusive drunk, when she grabbed her son and headed to the border.

She went with a neighbour who promised her good work in China, but she fell prey to traffickers.

My was separated from her son and sold three times to different brokers before a Chinese man bought her as a wife for about US$2,800.

“He locked me up several times, I hated him,” said My, who fled after 10 years by scrabbling together enough money for the journey home.

She is now back with her Vietnamese husband – still a drinker – in the same home she escaped a decade ago, a smoke-filled lean-to where her dirt-streaked grandchildren run about. But she is desperate for word from her son.

“I came back totally broken … and my son is still in China, I miss him a lot,” she said.

09/12/2018

Slow train to China: India’s trade ties with Beijing taking time to ripen

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – China and India may be talking about improving their trade relationship but there is little action to go with the words.

According to Indian government officials and representatives of various Indian trade bodies, progress is very slow – and may even be getting slower after last weekend’s truce between the United States and China in their trade war.

Both India and China have sought to rebuild trust after a armed standoff over a stretch of the Himalayan border last year.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met a number of times this year to give impetus to the trade discussions. The latest was last week, when they met on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina.

Indian and Chinese officials said after that meeting there was talk of Beijing increasing its soymeal, rapeseed meal, rice and sugar imports from India, while China would push for more Chinese exports of dairy products, apples and pears to India.

India is also keen to increase its exports of drugs to China.

In reality, though, getting such exchanges turned into deals is going to be a laborious process.

“When we say the Chinese are receptive, it means the talks are happening, but it’s going slow,” said one senior Indian government official with direct knowledge of the discussions. “It can be termed as progress because just a few months ago, we weren’t even talking,” said the official, who did not wish to be named because he is not authorized to talk to media.

The Chinese commerce ministry did not respond to a faxed request for comment for this article.

Bilateral trade between China and India touched $89.71 billion in the year ending March 2018, with the trade deficit widening to $63.05 billion in China’s favor, more than a nine-fold increase over the past decade.

The Indian government is very keen to reduce that gap. A recent study commissioned by India’s trade ministry and reviewed by Reuters, said: “There is no bilateral trade relationship of greater economic and political significance for India than with China.”

The reduction in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, which has led to a delay in the imposition of larger punitive tariffs by the United States pending further trade talks over a 90-day period, means that the Chinese government may not feel the need to speed up its discussions with New Delhi, Indian officials said.

The government has received calls from jittery exporters who want to know whether the improvement in the relationship between China and the United States would make India’s position weaker, said the senior Indian government official.

ROADBLOCK FOR INDIA

Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, also said China’s truce with the United States may be a roadblock to improved trade with Beijing.

“As it is, the China-U.S. tariff tension was a temporary opportunity and it is not correct for companies to base their long-term strategies on it,” said Sahai.

One longer term impediment to improved trade is product quality, and trade, industry and government officials in India said both Beijing and New Delhi could take time to iron out their differences.

Last week, India and China signed an agreement allowing Beijing to inspect imports of Indian fish meal and fish oil.

A Chinese trade delegation is coming to India on Dec. 10 to inspect soymeal plants, said D.N. Pathak, executive director of the Soybean Processors Association of India.

India wants China to drop a years-long ban on soymeal imports from the South Asian nation. China was a leading buyer of Indian soymeal, a key ingredient in animal feed, until Beijing banned the purchases in late 2011 over quality concerns.

In November, India’s trade ministry said the country could export up to 2 million tonnes of sugar, but trade officials said the target was too steep because China has already exhausted its import quota for this year.

Although India has contracted to sell some tiny shipments of rice to China, officials said New Delhi would find it difficult to boost volumes as Beijing has traditionally been importing the staple from Vietnam and Thailand and the Chinese would take time to develop a taste for Indian rice.

