Australia is the third most popular destination for ultra-rich Chinese to invest wealth offshore, a new report shows.
China’s massive, floating solar farm is just the latest in a series of moves geared toward making the nation less reliant on fossil fuels.
By Denis Bright As the Trump Administration looks inwardly to rehabilitate its domestic economy, China’s President Xi is sprinting ahead with a New Globalization Initiative: The One Belt One Road Project. The recent Belt and Road Summit in Beijing on 13-14 May 2017 attracted representatives from 130 countries including 30 heads of state from all…
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – Donald Trump has pronounced solar power “too expensive” and has pledged …
China expressed “serious concern” on Monday after US president-elect Donald Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-held stance that Taiwan is part of “one China”.
A Chinese TV series about corruption is meant to underline that President Xi Jinping is serious about wiping out graft.
Japan protests to China which it says has sent a fleet of more than 200 ships towards disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Australia has been issued with an unusually blunt warning from China.
China says its armed forces will defend its sovereignty and maritime interests.
Hong Kong’s richest man said China’s economic outlook is bright in the long term, casting a vote of confidence in a country that’s growing at its slowest pace in a quarter century.
China, a country infamous for its hellish traffic and inexperienced drivers,
As Chinese women face stigma for remaining unmarried past their late 20s, the boyfriends for rent business is booming.
The 1966-76 Cultural Revolution is a history too long and too tragic to fully conceal.
The Turnbull government has again rejected the sale of Australia’s largest private land holding to a Chinese business interests, declaring the proposed deal was not in the national interest.
Increasing consumption requires increases in household income, reduced savings or a combination. This requires increasing wage levels and employment levels. Increasing consumption will require reform of the welfare system, especially health, education and pensions.
Last year, China’s plentiful tourists spent almost 1.2 trillion yuan ($183
A bit of the Chinese business-is-business attitude is perhaps what the boiling Arab-Iranian tensions now badly need.
A recent report published by Chinese academics looking at the income
If china crushes the dollar, the huge US dollar debt to China will turn into dust
China — the world’s biggest polluter — will use this week’s UN conference in Paris to stake a global leadership claim on climate change.
The end of China’s One Child Policy has come; the question now is… so what? Indeed, the end of the controversial policy might be too late… as China’s newly-minted middle class starts to feel the same strains that have kept the birth rate …
Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe with a report listing Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent.
The Walk Free Foundation, an Australian-based human rights group, estimated in its inaugural slavery index last year that 29.8 million people were born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, trapped in debt bondage or exploited for forced labour.
Releasing its second annual index, Walk Free increased its estimate of the number of slaves to 35.8 million, citing better data collection and slavery being uncovered in areas where it had not been found previously.
For the second year, the index of 167 countries found India had, by far, the greatest number of slaves – up to 14.3 million people in its population of 1.25 billion were victims of slavery, ranging from prostitution to bonded labour.
- Modern slavery exists in all 167 countries covered by the index
- Total number of people enslaved: 35.8 million people
- Improved methodology uncovers 20% more enslaved people than last year’s report
- Five countries account for 61% of the world’s population living in modern slavery
- Africa and Asia continue to face biggest challenges
Mauritania was again the country where slavery was most prevalent by head of population while Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, rose up the rank from 96th place to be listed as the fourth worst country by percentage of the population.
“From children denied an education by being forced to work or marry early, to men unable to leave their work because of crushing debts they owe to recruitment agents, to women and girls exploited as unpaid, abused domestic workers, modern slavery has many faces,” the report said.
“It still exists today, in every country – modern slavery affects us all.”
The index defines slavery as the control or possession of people in such a way as to deprive them of their freedom with the intention of exploiting them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception.
The definition includes indentured servitude, forced marriage and the abduction of children to serve in wars.
Ten countries account for 71 per cent of world’s slaves
Highest prevalence of slavery
Highest number of people in slavery
Source: Walk Free Global Slavery Index
Hereditary slavery is deeply entrenched in the West African country of Mauritania, where four per cent of the population of 3.9 million is estimated to be enslaved, the report said.
