Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Is anyone looking at China?

The trouble with our modern media – one of its many problems – is its all-or-nothing approach to the news. Either it is all over the subject, to the point of total saturation – as with Libya - or it's nowhere. But you now know that it's coming to an end game when you read this - that the UN has suspended the country from the Human Rights Council.

Call me old fashioned, but it seems to me a bit odd when rebel recruits turn up for military training at a "rebel militia centre" in Benghazi, in the middle of a bloody revolution, posing for a nice pic with a bright, shiny anti-aircraft gun (pictured). They don't make revolutions like they used to – since when do rebels have centres? Next thing, they'll have media centres and call centres for "Rebels Я Us".

My guess is that, within a week now, this will have all but disappeared from the front pages – where is Egypt now? That leads me to my title question – is anyone looking at China? That is a far more important country, and interesting things are happening there.

The answer, though, is an encouraging "yes", with any number of specialist, mainly business columns taking a very great interest. There is this one, talking about bubbles popping, this one doing likewise. You've got this from the NYT, which is also running on the same meme, telling us that, "Carmakers’ Rush to China Could Fuel Another Bubble".

There are lots and lots more links, all of which says that there is something going down, although what the media says is not necessarily what the real issue is. However, you is also seein' energy news and property bubble news, all of which has an uncertain whiff about it.

Our economy these days is so tightly bound to China that market disruptions there are bound to affect us here. On top of everything else, cheap Chinese goods were making a strong contribution to our economy by helping to keep inflation down. There are dark suggestions that the good times are over.

Time, methinks, to be building our own "rebel militia centre", getting the training in while the going is good. You never know when that sort of skill-set might come in handy.