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Singapore


Chinese Singaporeans are people of Chinese descent who are born in or immigrated to Singapore and have attained citizenship or permanent residence status. As of 2009, Chinese Singaporeans constitute 74.2% of Singapore's resident population, or approximately three out of four Singaporeans, making them the largest ethnic group in Singapore.

Singapore's standard of living has risen dramatically. Foreign direct investment and a state-led drive to industrialization based on plans drawn up by the Dutch economist Albert Winsemius have created a modern economy focused on industry, education and urban planning.[11] Singapore is the 5th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita.[12] As of January 2009, Singapore's official reserves stand at US$170.3 billion.

Thailand

about 14% of Thailand's population claim to be of Chinese ethnicity.[3] Extensive intermarriages with the Thais, especially in the past has resulted in many people who claim Chinese ethnicity with Thai ancestry, or mixed.[4] People of Chinese descent are concentrated in the coastal areas of Thailand, principally Bangkok.[5] They are well-represented in all levels of Thai society and play a leading role in business and politics.

Myanmar

The Burmese Chinese dominate the Burmese economy although many enterprises today are co-owned by the military. Moreover, the Burmese Chinese have a disproportionately large presence in Burmese higher education, and make up a high percentage of the educated class in Burma.

Philippines

The Chinese in the Philippines are mostly business owners and their life centers mostly in the family business. These mostly small or medium enterprises play a significant role in the Philippine economy. A handful of these entrepreneurs run large companies and are respected as some of the most prominent business tycoons in the Philippines. Chinese Filipinos attribute their success in business to frugality and hard work, Confucian values and their traditional Chinese customs and traditions. They are very business-minded and entrepreneurship is highly valued and encouraged among the young



Malaysia

The Malaysian Chinese have traditionally dominated the Malaysian economy, but with the implementation of affirmative action policies by the Malaysian government to protect the rights of ethnic Malays, their share has somewhat eroded. However, they still make up the majority of the middle- and upper-income classes. As of 2007, they constituted about a quarter of the Malaysian population.

Indonesia


The Chinese are reported to control about 3/4 of the 140 big conglomerates that dominate Indonesia’s private sector. According to a survey of corporations listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, the Chinese Indonesian community was thought to own or operate a large fraction of major Indonesian corporations. This is a result of a long government restriction for Chinese Indonesians from going into academia, public service, and other governmental occupations. although only 3.5% of the population is Chinese, they own or control 70% of the non-land wealth.


Suharto imposed the so-called New Order regime. For some prominent Chinese businessmen who were friends of Suharto, the New Order was a bonanza: they received huge government contracts and became some of the richest men in Asia.

Cambodia

Under the Khmer Rouge The Khmer Rouge takeover was catastrophic for the Chinese community for several reasons. When the Khmer Rouge took over a town, they immediately disrupted the local market. According to Willmott, this disruption virtually eliminated retail trade "and the traders (almost all Chinese) became indistinguishable from the unpropertied urban classes."

The Chinese, in addition to having their livelihood eradicated on the whole, also suffered because of their class. They were mainly well-educated urban merchants, and thus were characteristic of the people whom the Khmer Rouge detested. Chinese refugees have reported that they shared the same brutal treatment as other urban Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge régime and that they were not discriminated against as an ethnic group until after the Vietnamese invasion.

Modern years Of particular note is China's economic role in the country,[5] which encouraged Sino-Khmer businessmen to reestablish their past business which were once suppressed by the Khmer Rouge.

Modern Cambodian economy is highly dependent on Sino-Khmer companies who controlled a large stake in the country's economy,[6] and their support is enhanced by the large presence of lawmakers who are of at least part-Chinese ancestry themselves.[7]



Analytic Summary

The Chinese are reportedly dispersed across the country, although they are concentrated in the southern region of Vietnam, with many residing in and round Ho Chi Minh City They speak Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, but many are also likely to speak Vietnamese. Referred to as the Hoa in Vietnamese, the Chinese are Buddhists and they are physically distinguishable from the Vietnamese, who are referred to as the Kinh . There is limited information available about the cultural characteristics of the Chinese Vietnamese. However, they are likely to share similar cultural characteristics with the Kinh, because of the long period of Chinese Han dynasty domination of Vietnam.



Prior to the 1975 reunification of North and South Vietnam, most Chinese resided in the south, especially around Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). The southern Chinese were primarily engaged in commerce and they were economically advantaged, partially due to their favored status under French colonial rule.



The 1975 victory of the communist North Vietnam adversely affected the status of the Chinese. All private trade within the country was banned in 1978. Many Hoa businessmen were sent to populate and cultivate land in areas known as New Economic Zones (NEZ). During 1978, the Chinese held several protests in Ho Chi Minh City against the relocations to the NEZs and also to press for Chinese citizenship (PROT75X = 3). The 1979 China-Vietnam border war worsened relations between the Hoa and Kinh communities as some Chinese were viewed as supporting the PRC.



Some prosperous Chinese chose to leave Saigon prior to the fall of South Vietnam, but the major outflow occurred between 1979 and 1981. Many Hoa were among the thousands of Vietnamese boat people who were fleeing the economic and political reconstruction under the Orderly Departure Program. More than 200,000 Chinese left Vietnam for Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian countries during 1979. By 1981, some 227,000 Chinese refugees had been accepted by the PRC alone. Hundreds of thousands of other Hoa and Kinh boat people were to reside in refugee camps in Hong Kong and other South East states for up to two decades after fleeing Vietnam in the late 1970s.




The relationship between the Chinese and state authorities has vastly improved since the late 1970s. Since the early 1980s, political, economic, and cultural restrictions against the Chinese have slowly been lessened. In 1982, for instance, a law was passed which recognized the Hoa as Vietnamese citizens that possess the rights of all other citizens. Restrictions were still maintained on Chinese employment in the security sphere (e.g., armed forces). All employment restrictions were removed in 1986. The Chinese were able to expand their economic influence after Vietnam launched an economic liberalization program late in the decade. Reports indicate that the economically advantaged Chinese control up to 50% of local commercial activities in Ho Chi Minh City.