28/12/2017

Chengdu runs 1,000 cargo trains to Europe in 2017 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

A cargo train loaded with 41 containers of electronic products departed from Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, for the Netherlands on Wednesday.It brings the total number of cargo trains from Chengdu to Europe to 1,000 this year, and 1,700 since the city launched the service in 2013.The city has rail routes to 14 European countries.”Rail freight is one of the fields where the Sino-European cooperation has made very important progress and will continue to do so in the future,” said Filippo Nicosia, Italy Consul General in Chongqing.In 2018, at least 1,000 cargo trains are expected to run from Chengdu to Europe.Demand for rail cargo between China and Europe, an alternative to slower and riskier sea freight and much costlier air cargo, has exploded in recent years.About 35 Chinese cities run cargo trains to Europe.

Source: Chengdu runs 1,000 cargo trains to Europe in 2017 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

15/02/2017

‘Follow one-China policy’: Beijing warns India over Taiwan delegation | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

China has lodged a strong complaint with India over a rare visit by a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation, warning New Delhi to follow one-China policy and refrain from any official contacts with Taipei.

Sharply criticising the visit, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shung said Beijing had lodged a “solemn representation” with New Delhi to not have any official contact with Taiwan.

Beijing has always opposed any kind of official contact between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with China, he said.

Why Trump can’t ‘haggle’ over the one-China policy

Geng spoke against any proposal to upgrade India-Taiwan ties, and warned India to be strict about following the one-China policy and be “prudent” about its ties with Taiwan.India has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The de facto Indian embassy in Taipei is called the India-Taipei Association and the Taiwanese maintain the Taipei Economic Cultural Center in New Delhi.

A three-member parliamentary delegation from Taiwan arrived in India on Monday for a three-day visit. The leader of the delegation, Kuan Bi-Ling, said Taiwan is “totally independent”.

“It (the one-China policy) is a de facto reality…We suffered a lot because of the one-China policy. We have crafted a pragmatic approach in our diplomatic engagement with major countries, including India, despite these difficulties,” Kuan told the Indian media.Hosting an official delegation from Taiwan appears to be a shift in Indian policy. In May last year, India had reportedly backtracked from sending representatives to the swearing-in ceremony of then Taiwanese president-elect Tsai Ing-wen. The visit of the Taiwanese delegation is a possible sign that both countries are attempting to increase political engagement without New Delhi moving away from the one-China policy.No country is exempt from one-China principle, says Beijing

In September 2015, before she became Taiwan’s first woman president, Tsai had spoken about India being in focus for her country to strengthen ties.“Asean and India are poised to become two of the world’s largest economic bodies. Strengthening our overall relations is a natural choice for Taiwan as we diversify our economic and trade ties. In the future, we will form a new task force to actively pursue this policy objective,” Tsai had said in a key speech at the time.

The New Southbound Policy Office, which directly functions under the president, will focus on strengthening all-round ties with Asean and South Asia, particularly India, Taiwanese diplomats had then told the Hindustan Times.

Earlier on Wednesday, nationalistic tabloid Global Times said India is playing with fire and will suffer if it challenges the one-China policy and increases engagement with Taiwan.

How a snub of the one-China policy almost led Beijing and US into war in the 1990s

“At a time when new US President Donald Trump has put the brakes on challenging China over the Taiwan question, agreeing to change course and respecting the one-China policy, India stands out as a provocateur,” it said. “Some Indians view the Taiwan question as an Achilles’ heel of the mainland. India has long wanted to use the Taiwan question, the South China Sea and Dalai Lama issues as bargaining chips in dealing with China,” writer Yu Ning wrote in an opinion piece for the newspaper.

“By challenging China over the Taiwan question, India is playing with fire,” Yu wrote.

The newspaper blamed Tsai for inciting India.“Tsai is exploiting India’s vigilance and strategic suspicions against China. The pro-independence leader came up with the ”new southbound policy” to ramp up trade and economic interactions in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Oceania, in which India is considered “not one of the, but the most” important country…Tsai hopes to put pressure on the mainland by tying India and Taiwan closer.”