After Mauritania, slavery was most prevalent in Uzbekistan, where citizens are forced to pick cotton every year to meet state-imposed cotton quotas, and Haiti, where the practice of sending poor children to stay with richer acquaintances or relatives routinely leads to abuse and forced labour, it said.
Ranked fourth was Qatar.
The tiny Gulf state relies heavily on migrants to build its mega-projects including soccer stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
It has come under scrutiny by rights groups over its treatment of migrant workers, most from Asia, who come to toil on construction sites, oil projects or work as domestic help.
The next highest prevalence rates were found in India, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria and Central African Republic.
The index showed that 10 countries alone account for 71 per cent of the world’s slaves.
After India, China has the most slaves with 3.2 million, then Pakistan (2.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.2 million), Russia (1.05 million), Nigeria (834,200), Democratic Republic of Congo (762,900), Indonesia (714,100), Bangladesh (680,900) and Thailand (475,300).
Anti-slavery laws not met by action
For the first time, the index rated governments on their response to slavery.
It found the Netherlands, followed by Sweden, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, Britain, Georgia and Austria had the strongest response.
At the opposite end of the scale, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Uzbekistan, Republic of Congo and Iraq had the worst responses.
“Every country in the world apart from North Korea has laws that criminalise some form of slavery, yet most governments could do more to assist victims and root out slavery from supply chains,” Walk Free Foundation’s head of global research, Fiona David, said.
“What the results show is that a lot is being done on paper but it’s not necessarily translating into results,” Ms David said.
“Most countries got 50 per cent or less when we looked at the strength of their victim assistance regime.
“It’s also striking that … out of 167 countries we could only find three (Australia, Brazil and the United States) where governments have put things in place on supply chains.”
The report showed conflict had a direct impact on the prevalence of slavery, Ms David said, citing the example of the Islamic State militant group which has abducted women and girls in Iraq and Syria for use as sex slaves.
“What our numbers show is the correlation really is quite strong so as an international community, we need to make planning for this kind of problem part of the humanitarian response to crisis situations,” she said.
Responsible between them for 42 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, the United States and China on Tuesday announced a major deal, which John Quiggin calls the century’s most significant: the US will double the rate at which it reduces emissions (so that its overall emissions will be at least 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020), and China will stop its own emissions growth by 2030 and increase the non-fossil fuel share of its energy mix to 20 per cent.
Until now, the Abbott government has used what it claims has been the inaction by the world’s major polluters to justify its own unwillingness to commit to more than a 5 per cent reduction (on 2000 levels) by 2020. The US-China agreement represents what should be a game-changer for Australian policy. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the government will take the agreement into account in considering higher targets. But its so-called Direct Action scheme – even if it works – doesn’t lend itself to higher targets: more ambitious targets require greater investment, but the Emissions Reduction Fund draws from the budget to pay polluters (unlike the previous carbon price, which provided market-based incentives for companies to undertake their own reduction projects).
The deal threatens to make Australia, with its “nonsense” Direct Action policy (Paul Keating’s word) look decidedly silly at this weekend’s G20 leaders’ meeting, where despite its best efforts to keep climate change off the agenda it may now be front and centre – or a very large elephant in the room. The Abbott government remains steadfastly committed to coal and gas despite the conclusion of the fifth IPCC report – and now there are real risks that China will stop importing Australia’s coal in the foreseeable future. And its stubborn commitment to slashing the Renewable Energy Target risks a real freeze in investment in renewable technologies and, ironically, higher power bills.
The Trade Minister Andrew Robb says he hopes Beijing’s decision to put tariffs on coal imports will not delay the Government’s planned free trade deal with China.
China’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement that import tariffs for anthracite coal and coking coal will return to 3 per cent, while non-coking coal will have an import tax of 6 per cent.