In the mid-1990s, all official policies that limited the participation of the Chinese in the political sphere were lifted. They possess the same rights as the country's other citizens. The improvement in the status of the Chinese has also been mirrored in the China-Vietnam relationship. Bilateral trade is an important source of revenue for Vietnam; in 1999, trade between the two countries was valued at $1.5 billion, up from $1 billion the previous year, The Hoa have also been critical in helping to draw in foreign investment from other Southeast Asian countries. There is no evidence of political or economic discrimination against the Chinese. The Chinese actively participate in the Communist Party, which in turn advocates for their interests .

There have been no reports of tense relations between the Hoa and the Kinh from 1998-2006. There have been no reported instances of protest or rebellion against the government in recent years


The Chinese remain economically advantaged in relation to the Kinh. This situation will likely continue unless there are reversals in Vietnam's economic and political liberalization programs. Links between the Hoa and the overseas Chinese community have helped to promote Vietnam's economic growth and could help assuage any potential economic downturn.


Laos

So it was that Vientiane, the capital city of Laos, has seen something of an absence at its heart with the lack of a Chinatown. Of course, support for the Pathet Lao from the Soviet Union was also a contributory factor but the situation is now changing rapidly. Not only are a small number of Chinese pioneers starting to establish businesses in the city, often in tourism or service industries, but rather larger groups of Chinese are entering the country through being hired as construction workers. The Asian Development Bank is leading attempts to integrate Laos more closely into the rapid economic development being enjoyed in many other parts of Southeast Asia through, among other means, an extensive road-building program. This will link Kunming in Yunnan province in the north to, ultimately, Singapore in the south and central Vietnam in the east with, perhaps one day, India in the west. Thousands of Chinese labourers have entered Laos to help build these roads and, once their contracts have expired, many prefer to stay on to build businesses in areas where they have spotted opportunities. Tens of thousands of Chinese are now believed to be in the sparsely-populated north of Laos – accurate numbers are not known – and the Lao government, acutely conscious of the difficulties its low population and low population density have caused, are expressing fears that a parallel state is being established in the northern border region. That is what already appears to have happened in Burma.

North Korea

Chinese Merchants in North Korea – Cure or Poison to Kim Jong Il?

90% daily goods made in China, 50% circulated by Chinese merchants By Kim Min Se, Reporter from Shinuijoo & Kwon Jeong Hyun, China [2007-03-07 23:57 ]

While some prospect that North Korea may be an affiliated market of China’s 4 provinces in the Northeast, the real focus is on the merchants who actually control North Korea's markets. Recently, North Korean citizens have been asserting that markets would immobilize if Chinese merchants were to disappear.

Lately, Chinese merchants are nestling themselves with their newly found fortune in North Korea, undeniably to the envy of North Korean citizens.

In a recent telephone conversation with the DailyNK, Kim Chang Yeol (pseudonym) a resident of Shinuiju said “Most of the tiled houses in Shinuiju are owned by Chinese merchants in Shinuiju are upper class and the rich.” Unlike Pyongyang, tiled houses in Shinuiju are greater in value than apartments. In particular, the homes owned by Chinese merchants are luxurious and impressing.

Kim said “At the moment, 90% of daily goods that are traded at Shinuiju markets are made in China.” What Kim means by 90% of goods is basically

everything excluding agricultural produce and medicinal herbs. Apparently, about half of the (90% of) supplies are circulated by Chinese merchants.

Kim affirmed that the market system could be shaken if supplies were not provided by the Chinese merchants. Hence, Chinese merchants have elevated themselves in North Korea’s integrated market system, to the extent that the market could break down without their existence.


Taiwan

Taiwan's population was estimated in 2005 at 22.9 million, most of whom are on the island of Taiwan. About 98% of the population is of Han Chinese ethnicity. Of these, 86% are descendants of early Han Chinese immigrants known as the "home-province people" (Chinese: 本省&# 20154;; pinyin: Běnshěng rén; literally "home-province person").

Taiwan's quick industrialization and rapid growth during the latter half of the twentieth century, has been called the "Taiwan Miracle" or "Taiwan Economic Miracle". As it has developed alongside Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong, Taiwan is one of the industrialized developed countries known as the "Four Asian Tigers".

In 1962, Taiwan had a per capita gross national product (GNP) of $170, placing the island's economy squarely between Zaire and Congo. By 2008 Taiwan's per capita GNP, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), had soared to $33,000 (2008 est.) contributing to a Human Development Index equivalent to that of other developed countries

Hong Kong

(Chinese) is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. Situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea,[8] it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. With land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.[9] The city's population is 95% ethnic Chinese and 5% from other groups.[10]

Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial centres.[63] Its highly developed capitalist economy has been ranked the freest in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom for 15 consecutive years.[64][65][66] It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, and is known as one of the Four Asian Tigers for its high growth rates and rapid development between the 1960s and 1990s. In addition, Hong Kong's gross domestic product, between 1961 and 1997, has grown 180 times larger than the former while per capita GDP rose by 87 times.

Macau

Macau's economy is based largely on tourism, much of it geared toward gambling. Other chief economic activities in Macau are export-geared textile and garment manufacturing, banking and other financial services.[7] The clothing industry has provided about three quarters of export earnings, and the gaming, tourism and hospitality industry is estimated to contribute more than 50% of Macau's GDP, and 70% of Macau government revenue.[34]

Macau is a founding member of the WTO and has maintained sound economic and trade relations with more than 120 countries and regions, with European Union and Portuguese-speaking countries in particular; Macau is also a member of the IMF.[51] The World Bank classifies Macau as a high income economy[52] and the GDP per capita of the region in 2006 was US$28,436. After the Handover in 1999, there has been a rapid rise in the number of mainland visitors due to China's easing of travel restrictions. Together with the liberalization of Macau's gaming industry in 2001 that induces significant investment inflows, the average growth rate of the economy between 2001 and 2006 was approximately 13.1% annually.[53]



Russia

Chinese Migration in Russia 18-05-2005 16:47

ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS The former representative of the Russian president in the Siberian Federal District, Leonid Drachevsky, stated there are not more than 75,000 Chinese migrants out of a population of 21 million in his region, and that the greatest danger is posed by their economic effect on the region. He is absolutely right. The main problem (at least, for the present) lies not in the number of Chinese migrants, but in the economic damage that Chinese communities inflict on Russia. The ex-premier of the State Council of China, Zhu Rongji, estimated the volume of people’s trade in 2001 at U.S.$10 billion. The volume of official trade in the same year amounted to U.S.$10.7 billion. The positive balance in the official trade stands at 3 to 5 billion dollars in Russia’s favor. However, the volume of the people’s trade is determined by China’s net income brought by the sale in Russia of Chinese goods – purchased from producers with money earned by selling them in our country. So, actually, the favorable balance in trade belongs to China.

