Ged Carroll

Chinese mercenaries + more things

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Chinese mercenaries

Chinese mercenaries have been around longer than the belt and road. You can come across Chinese mercenaries protecting in the border areas of China such as the warlord regions of Myanmar. But now Chinese mercenaries are increasingly linked with the Belt and Road Initiative. China claims that it isn’t building an empire in Africa, across the former Soviet Union and Sri Lanka. Yet all of the private security companies that Chinese mercenaries work for are state owned. The Chinese mercenaries come out of the PLA, the PLAN marines and the PAP. That doesn’t mean that they are well trained or even well disciplined and they exist in a Chinese legal vacuum.

There is more connecting China to its empire with these Chinese mercenaries than there was for the army fighting under Clive of India for the East India Company a few centuries before. Task and Purpose goes into the subject of Chinese mercenaries in more depth.

China

Honda, Mazda plan to relocate supply chain makers from China | DigiTimes 

Inside Missfresh’s hunt for investor cash ahead of collapse | Financial Times – probably one of the best comments on this article – Missfresh is only one of a number of Chinese domestic startups that sought US investors, as their own domestic private investors were unwilling to invest. For a Chinese investor, they always consider when and if the CCP may want a piece of the business, or worse take action against the promoters and management. for non performance. The lighter loss being financial and. the greater loss, life.

China’s Growth Sacrifice by Stephen S. Roach – Project SyndicateJapanization of an increasingly debt-intensive, bubble-supported Chinese economy. An overly leveraged Chinese property sector fits this script, as does the debt-fueled expansion of state-owned enterprises since the 2008-09 global financial crisis. For China, this became the case for deleveraging, well worth the short-term price to avoid the longer-term stagnation of Japan-like lost decades. Finally, a major reversal in the ideological underpinnings of governance is also at play. As the revolutionary founder of a new Chinese state, Mao emphasized ideology over development. For Deng and his successors, it was the opposite: De-emphasis of ideology was viewed as necessary to boost economic growth through market-based “reform and opening up.” Then came Xi. Initially, there was hope that his so-called “Third Plenum Reforms” of 2013 would usher in a new era of strong economic performance. But the new ideological campaigns carried out under the general rubric of Xi Jinping Thought, including a regulatory clampdown on once-dynamic Internet platform companies and associated restrictions on online gaming, music, and private tutoring, as well as a zero-COVID policy that has led to never-ending lockdowns, have all but dashed those hopes – China was on a rocket ship that it couldn’t control, it is now trying wrestle back control at the expense of growth

Apple’s VP of Corporate Development Resigns from the Board of Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Didi Global – Patently Apple – looks as if Chinese government regulators likely removed Apple from the board

Economics

Yes, sanctions on Russia are working – by Noah Smith 

Eurostar to axe direct trains from London to Disneyland Paris over Brexit | Eurostar | The Guardian“We have taken the decision not to run the direct Disney service … in summer 2023,” it said. “While we continue to recover financially from the pandemic and monitor developments in the proposed EU entry-exit system, we need to focus on our core routes to ensure we can continue to provide the high level of service and experience that our customers rightly expect.” – not enough demand from the UK and too much hassle to run

What’s Hollowing Out the US Workforce? by Michael R. Strain – Project Syndicate – ‘forced’ early retirement is hollowing out the workforce

Energy

South Korean shipbuilder bets on methanol-powered vessels in decarbonisation push | Financial Times 

Finance

Losses at Klarna quadruple as costs rise and credit losses grow | Financial Times

Health

The growing evidence that Covid-19 is leaving people sicker | Financial Times

Chartbook #148: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How China, Cuba and Albania came to have higher life expectancy than the USA. 

Ideas

Marco Meyer & Mark Alfano, Fake news, conspiracy theorizing, and intellectual vice – PhilPapers – interesting how a lack of intellectual humility leaves one vulnerable to fake news and conspiracies

Covey’s 7 habits | Later On 

Why political backlash is worth fighting – The Face – interesting idea of The Big Backlash as a concept

Innovation

The Economics of TSMC’s Giga-Fabs – by Jon Y 

Japan

Kishida turns Japan’s energy problems into nuclear opportunity | Financial Times 

Korea

K-style — the rise and rise of Korean pop culture | Financial Times 

Legal

Apple’s VP of Corporate Development Resigns from the Board of Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Didi Global – Patently Apple – looks as if Chinese government regulators likely removed Apple from the board. Apple was responsible for the largest single investment in Didi Chuxing

Luxury

Top Richemont investors set to vote against activist’s plan to shake up board | Financial Times 

The timely trend for wearing two watches | Financial Times 

Materials

Why is China so Obsessed With Food Security? | The Upheaval – really interesting read. China’s scarcity thinking predates the Ukraine conflict by a considerable amount of time

Retailing

‘No Muslim delivery person’: Food delivery app Swiggy faces backlash over customer’s request – via The Independent: Indian food delivery app Swiggy is facing backlash for not issuing a comment after a customer allegedly asked the service to not send a Muslim delivery personnel.

Meta is teaming up with Jio for grocery delivery via WhatsApp — Quartz 

Security

Snowden: US asked British spy agency to stop Guardian publishing revelations | NSA | The Guardian – I am surprised that the former head of GCHQ has been allowed to cover so much in his memoirs

Storing data on floppy disks? Japan tells bureaucracy time to stop – Nikkei Asia – it also makes sense keeping data off the internet

‘On a par with the Russians’: rise in Chinese espionage alarms Europe | Financial Times – the bigger challenge for China will be the contagious mistrust that this will build

Hackers, Spies and Contract Killers: How Putin’s Agents Are Infiltrating Germany – DER SPIEGEL 

Singapore

Software

France Catches Tax-Dodging Pool Owners With AI Tool – Bloomberg 

Vietnam

In Myanmar, Vietnamese firms learn the political risks of backing the junta — Radio Free Asia – interesting that Burmese consumers are boycotting military-owned businesses including MyTel – a mobile carrier that VietTel has a major stake in. Also: Vietnamese firms have begun investing abroad, and, in particular, have sought a place in the 5G marketplace, especially in markets where there is residual fear of China’s communications giant Huawei. – Also: Vietnamese conglomerate THADICO, which has invested in Myanmar Plaza, the largest modern mall and office space in Yangon, ran afoul of the local population when the plaza’s security attacked civil disobedience protesters in November 2021. This led to a sustained boycott that hit the plaza’s 200 retail units hard, compelling the firm to publicly apologize

Web of no web

Why a Pixar-Invented Protocol Is the ‘HTML of the Metaverse’ – Slashdot