Source: ‘Follow one-China policy’: Beijing warns India over Taiwan delegation | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

10/11/2016

Theresa May promises ‘golden era’ in UK-Chinese relations – BBC News

Theresa May has promised to work for a “golden era” in the UK’s relations with China, as the country’s vice-premier visits London for talks.

Ma Kai‘s trip follows Mrs May’s decision after coming to power to delay approval of the part-Chinese-financed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.

The project was given the go-ahead, after China warned that “mutual trust” was needed between the countries.

Mr Ma is meeting Chancellor Philip Hammond to discuss investing in the UK.

Speaking before the eighth UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue got under way, Mrs May said: “I’m determined that as we leave the European Union, we build a truly global Britain that is open for business.”

As we take the next step in this golden era of relations between the UK and China, I am excited about the opportunities for expanding trade and investment between our two countries.”

‘Mutual benefits’

There will be an announcement that the Chinese contractor CITIC Construction is to invest £200m in the first phase of the £1.7bn London Royal Albert Docks project, headed by the Chinese developer ABP.

Philip Hammond promises ‘constructive’ US talks

And the UK will in turn invest up to £40m in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank based in Beijing, for a fund to help developing countries to prepare infrastructure programmes.

Mr Hammond, who is hosting the Chinese delegation at London’s Lancaster House, said: “The mutual benefits are clear. China is the world’s second-largest economy. UK exports to China have grown rapidly and Britain is home to more Chinese investment than any other European country.”

US President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to apply 45% tariff barriers to Chinese imports in an effort to protect free trade.

Mr Hammond told the BBC: “Britain’s always believed that the best way long-term to protect and promote prosperity is free markets and free trade.”

President Trump has just been elected by the American people. He will want to consult with his advisers, talk to officials and I’m sure we will have a very constructive dialogue, as we do with the Chinese, with the new American administration.”

He added: “It’s about getting the right balance in the global trading system, so that we can have the benefits of open markets, while being properly and appropriately protected.”

One of Mrs May’s first acts on becoming prime minister during the summer was to order a review of the project to build Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, part-financed by China.

Writing in the Financial Times in August, Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, said: “If Britain’s openness is a condition for bilateral co-operation, then mutual trust is the very foundation on which this is built.”

Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture. Mutual trust should be treasured even more.”

The UK government approved Hinkley Point C in September, saying it had imposed “significant new safeguards” to protect national security.

Source: Theresa May promises ‘golden era’ in UK-Chinese relations – BBC News

16/02/2016

First train from China to Iran stimulates Silk Road revival – Xinhua | English.news.cn

First cargo train from China to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday, indicating a milestone in reviving the “Silk Road,” which has opened a new chapter of win-win cooperation between China and Iran.

English: the Silk Road in Central Asia

English: the Silk Road in Central Asia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

silk road

The train, also referred to as Silk Road train, has passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran, travelling a distance of 10,399 kilometers. It had left Yiwu city in east China’s Zhejiang Province on January 28.

This train was carrying dozens of cargo containers, according to the deputy of Iran’s Road and Urbanism Minister, Mohsen Pour-Aqaei, who made a welcome speech after the arrival of the cargo train at Tehran Train Station on Monday.

As known to all, ancient Silk Road trade route had served as an important bridge for East-West trade and brought a close link between the Chinese and Persian civilizations.

The “Belt and Road” initiative was raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, which refers to the New Silk Road Economic Belt, linking China with Europe through Central and Western Asia, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, connecting China with Southeast Asian countries, Africa and Europe.

“To revive the Silk Road Economic Belt, the launch of the train is an important move, since about 700 kilometers of trip has been done per day,” said Pour-Aqaei, who was present at the welcome ceremony of the train in Tehran’s Railway Station.

“Compared to the sea voyage of the cargo ships from China’s Shanghai city to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port city, the travel time of the train was 30 days shorter,” he said.

Pour-Aqaei, also the Managing Director of Iran’s Railway Company, added that according to the plan, there would be one such a trip from China to Iran every month.