Bolivia

Closer ties

A graduate from a language school in La Paz where class sizes for Chinese are growing each year, Norma Ramos believes the future will see ever closer ties with China.

Bolivian salt flats

"I think it would be great if we could cement our relations with China. We've seen how Peru has developed after it signed a free trade agreement with China," she says.

As ordinary Bolivians acknowledge the growing economic importance of China, China itself is noticeably increasing its programme of co-operation with Bolivia.

China has said it will construct Bolivia's first satellite, as well as build a fast electric trainline for the country. It is also collaborating on mining and energy projects.

But one of China's biggest interests is in Bolivia's rich natural resources, specifically its lithium deposits in the Uyuni desert, high in the Andes.

Brazil

The flurry of China-Brazil business began less than two years ago after an exchange of visits between Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Chinese President Hu Jintao. Since then China's influence can be seen everywhere in Latin America: oil, gas, railways, ports, steel and - worryingly for the US - defence. In Sao Paulo, Chinese language classes are packed. Not only are students taught how to speak Mandarin, but they are also guided in cultural habits such as attending banquets and singing Chinese folk songs. "Everything I do is with China now," says one student Priscila Marques, who runs a freight forwarding company. "It's Brazil-China; nowhere else

CHINESE IN PERU

China throughout much of modern history has been responsible for settling millions of its people throughout the world. In 2000 estimates were that at least 34 million Chinese were living in 140 countries. The primary migration to Peru falls under the Huagong system from 1849 through 1874 where they worked in the processing of guano (fertilizer) along the coast and on the sugar plantations..

Their situation as being indentured was deplorable for the nearly 100,000 Chinese who migrated. One of the reasons they were imported as workers is that there was a shortage in Peru and the employers believed they had more control over foreign workers who were isolated from their homeland. Suicides, rebellions and escapes were quite common. And, in the war against Chile numerous Chinese took up arms against their overseers. Many of the Chinese remained when their contracts were up as small farmers and shopkeepers.

Many of the Chinese have moved into the middle class economically despite continued discrimination and racism


Africa


How China's taking over Africa, and why the West should be VERY worried By Andrew Malone Last updated at 4:16 PM on 18th July 2008

On June 5, 1873, in a letter to The Times, Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin and a distinguished African explorer in his own right, outlined a daring (if by today's standards utterly offensive) new method to 'tame' and colonise what was then known as the Dark Continent.

'My proposal is to make the encouragement of Chinese settlements of Africa a part of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race,' wrote Galton.

'I should expect that the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order-loving Chinese, living either as a semidetached dependency of China, or else in perfect freedom under their own law.'

Despite an outcry in Parliament and heated debate in the august salons of the Royal Geographic Society, Galton insisted that 'the history of the world tells the tale of the continual displacement of populations, each by a worthier successor, and humanity gains thereby'.

A controversial figure, Galton was also the pioneer of eugenics, the theory that was used by Hitler to try to fulfil his mad dreams of a German Master Race.

Eventually, Galton's grand resettlement plans fizzled out because there were much more exciting things going on in Africa.

But that was more than 100 years ago, and with legendary explorers such as Livingstone, Speke and Burton still battling to find the source of the Nile - and new discoveries of exotic species of birds and

animals featuring regularly on newspaper front pages - vast swathes of the continent had not even been 'discovered'.

Yet Sir Francis Galton, it now appears, was ahead of his time. His vision is coming true - if not in the way he imagined.

An astonishing invasion of Africa is now under way.

In the greatest movement of people the world has ever seen, China is secretly working to turn the entire continent into a new colony.

Reminiscent of the West's imperial push in the 18th and 19th centuries - but on a much more dramatic, determined scale - China's rulers believe Africa can become a 'satellite' state, solving its own problems of over-population and shortage of natural resources at a stroke.

With little fanfare, a staggering 750,000 Chinese have settled in Africa over the past decade. More are on the way.

The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.

The plans appear on track. Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities - oil, platinum, gold and minerals. New embassies and air routes are opening up. The continent's new Chinese elite can be seen everywhere, shopping at their own expensive boutiques, driving Mercedes and BMW limousines, sending their children to exclusive private schools.

The pot-holed roads are cluttered with Chinese buses, taking people to markets filled with cheap Chinese goods. More than a thousand miles of new Chinese railroads are crisscrossing the continent, carrying billions of tons of illegally-logged timber, diamonds and gold.

New horizons? Mugabe has said:'We must turn from the West and face the East' The trains are linked to ports dotted around the coast, waiting to carry the goods back to Beijing after unloading cargoes of cheap toys made in China.

Confucius Institutes (state-funded Chinese 'cultural centres') have sprung up throughout Africa, as far afield as the tiny land-locked countries of Burundi and Rwanda, teaching baffled local people how to do business in Mandarin and Cantonese.


n Equatorial Guinea, where the president publicly hung his predecessor from a cage suspended in a theatre before having him shot, Chinese firms are helping the dictator build an entirely new capital, full of gleaming skyscrapers and, of course, Chinese restaurants.

After battling for years against the white colonial powers of Britain, France, Belgium and Germany, post-independence African leaders are happy to do business with China for a straightforward reason: cash.

