Wednesday, July 8, 2009 0 comments ++[ CLICK TO COMMENT ]++

Crazy events in China

Unlike many other investment blogs, I do touch on politics so I'm going to briefly talk about the ethnic riots in the Xinjiang province of China. It is truly unfortunate to see the riots and hundreads killed. This will go down as the biggest unrest since Tiananmen Square Uprising in 1989. The conflict is rooted in ethnic differences, with deaths spread across both the Uighur minority and the Han majority. I wanted to mention this issue because it shows a long-simmering problem that has been building for years and China needs a peaceful solution if it is going to go anywhere. Cracking down on the dissidents and threatening to execute all protestors may put an end to the present crisis but it won't solve anything in the long run. There is also an economic element to this crisis. The original riots seem to have been started due to deaths of a few Uighurs in a factory China and it would not surprise me if it was due to layoffs and worker payments.

Another bizarre story is the spy charges being brought forth against a few Rio Tinto executives. I have no idea who is right but I would find it surprising that Rio Tinto would be attempting to steal Chinese secrets. I can see some small company engaging in dubious activities but I would find it surprising if executives of a world leader like Rio Tinto were sanctioning spying. However, as the Chinese media suggested, bribery is a possibility and this is a more plausible scenario. We have seen many large companies from Britain and Germany involved in serious bribery charges in the Middle East and who knows what is happening in China.

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