The travel of cargo train from China to Iran is part of a Chinese initiative to revive the ancient Silk Road used by the traders to commute between Europe and East Asia.

Tehran will not be the final destination of these kinds of trains from China, the Iranian deputy minister said, adding that in the future, the train will reach Europe.

This will benefit Iran as the transit course for the cargo trains from the east Asia to Europe, he said.

Chinese ambassador to Iran Pang Sen told Xinhua that as one of the cooperation projects after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Iran, the cargo train is playing a important role to promote construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Meanwhile, the railway line from Yiwu to Tehran provides the two countries an express and efficient cargo trade transportation method, Pang said, adding that the countries along the railway line will furthur upgrade rail technology with the aim to make its transportation ability faster and better.

Source: First train from China to Iran stimulates Silk Road revival – Xinhua | English.news.cn

12/11/2015

LIVE: PM Modi arrives in UK – The Hindu

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Air India aircraft made touchdown this morning at 10 a.m. in Heathrow for his long-awaited bilateral level visit to the United Kingdom — his first since becoming Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron with their delegations during talks at 10, Downing Street in London on Thursday. Photo: PMO

He was met at the airport by Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign Office, and Priti Patel, Minister for Employment and Diaspora Champion in the David Cameron government. His visit carries expectations for agreements and partnerships worth billions of dollars across defence, security, finance and sectors like education, research and health.

Mr. Modi is accompanied by a high power business delegation that included Cyrus P. Mistry, chairman, Tata Sons, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises Limited and N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services.

Mr. Modi will be greeted by a Guard of Honour at Westminster,which will be followed by delegation level talks at 10 Downing Street with Mr. Cameron. The two Prime Ministers will address a joint press conference after which Mr. Modi will deliver his speech in parliament. He will also garland the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square. The evening will see important agreements between the two country delegations finalised at Guildhall, City of London. Mr. Modi will stay the night at the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers.

The pomp and ceremony attached to the visit is expected to include a special tricolour flypast by the Red Arrows Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team over the Buckingham Palace before the Prime Minister sits down for lunch with Queen Elizabeth II ahead of his mega diaspora address at the iconic Wembley Stadium in north London.

Source: LIVE: PM Modi arrives in UK – The Hindu

08/07/2015

The Brics Are Harming Each Other’s Trade, and India Is Largely to Blame – India Real Time – WSJ

Like most families, the Brics bloc isn’t as happy as it looks from the outside.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose leaders begin a two-day summit today in Russia, are responsible for a growing share of the world’s trade-distorting policies but an even larger portion of trade-liberalizing ones, a new report finds.

However, the temporary nature of some of the market-opening measures means that overall these countries are still discriminating significantly against their trade partners—many of which are fellow emerging markets.

The finding, documented by the Global Trade Alert project of the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research, highlights some of the awkward contradictions in the effort to unite the Brics.

“On the one hand, the Brics have sought to bolster trade between themselves with more generous credit lines for exporters and the like,” writes the report’s author, Simon Evenett, a professor of economics at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. “On the other hand, the Brics are responsible for a third of the instances of the harm to each other’s commercial interests. This cannot make sense.”

Global Trade Alert monitors trade-distorting moves such as tariffs, investment restrictions, “buy local” requirements for public procurement and export-promotion tools such as tax incentives and trade finance. GTA says its dataset includes more than 4,500 trade-related policies enacted globally since the financial crisis, more than double the number tracked by the World Trade Organization.

The GTA database documents three major spikes in protectionism since 2008. Over that period, the Brics governments have implemented a total of 1,451 policies that favor domestic commercial interests over foreign ones, or 32% of such measures world-wide. The Brics countries have since unwound just a fifth of these, suggesting that protectionist walls weren’t raised merely as temporary crisis-fighting measures. The Brics account for 17% of world trade.