With western loans linked to an insistence on democratic reforms and the need for 'transparency' in using the money (diplomatic language for rules to ensure dictators do not pocket millions), the Chinese have proved much more relaxed about what their billions are used for.

Certainly, little of it reaches the continent's impoverished 800 million people. Much of it goes straight into the pockets of dictators. In Africa, corruption is a multi-billion pound industry and many experts believe that China is fuelling the cancer.

The Chinese are contemptuous of such criticism. To them, Africa is about pragmatism, not human rights.'Business is business,' says Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong, adding that Beijing should not interfere in 'internal' affairs.'We try to separate politics from business.'

While the bounty has, not surprisingly, been welcomed by African dictators, the people of Africa are less impressed. At a market in Zimbabwe recently, where Chinese goods were on sale at nearly every stall, one woman told me she would not waste her money on 'Zing-Zong' products.

'They go Zing when they work, and then they quickly go Zong and break,' she said.'They are a waste of money. But there's nothing else. China is the only country that will do business with us.' There have also been riots in Zambia, Angola and Congo over the flood of Chinese immigrant workers. The Chinese do not use African labour where possible, saying black Africans are lazy and unskilled.

In Angola, the government has agreed that 70 per cent of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans. As well as enticing hundreds of thousands to settle in Africa, they have even shipped Chinese prisoners to produce the goods cheaply.

In Kenya, for example, only ten textile factories are still producing, compared with 200 factories five years ago, as China undercuts locals in the production of 'African' souvenirs. Where will it all end? As far as Beijing is concerned, it will stop only when Africa no longer has any minerals or oil to be extracted from the continent.

A century after Sir Francis Galton outlined his vision for Africa, the Chinese are here to stay. More will come. The people of this bewitching, beautiful continent, where humankind first emerged from the Great Rift Valley, desperately need progress. The Chinese are not here for that.

They are here for plunder. After centuries of pain and war, Africa deserves better


Spain

Chinese businesses became part of Spanish urban life - Feature

Posted : Wed, 28 Jul 2010 05:00:19 GMT By : Sinikka Tarvainen

Madrid - Practically every neighbourhood in the Spanish capital Madrid has at least one shop like Ana's.

Ana is not her real name, but like many Chinese entrepreneurs in Spain she uses a Spanish first name, which is easier for her clients to remember.

Ana's shop on Colombia Street in north Madrid displays a sign that says "foodstuffs," but it is more like a mini-supermarket, offering products ranging from cleaning supplies to toiletries at rock-bottom prices.

The shop is nearly always open. Despite her long working hours, Ana, who is in her early 40s, is always friendly and quick to smile. She speaks just enough Spanish to quote prices, help clients find products and hold simple conversations.

Ana and her husband came to Spain two years ago, leaving their 10- year-old son with his grandmother in Beijing, she explains in broken Spanish, as Chinese blares from a television set in the background.

Shops like Ana's have become ubiquitous in many cities in Spain, where the number of Chinese immigrants has risen to about 154,000, up from 124,000 in 2007, according to the Labour and Immigration Ministry.

Most of the new arrivals come from the south-eastern Chinese region of Qingtian and live in Madrid or Barcelona, according to Spanish media reports.

There are large numbers of Chinese businesses in some neighbourhoods, such as Madrid's multicultural Lavapies, which has hundreds of Chinese shops and restaurants. But the capital does not have a real Chinatown, because Chinese establishments are scattered all over the city.

While Spain's economic crisis is driving other immigrants back home, the Chinese presence is only becoming more visible. They now run more than 20,000 businesses in Spain, the daily El Mundo reported.

The immigrants first became known as owners of Chinese restaurants - which number more than 2,000 in Spain - and of "all-for-1-euro" shops selling all kinds of cheap, China-made products.

Now, however, they run a large variety of businesses, ranging from typical Spanish bars and hairdressing salons to travel agencies and insurance companies.


The Chinese no longer employ just other Chinese but Spaniards, too, in a country with a 20-per-cent unemployment rate.

"I would be out of work if I had not decided to work for them," said Juan Perez, an instructor at the Woo Fu driving school in the eastern city of Valencia.

A few years ago, Chinese immigrants made headlines mainly for running clandestine textile factories employing other Chinese - often illegal immigrants - in slave-like conditions, or for selling pirated CDs and DVDs.

Today, such news has partly been replaced with Chinese rags-to- riches stories, such as that of industrialists Li Tie, 33, and Yong Ping, 43.

Today, such news has partly been replaced with Chinese rags-to- riches stories, such as that of industrialists Li Tie, 33, and Yong Ping, 43.

Li Tie started two decades ago on Madrid street corners selling bags. Now he and Yong Ping have opened a 40,000-square-metre commercial and industrial centre - one of the largest such projects ever undertaken by foreigners in Spain- with plans to add a four-star hotel.

"The banks give us (Chinese) loans easily, because we are good at paying them back," Yong Ping told El Mundo.

Despite many Spaniards being acquainted with shopkeepers like Ana, few of them have made close friends with Chinese immigrants, who have the reputation of forming a rather closed community.

A key aspect of their commercial success is that members of the same family run related businesses and give interest-free loans to each other, social anthropologist Joaquin Beltran explained.

"Business logic goes together with family honour," he said.

The somewhat mysterious reputation of the Chinese community is reflected in some half-joking myths about them, such as the saying that they do not die.

There are, indeed, few graves of Chinese immigrants in Spanish graveyards, but the explanation is simple: most Chinese return home to retire.

The relative isolation of the Chinese community is beginning to crumble as a younger generation grows up in Spain, learns perfect Spanish and adapts to local customs.

The growing Chinese presence has fuelled Spanish interest in Chinese culture and business opportunities, with some 20,000 Spaniards now studying Mandarin in schools, universities and private language centres.

Some Spanish business owners complain about what they regard as unfair Chinese competition, but many Spaniards could no longer do without their local Chinese shop.

"In business," said Ji Wang, a lawyer in Madrid, "we are all equal."