Mr Robb said he could not predict whether it will see Australian mining operations close or jobs lost.It is not clear if exporters in Indonesia, the second-biggest shipper of the fuel to China, will be subject to the tariffs since they have a free trade agreement.
The China National Coal Association, which had submitted proposals to reduce domestic output, reduce tax burden and regulate imports, had urged Beijing to act swiftly to support the besieged sector, where 70 per cent of the miners were making losses and more than half were owing wages.
Australia Network set to go off the air in the Asia and Pacific region after 40 years
All yours China
The Australia Network goes off the air from today after the Federal Government withdrew funding for the broadcaster earlier this year.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade cut Australia’s international television service, which had broadcast content to 46 countries in the Asia and Pacific region including Solomon Islands, India, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, in the May budget.
The ABC was one year in to a ten-year contract to provide the service, which had a potential audience of 144 million people.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop told ABC’s Insiders this morning that the Government cut funding to the broadcaster because it did not believe it was meeting its contractual obligations.
However, an ABC spokesman said the number of viewers in the region had grown over the past 12 months.
“Australia Network met all of its contractual obligations and key performance indicators as set out in its contract with DFAT,” he said in a statement.
“During the first twelve months of the contract the network grew to with a potential an audience of 144 million in the Asia and Pacific region.
Australia Plus will also ensure big events from Australia including the Melbourne Cup, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race air in the region.
ABC could continue to deliver Australia Network: Bishop
Ms Bishop said the ABC’s failure to meet its obligations and the “corrupted tender process” which delivered the national broadcaster the contract had convinced the Government there were “much more creative” ways to promote Australia abroad.
$40 million to Cambodia on the condition they take our unwanted refugees is Bishop’s sub text for “much more creative” ways.
“So I’m looking at other alternatives where I think we can do it in a much more creative and positive way.”
“My question is whether under a soft power diplomacy contract… is that the best use of taxpayers money to project a positive image into the region?” she said.
What she failed to disclose that that the ABC delivered local news for the past 40 years to the small Pacific Nations it’s withdrawl due to the cuts has handed broadcasting to the Chinese. So much for the pivot of Asia and the delivery of “soft power diplomacy”
The Government will also save $43.5 million over four years from cuts to the base funding of the ABC and SBS.
“Instead of thinking brown coal’s day has passed, we need to bear in mind its potential to support new industries and jobs in the future.” Things we haven’t thought of. According to Robb it would seem to be the new fuel of science fiction.
Mr Robb has insisted that people who describe it as a resource of the past – not the future – are being “unduly pessimistic and indeed naive” in their view of the role coal plays in the world. That you can never be sure whether a resource has had it or not. Just because it is not feasible or economic to develop a mine at present doesn’t mean it will always be that way,” Mr Robb will tell the conference.
“Australia’s reputation as a reliable supplier of low-cost resources and energy is something we must continue to nurture, or our customers will diversify away from us.” Whilst there was rising demand for a more diversified energy mix from China and India, but demand for coal remained high in those two booming economies.
The man is a salesman with nothing to sell. China has declared its purchase was going to drop by 50%. The world’s largest coal port Newcastle is seriously threatened so Abbott has handballed the indefensible problem to Robb…. Poor Klutz he’s just taking on Abbott’s mantle….if my lips move you know I’m lying
China’s dirty coal ban will lose us billions of dollars in sales. Why air pollution in China. Abbott has said there’s no point in pursuing RET’s as they will have no effect on the global environment China and other major polluters don’t do anything. Well China now has. Guess Abbott’s argument will need to change. We don’t need to do anything because the worlds biggest polluters are now doing it for us. Would you employ him as a sales person for your company? The country has.
What are we going to do with our dirty coal if it takes 2 years to ship to China instead of one we can’t put up it’s already dropped to cost out of the ground. We can sack the workers whose jobs Abbott was saving. We could close 50% of those mines we have subsidised at least Clive Palmer has a job and assetts like cars to sell unless the bank owns them.