Within the bloc, India stands out as an offender. According to GTA, the country is second only to the European Union both in the number of discriminatory measures imposed since November 2008—452 against the EU’s 604—and in the number of product categories affected by such measures—1,174 against the EU’s 1,220, both out of a possible 1,229.

Rich-country protectionism is still alive and kicking, the report shows. Of the 2,733 economic policies that harmed at least one Brics member, a fifth came from a member of the G-7 group of nations—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Germany, France, U.K. and Italy—or Australia. Nearly a third, however, came from fellow Brics nations.

All told, a greater share of G-7 policies were discriminatory, but the Brics’ protectionism affected a broader range of products. China was the most-common victim, with 2,153 foreign measures hitting its commercial interests.

The Brics also account for an increasing share of reforms world-wide to lower obstacles to foreign firms and investors, the report finds. But 28% of these liberalizations have already lapsed, compared to the global average of 15%.

Some economists say developing countries, in order to kick-start industrialization, need to shield and nurture local firms until they’re ready to compete on world markets. But Mr. Evenett argues that condoning “special and differential treatment” for poor countries doesn’t straightforwardly protect them against rich countries’ discrimination—it also provides cover for developing countries to step on other developing countries’ toes. China is the only one of the Brics whose exports haven’t stagnated over the past four years.

Hence, “a less selective approach to tackling crisis-era protectionism would seem to be in order,” Mr. Evenett writes. “The frequency with which Brics commercial interests are harmed by beggar-thy-neighbor interests ought to make the Brics champions of the monitoring of protectionism by international organizations.”

via The Brics Are Harming Each Other’s Trade, and India Is Largely to Blame – India Real Time – WSJ.

10/12/2014

World’s longest train journey reaches its final destination in Madrid – Xinhua | English.news.cn

The train, named “Yixinou” arrives in Madrid Abronigal railway station in Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 9, 2014. Madrid was the final destination on Tuesday for a train which has set the record for the longest train journey in history: 13,052 kilometers between the Chinese city of Yiwu and the Spanish capital. (Xinhua/Xie Haining)

MADRID, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Madrid was the final destination on Tuesday for a train which has set the record for the longest train journey in history; 13,052 kilometers between the Chinese city of Yiwu and the Spanish capital.

The train which arrived in Madrid at 11a.m. local time (1000GMT), departed from Yiwu on November 18th with 40 wagons, carrying 1,400 tons of cargo, consisting of stationary, craft products and products for the Christmas market and it will return to China filled with luxury Spanish produce such as cured ham, olive oil and wine.

The results of this first historic journey which will then be evaluated with the aim of opening a regular two-way rail link between China and Spain, which could commence operations in early 2015.

Two major advantages of rail travel are that the goods were transported much faster than would otherwise be possible by boat, arriving in Spain in half of the time a cargo vessel would need to cross from China to Spain, while the train produces 62 percent less carbon dioxide contamination less than a lorry making the same journey by road.

The marathon journey crossed China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, before arriving in Spain with 30 of the wagons it had originally set out with.

The 13,052 kilometers between Madrid and Yiwu is a greater distance than that between the north and south pole, although the distance was not covered using the same crew, nor the same engine.

The engine was changed approximately every 800 kilometers, while the crew changes with each country the train traversed. Meanwhile special stops were necessary at the frontier cities of Dostyk (Kazakhstan), Brest (Belarus) and Irun (Spain) in order to deal with the different railway gauges encountered along the route.

A host of dignitaries, such as Spain’s Public Works Minister Ana Pastor, the Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella, as well as the Director of Business at the Chinese Embassy in Madrid Mr. Huang Yazhong, and the Director of Commerce for the Government of Zhejiang Province Mr. Zhang Shuming.

Mr. Huang said the journey showed the great importance China gave to strengthening relations with Europe, while thanking all of the authorities which had helped to make such a historic trajectory possible, while Mrs Botella commented that the 13,053 of railway which had made the historic feat possible was like a “new silk road for the 21st century, except that now the commerce will travel in both directions.

via World’s longest train journey reaches its final destination in Madrid – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India