Greece is tapping China's deep pockets to help rebuild its economy

By Anthony Faiola Wednesday, June 9, 2010 PIRAEUS, GREECE -- Nearly bankrupt and sullied in the eyes of foreign investors, Greece is moving to rebuild its economy by tapping the deep pockets of another ancient civilization: China. Spurred on by government incentives and bargain-basement prices, the Chinese are planning to pump hundreds of millions -- perhaps billions -- of euros into Greece even as other investors run the other way. The cornerstone of those plans is the transformation of the Mediterranean port of Piraeus into the Rotterdam of the south, creating a modern gateway linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa. The port project is emerging as a bellwether for Greek plans to pay down debt and reinvent its broken economy by privatizing inefficient government-owned utilities, trains and even casinos. This week, the Chinese shipping giant Cosco assumed full control of the major container dock in Piraeus, just southwest of Athens. In return, the Chinese have pledged to spend $700 million to construct a new pier and upgrade existing docks.

The Greek government, for its part, is taking on the powerful unions in a bid to ensure that the Chinese can introduce dramatic changes to increase efficiency and productivity. That effort has ironically turned the Greek Communist Party -- which is closely aligned with the labor unions -- into the fiercest critic of China's economic march on Greece.

The Greek government is also courting China for a bevy of other projects, including a sprawling new distribution center in the industrial wastelands west of Athens, a monorail line, five-star hotels and a new maritime theme park. Greek hotels, eager to fill rooms as crisis-weary Europeans cut back on travel, are also wooing Chinese tour operators as never before. The whitewashed island of Santorini has started selling itself as the ideal spot for "Big Fat Mandarin Weddings" and has seen a surge in fairytale nuptials by wealthy Chinese as a result.

"We have a saying in China,'Construct the eagle's nest, and the eagle himself will come,' " Wei Jiafu, Cosco's charismatic chief executive, said in a televised interview in Athens this week. A high-ranking member of China's Communist Party, he is now so well-known in Greece that many here refer to him by his nickname, "Captain Wei." "We have constructed such a nest in your country to attract such Chinese eagles," he said. "This is our contribution to you."

Pattern of investing

The Chinese have plunked down billions from Angola to Peru to ensure the delivery of natural resources to feed China's red-hot economy as well as to guarantee unfettered and cost-effective shipment of its exports abroad. The investments here in Greece, analysts say, are part of China's plan to create a network of roads, pipelines, railroads and port facilities -- sort of a modern Silk Road -- to boost East-West trade. Forced in April to turn to the European Union and International Monetary Fund for a $140 billion bailout, Greece fits perfectly into China's pattern of investing in challenging environments. China is building a new commercial maritime base in Greece at a time when other European nations remain suspicious of Chinese state investment. France, citing national security risks, recently blocked a bid by China to take over a French firm. Alarm is also growing that China's plans will flood Europe with cheap Asian imports.


"There is growing unease in Europe at the extent and size of their trade imbalance with China," said Jonathan Wood, global issues analyst at Control Risks in London. "They are worried about finding themselves in the same situation as the United States, running a high trade deficit with China."

Yet the Greeks see Chinese investment as nothing short of a gift from the gods. The biggest question facing the troubled European Union is how nations with uncompetitive economies such as Portugal, Spain and Greece can reinvent themselves to be more on par with the successful nations of Northern Europe. Greek officials say Chinese investment is offering a glimpse into how this nation can do just that by building on its expertise in shipping.

"The Chinese want a gateway into Europe," Theodoros Pangalos, Greece's deputy prime minister, said in an interview. "They are not like these Wall Street [expletive] pushing financial investments on paper. The Chinese deal in real things, in merchandise. And they will help the real economy in Greece." Yet the privatization of the port also shows how difficult such a transition might be, particularly as Greece tries to privatize more of its economy. 35-year lease

The Chinese deal for the port began to come together in 2006, with Cosco taking transitional control of the main dock at Piraeus on Oct. 1, 2009. It came in armed with a 35-year lease and a mission to whip the notoriously inefficient container docks into shape.

The unloading of a mid-size cargo ship could take as long a week at Piraeus, days longer than at a modern, well-run port such as Rotterdam, now Europe's largest. Many in the shipping industry blamed Greek state workers. "The problem is, the workers were trained to make more money without working," said Nicolas Vernicos, owner of a shipping company whose tugboats have been subcontracted by the Chinese to operate at the port. "That is Greece's problem."

The unions at the port had been striking off and on for months to protest the Chinese arrival. Greece's Socialist government, which came to power in October, initially stood behind the unions, almost scuttling the Chinese deal.

But as Greece's economy went into a tailspin, the government did an about-face, not only welcoming the Chinese at the container dock but also entering into new talks with them for a major shipping repair hub at the port as well as a huge new distribution center.

As part of the deal, 500 union workers at the port were gradually replaced -- allowing the Chinese to bring in cheaper subcontractors. To calm the unions, the government offered 140 workers up to $2,000 a month in pension payments, while others were promised government jobs elsewhere.

The unions and the Greek Communist Party say the Chinese are hiring subcontractors with fewer than 20 workers -- putting them just below the legal threshold in Greece to form organized unions. In addition, they say, the new workers are being pushed too hard, pointing to an incident three weeks ago when two new hires were hospitalized after being injured on the job.

"We are not only giving up national sovereignty but selling our workers out," said Nikos Xourafis, a labor leader with the Greek Port Workers Association. "That can't be the answer for Greece."





Kyrgyzstan

The Great Silk Road with one's own eyes. Part III. Chinese expansion

Economies of post-Soviet Central Asian countries and their development directly depend on China with its economic clout. Aware of the need of stable markets to dump goods and commodities into, the government of China actually encourages its businessmen to establish joint ventures in nearby countries. It enables the Chinese to exert influence with these economies from within. This influence is then used to establish these economies' dependence on Chinese manpower.

Mass torrents of low-paid manpower originating in China meanwhile foment fears in citizens of Central Asian countries that they may find themselves driven from their native territories one fine day. Kyrgyz businessmen and manual workers fall back before the Chinese expansion and seek employment abroad.