What do financial advisers really mean when they say “We are all trying to sort out what is going on. the information is fairly fluid right now” Your money is going down the drain. We will have to find ways of using more coal here at home gut the RETs
Our coal producers say China is propping up their own mines due to their economic slow down it really has nothing to do with pollution. They can’t dare admit it’s long-term can they. Caught between a rock and a hard place , ‘lie’. Another sound bite coming from the Minerals Council is “there is no evidence that it will affect Australia”. How much spin and bullshit can you put on this. Palmer has “the Chinese are fucking liars they really want our coal. They want our coal. Please want my coal” this is like the captain of the Titanic telling his passengers and crew not to panic the hole in the hull is a good thing it’s letting the water out.
We have reserves of good coal which will continue to be in demand is another line. Does this mean mines we have already subsidised will close and we will be then asked to subsidise new ones. If I was a mining company I wouldn’t worry too much nothing needs to come out of the ground and the government cheques will keep coming it’s Corporate Welfare.
The pivot of the Middle East, No!!!!! Asia Pacific Asia Pacifc You Fool.
Australia’s voice in the Pacific has gone after 40 years. It fostered a sense of regional community. But it’s gone because Abbott cut $223mill from the ABC budget. All talk about Abbott being the pivot of Asia/Pacific and being a bulwark to the movement of increased Chinese influence in the area is little more than political advertising by Abbott. In reality Abbott has handed Pacific nations communications to the Chinese free of charge. The ABC under it’s charter is obliged to have an international broadcasting service it has been reduced to 60% of it’s previous budget. Local Pacific content has been sacrificed and withdrawn from the region and replaced with Australian parochial content.
China’s official news agency Xinhua is in Fiji and has this year signed a deal in Vanuatu to supply news in English French & Chinese with it’s 171 foreign bureaus it’s influence is steadily growing across the region. So what is the Abbott pivot’s job description, Consierge ? “All talk no action Abbott” Meetings of leaders where Australia and NZ once had a voice will now fall even more under Chinese influence. These territories also acted as eyes and ears for Australian security against drugs, illegal arms and boats.
The ABC’s Sean Dorney provided us with understanding how PNG developed as a country he did the same for South Pacific Regionalism and gave newly formed independant Island states a collective South Pacific identity across the airwaves. He was their news across their region. When Abbott talks about National Security it’s merely the sound of his own voice and short term political gain just another sound byte coupled with his personal vendetta against the national broadcaster. The pivot has no interest in a region essential to our security. The Chinese love this doorman. The Maitre’D
ABBOTT POINT IS HISTORY
In Delhi last week, the Indian government committed to a plan to provide low-cost loans and grants to set up some of the world’s largest solar PV parks across the country, each of them comprising as much as 20 gigawatts of capacity, about 10 times what India has built to date.At a cost about 32 per cent below the global average for solar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and well below the average for coal-fired power generation.
China & India have become increasingly critical to the stability or continued growth of the seaborne coal market.Add to this India’s five-year solar lighting goal and you have what looks like a much diminished future coal equation for Australia.
According to official Chinese government statistics, coal use accounted for 25.4 per cent of the capital’s energy consumption in 2012 – a figure that is expected to shrink to less than 10 per cent by 2017.
China’s plans to slash its already declining coal use poses a major – but certainly not unheralded – problem for Australia’s coal industry.According to data from Newcastle’s Port Waratah Coal Services, China has accounted for just over 25 per cent of coal through the Port of Newcastle, the world’s biggest coal export hub in 2014.On top of this, the price for thermal coal has plunged more than 10 per cent in the last two months – due largely to major importing nations like India making it clear that renewable energy is offering a competitive energy alternative.
Currently, thermal coal is sold for less than $70 on the spot market, well below the mark for Australian producers to make money, let alone the cost of production and the level to get the finance for the massive new projects Prime Minister Tony Abbott is hoping to encourage.
Any chance of a boom as China grows may prove ephemeral.”