Miriam Leitao at PostGlobal

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. She is also a commentator on Globo TV Network and runs her own blog, www.miriamleitao.com, hosted at Globo online at www.oglobo.com.br. She was awarded Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize in 2005. Close.

Miriam Leitao

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Miriam Leitao is a reporter and columnist for O Globo and Radio CBN in Brazil. more »

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China’s Rise to Disaster

The Current Discussion: China's on a resource-buying spree, most recently paying US$13 billion for a stake in an Australian mining company. Is this a threat to your nation and its economy? To the world's?

I could say yes, China is a threat, because the obvious target of this particular movement is to counter the global aspirations of Brazil’s largest mining company, Vale. China is right now challenging Vale on a bid to buy part of the U.K.-Swiss company Xstrata, another global and diversified mining company. The Brazilian Vale has already made an offer to buy Xstrata, and now China is announcing its interest in buying a 34-percent share of the company.

I really think, however, that this is the least of China’s threats to the world. China is clearly stressing the planet by taking from earth more than it can give. Its target is not competition with any company in particular, or to control the market of ore in itself. It is competing for the world’s natural resources so it can use them beyond all limits of sustainability.

China has an authoritarian regime and has been spreading its power all over the world. Global corporations such as Yahoo and Google are accepting unacceptable restraints on freedom of information in order to do business there. The Chinese presence in Africa has reproduced the colonialist pattern and is empowering dictators in the region. There are many reasons to fear China’s increasing power, but equity acquisitions is not one of them. China is on a hegemonic gamble for resources, imposing its own views for the market economy and democracy.

China is becoming a superpower with an outdated political system and predatory practices, with no system of checks and balances and no accountability or transparency. The Party’s bureaucrats face no limit to their decisions, most of which have a significant global impact. It can be the source of an environmental, economic and political disaster for the world, because there is no doubt that it is becoming one of the most powerful countries on earth.

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