Chinese enterprises in Kyrgyzstan

Osh is the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan. A major Chinese company invited Osh city fathers to visit Kashgar last year and arranged their meeting with local business circles. When the visit was over, a Kyrgyz-Chinese joint venture was established in Osh. Chinese businesses built four brick works near the city, each producing 70,000 bricks every twenty-four hours.

Mayor of Osh Jumadyl Isakov claims that several Kyrgyz-Chinese joint ventures were established in the city last year. "Along with everything else, we have plans to organize production of spare parts here for the future industrial park where Chinese furniture, refrigerators, and other home appliances will be made," Isakov said. "As for Kyrgyz-Chinese joint ventures, we need more of them. For example, we need brick works, a leg wear garment factory, factories pouring out articles of plastic, cotton, and so on. All of that means jobs for our people."

This correspondent asked Isakov about markets for the future industrial boom. The major said that it was being taken care of right now. "Provided the quality is adequate, we will export the goods to Russia, Turkey, and other countries," he said.

(Experts doubt in the meantime that Chinese goods - even made in Kyrgyzstan - will be welcome in other countries. "No, I do not think that Russia or Turkey will be interested," human rights activist from Jalalabad Abdunazar Mamatislamov shook his head. "These countries themselves have enough and to spare. Moreover, their own analogs are of an undeniably better quality than anything the Kyrgyz-Chinese joint ventures might hope to come up with.")

Isakov in the meantime went on giving this correspondent chapter and verse on what he clearly regarded as accomplishments in the sphere of cooperation with the Chinese. "We have another joint venture here that makes metal ware - fittings, pipes, and so on," he continued. "The Chinese will build a cement mill here as well. Other plans stand for development of a coal pit in a settlement not far from here and development of its infrastructure depends on the Chinese too..."


Uzbekistan

No need to elaborate here on how goods «made in China» have flooded foreign markets, all too frequently drowning quality in quantity. Analysts point out that cheap and easily available Chinese goods impair development of industry in the countries bordering on China. Determined to defend national industry and hopefully boost prestige of their own goods and commodities, some countries (like Uzbekistan) restrict import from China.

Smugglers see to it that these restrictions do not matter much. More than 50% of what Chinese goods and commodities reach Qorasuv in Kyrgyzstan with its largest marketplace in all of Central Asia are then smuggled into Uzbekistan. It is hardly surprising because the Kyrgyz market itself cannot absorb this flood. (It should be added that the population of the southern part of Kyrgyzstan stands at approximately 2.5 million men at this point or half the whole population of the country.)

It follows that a vast bulk of goods and commodities goes right to small-time wholesale vendors from all over Uzbekistan who brave the road to Qorasuv despite the distances involved and the threat of confiscation of goods.

Demolition

Smuggled Chinese goods and commodities are a thorough headache for the Uzbek authorities. Desperate for at least something to dam the flood, they fortified the state border and demolished every building there regardless of its purpose and form of ownership. Literally thousands Uzbeks saw their houses torn down, helpless to do anything about it.

«We used to have a large house with six rooms inside,» a woman whose household was thus demolished told Ferghana.Ru. «And a fairly large land plot nearby. It was torn down because some official had said it was located too close to the border, right near the barbed wire. He said we were facilitating smuggling or something. The authorities gave us land, approximately one third of what we had had, and 5.5 million sums ($4,840) to build another house with. A shack is all we can hop to build with this sort of money.»

Mass demolition was launched in April 2007. The authorities used units of the regular army with their heavy haulers and all other gear. It took them no time at all to level every building to the ground. The people were left literally under the open sky, despite the cold and rains. Almost 200 buildings were demolished on a fairly small part of the border in the settlements of Sokolok, Kisik, and Dustlik. Thousands buildings were leveled to the ground all along the border, just because the authorities deemed them to be located in the wrong place.

Corrupt border guards

Needless to say, all of that facilitated corruption in the Uzbek Border Service. This correspondent observed with his own eyes how border guards collected toll from vendors dragging their sacks and packs across the border. Tariffs are known to everyone — crossing the border once costs 1,000 sums ($0.8) when «loaded» and 500 sums ($0.4) when empty. Uzbeks cross the border by the thousand every day. They return to the border again, carrying Chinese goods and commodities, bribe border guards, and go home in order to sell the lot without attracting attention of the local law enforcement agencies and earn something to sustain their families.



Fiji


Chinese people and their descendants constitute a small, but influential, community in the multiracial society that makes up modern Fiji. In the early 2000s their numbers were estimated at around 6000, or a little over half of one percent of Fiji's population. Around 80% of Chinese in Fiji speak Cantonese as their native language and around 16% speak Shanghainese as their native language. Chinese in Fiji also speak the local Fijian language. Chinese in Fiji have a strong Buddhist background and some retained Confucian traditions. There are also a considerable number of Fijians who are of partial Chinese extraction, being descended from marriages between Chinese and indigenous Fijians. For electoral purposes, Chinese people are counted as General Electors, an omnibus category for Fijian citizens not of indigenous, Indian, or Rotuman descent, which is allocated three seats in the 71-member House of Representatives.


Australia




Australia

Australia is now a hot real estate market for Chinese investors

Chinese buyers are snapping up some of the best luxury properties in Sydney including big homes on the harbor, and new condominium developments.

Real estate brokers and developers said Chinese buyers are most interested in hot properties in the inner-city and by the beach. They are attracted by new foreign ownership rules, a favorable exchange rate, and the relative stability of the Australian property market.

After the UK and New Zealand, China is third in the lineup of countries that sends immigrants to Australia. Last financial year, more than 70,000 Chinese arrived in Australia to live permanently, including a steady stream of business migrants and a growing number of students.

"In many cases, Chinese immigrants to Australia are buying into key lifestyle markets, which are characterized as being close to the ocean or within the inner-city," said Tim Lawless, national research director at RP Data, a property and analytics information company.

In March, Chinese businessman Jiang Mei bought one of the most expensive houses ever sold in Sydney, an inner-city, Point Piper house for $32.4 million.


This set off a buying trend. Chinese buyers paid $14.5 million for a home at Rose Bay, and then a Shanghai couple bought in the same waterfront suburb for $15 million. Another Chinese couple bought a $5.8 million house, and a Chinese investor bought a smaller, second property for $1 million, with plans to rent out the home.

Raine and Horne, an Australian real estate agency that negotiated the Point Piper house deal, said interest from the Chinese mainland picked up by about 15 percent at the beginning of 2009.

In March, Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) introduced dramatic changes to rules governing foreign buyers, including that all apartments in new projects can be sold to foreigners. Previously, only half the apartments in a development could be sold to overseas buyers. Student visa holders who live in Australia are no longer limited to spending only $300,000 on a property.

Richard Lawrence, a partner with Holland & Knight's Beijing office, who often advises clients on China-related real estate projects, said Chinese buyers are becoming more active in foreign real estate, particularly those looking to diversify their portfolio.

In China, some people have concerns that a serious asset bubble is developing in real estate, so overseas markets are starting to look cheap by comparison.

"I think we will see Chinese corporate and institutional investors start to turn to real estate investment opportunities elsewhere," he said, noting that Australia and the US are key markets.

One real estate agent who deals with top-tier properties said more Chinese than ever are looking to buy in Sydney. Many Chinese want to migrate to Australia, either because their children attend school there, they are considering retiring, or they want to buy investment property.

Wendy Searle, a spokeswoman for Di Jones real estate, said most Chinese are discreet buyers.

"You only get to know they have purchased by looking at completion records, available after a sale," she said. "It is said in some circles that a majority of houses with the best Sydney harbor views will be owned by Chinese people in a few years."

She cited a list of the top 100 house sales in Australia for 2008. "A lot of the names of the buyers were Chinese," she said.

Australia's real estate market has proved to be very resilient in comparison with other Western markets. Housing prices fell by just 3.8 percent during the 2008 downturn and have since recovered during the first half of 2009.


















Canada


Chinese investors eye Canadian housing boom

"There's investment coming from all over the world, but especially from countries that have any sort of restriction on ownership."



Steve Ladurantaye

Published on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010 7:08PM EST Last updated on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010 2:50AM EST Forget about competing with the family up the street the next time you bid on a new home – the real competition may be sitting at a computer in Shanghai.

With their government worried about a domestic housing bubble, more mainland Chinese investors are looking toward Canada's booming housing market as a haven for their dollars.

“The world continues to get smaller and smaller,” said Don Lawby, president of Century 21 Canada Ltd. “There's investment coming from all over the world, but especially from countries that have any sort of restriction on ownership.”

Chinese officials – alarmed by housing prices that increased by 7.8 per cent in the country's 70 biggest cities in 2009 – imposed a sales tax late last year on homes sold within five years of their purchase, in a bid to dampen speculation.

This has investors casting their eyes out of the country, with some Chinese entrepreneurs offering tours in the United States so investors can see properties in person.

“Most of us have realized that traditional manufacturing industries no longer bring us more profits, so many who used to run factories are switching to stock markets or real estate,” Zhou Dewen, head of a Wenzhou business association, recently told Associated Press when asked why he was organizing out-of-country tours for investors.

While Chinese residents have long looked to Canada as a site for their capital, and while they have been buying steadily in the Vancouver and Toronto real estate markets for years, the combination of a clampdown at home and a blazing hot market in this country is spurring even more interest.

Canada's real estate market rebounded strongly in 2009, with sales improving 7.7 per cent over 2008, and the national average price moving 5-per-cent higher. Low interest rates and a backlog of demand have been cited as reasons for the surge, and many analysts are calling for the market to cool down as domestic demand fades.

The prospect of any sort of slowdown makes a pool of potential overseas buyers that much more attractive to the country's real estate industry.

To tap into the demand, Century 21 will unveil a new Chinese version of its website this week, the first major real estate company to do so in Canada. The site is the cornerstone of a strategy that will see the company increasingly marketing properties directly to consumers in mainland China.

“Right now, our focus is on serving Chinese clients in Canada,” said Mr. Lawby, who is also president of Century 21 Asia Pacific.

“However, a byproduct is that Canadian listings will be more visible to buyers from around the world … there's always a need for a safe haven to place money and invest.”

Vancouver agent William Nip estimates he sells 40 properties to Chinese nationals each year, a number that has increased every year since he started dealing in property 17 years ago.

So far this year, most of his clients are looking to spend up to $2-million on premium properties.

“The bubble in China is already very big, so the government is encouraging them to take their money and spend somewhere else,” said Mr. Nip, who works at Sutton Group West Coast Realty.

While there's no doubt the Chinese are looking abroad, Patrick Chovanec, a business professor at Beijing's Tsinghua University, cautioned that many would-be buyers aren't in a position to actually spend outside the country's borders despite their interest.

“Only Chinese citizens who already have found a way to get some money offshore are actually in the position to invest in real estate in Canada or the U.S. It's not an insignificant amount of money, but it's a tiny portion of China's savings pool.”


USA


Chinese Tourists Buying Foreclosure Properties


By : Leticia Carvalho

Submitted 2008-12-29 07:35:11

More and more Chinese are joining tour groups especially organized for house-hunting and home-buying in the U.S. to take advantage of the bargain prices of foreclosed properties. The Chinese government has relaxed its U.S. visa and foreign investment regulations to enable its people to buy real properties abroad.


Among the most popular destinations are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, the cities with the highest foreclosure rates. According to Jamie Lee of the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau in Beijing, Chinese investors have been buying properties quietly in Southern California for years. Now they are going around buying repo homes in large groups.


Meanwhile, even Chinese local governments have become involved in the buying spree. Government officials from the southern province of Guangdong are scheduled to fly to Los Angeles to establish a regional office to assist residents of Guangdong in their home-buying efforts.


Ling Chow, head of the Chinese American Real Estate Professionals Association in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley, is pleased about the surge of home buyers from China. But he doubts about their impact on the revival of the housing market which is filled with foreclosure properties.


Chow said that many of the Chinese buyers are looking for new homes in school districts with high academic ratings in preparation for their children who are set to immigrate with them. Some are buying for their children who are attending college in a few years.


Nevertheless, researcher Mei Xinyu of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is concerned about groups of Chinese investing in new homes and foreclosed properties in markets they know nothing about. He warned about communities that may not recover at all.


As a response to concerns similar to Mei Xinyu’s, Yuan Lixin of newspaper publisher and group tour organizer Beijing Youth arranged group tours to give Chinese tourists and potential home investors a feel of the real American life in communities hit hard by foreclosures.


Author Resource:- Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosures market over 5 years. Read about the following article Chinese Tourists Buying Foreclosure Properties by Leticia Carvalho on DistressedPropertiesSale.com - Your online source for distressed properties




UK

Chinese buying up investment properties in London Edit

Chinese investors spent approximately 170 million pounds ($260 million) buying up newly built properties in central London in the 12 month period ending March 2010, driven by a weaker pound and tightened real estate policies at home, major international real estate service providers said.

According to Liam Bailey, head of residential research with real estate agency Knight Frank LLP, Asian investors are now buying more than a fifth of all central London’s new properties, and account for 49 percent of all investment purchases in central London.

“Of the 7,595 newly built properties completed in the 12 months prior to March 2010, 41 percent of these were bought by investors rather than owner occupiers. And 49 percent of all investors were Asian, with 11 percent from the mainland and Hong Kong, 10 percent from Singapore and 7 percent from Malaysia,” said Bailey.

“We estimate that over the last 12 months, Asian investment volume has totaled 761 million pounds,” he added.

Data from real estate service provider Savills showed buyers from southeast Asia - and those from the mainland and Hong Kong in particular - account for 35 percent of new development sales in London, making the Chinese the most active overseas buyers in the city.

“Recent tightening of (the government’s real estate) policy towards Chinese domestic property investments has led to an increased appetite for overseas real estate purchases. And the strengthening of the yuan against major currencies in the past two years has also meant Chinese buyers could acquire foreign real estate assets at a bargain,” said Randall Hall, CEO of Savills China.

With Chinese investors getting more nervous about keeping money at home after outstanding credit rose by 30 percent and property prices skyrocketed last year, the launch of tightening real estate polices since the end of last year also made property investments more risky.

“Besides, we cannot underestimate the role of UK education in encouraging inward investment into London,” said Bailey.

Over the past decade, the number of Asian students studying in UK universities has risen by 175 percent. The strongest growth comes from Chinese, Indian and Pakistani nationals. The number of Chinese studying in the UK rose from 4,017 in 1998-1999 to 47,035 in 2008-2009, industry sources show.

In many cases, Asian investors snap up residential properties in the UK for their college-bound offspring to reside in for the duration of their education there, “and then retain the property as an investment,” Bailey added.

According to Knight Frank’s research, for Asian investors location is a key priority - preferably close to a subway station. Meanwhile, Knight Frank’s experience in the past year has shown a change in buying power with Asian investors selecting more up-market properties.

“In 2007, exhibitions in Asia were focused on smaller, more affordable units but now demand is for more spacious one and two bedroom apartments priced from 400,000 to 800,000 pounds, if not more,” said Sebastian Warner of Knight Frank’s residential investment team.



2007-09-07 Monika Manke Germany


Around twenty boxes filled with titanium balls are put in the corner, ready for transport. This room is about twelve square meters, and it doesn’t exactly look like the office of a thriving company. And you wouldn’t guess that the goods stored here are worth about 30.000 Euros. But this Chinese, Zhang Changjia, the owner of Sulfan Fine Metal GmbH says his titanium is the best around and that business is booming even though he only launched his company last year in Cologne. So, what’s the secret of his success?

My dad has a factory in China. He’s worked with German companies for many years. He was the one who has sent me to Germany so that I can open a business here and expand our family trade.”

Zhang is one of many Chinese who set up business in Cologne today within the framework of the cities “China Offensive.” Thanks to his dad’s contacts, he didn’t have a lot of problems accessing the German market. Yang Gangtong’s starting position was similar. His parents have a factory in China as well. They sent their son to Germany to study and set up business there. But Yang’s story was a bit more complicated. He didn’t finish his study and his application to set up business here was turned down. The second one’s been successful, and it’s been a year of hard work.

Glaser says, a good business plan is essential. But how well prepared are his clients?

Mrs. Yang is one of them. She is planning to set up a consulting office aimed at Chinese companies. Having already worked in Germany, she thinks that she has an advantage in this field. But she also hopes that she will come to grips with the differences between doing business in Germany and in China.


There are so many little things that are different. The businessmodel, the mentality. Even the contracts and the international payment procedures, and many other things. All these are very different in China and in Germany.”

Thinking of his own experiences with his German business partners, Zhang agrees. In China you pay at least fifty percent of the price in advance. In Germany, you do it after delivery. The customers here in Germany are simply different, he says.

We have a saying that goes like this. The American client only looks at the price. And if the price is right, everything is right. The Japanese client is different, he looks at quality. If the quality is good, then everything is good. But the German client wants Japanese quality for an American price. And that’s difficult.”

But according to Tim Glaser, there are aspects of Chinese culture that benefit to launch a company. For example, he says, Chinese are more flexible than Germans.

Germans work from A to B. Everything is planned with a predetermined number of steps. And Germans stick to their initial plans. The Chinese also say they want to go from A to B, but then they take the first step, turn around 360 degrees, before they decide to take the next step.”

While Zhang takes up the offer of a big German company, the Mayor of Colone, Fritz Schrama, has traveled to Beijing to promote Colone as a location for doing good business. By the end of this year his initiative wants to have settled 188 Chinese companies in Cologne. 188 because 8 is a lucky number in China. So far 116 enterprises have responded to his call. So, is it possible to reach that goal? Zhang thinks it is, because he says that the Chinese have a temperament that guides them. And there’s a saying that expresses this:

Don’t hesitate in making a decision.”

Well, this kind of driving force might well drive more and more Chinese companies to set up business in Cologne.

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