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 »

Main Page | Miriam Leitao Archives | PostGlobal Archives


China’s Rise to Disaster

Forget the world economy – China’s real threat is to our environment.

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All Comments (20)

Luiz Santos:

I can't belive the Brazilian guy is writing in capitals here.How do I know you're Brazilian?Because in English you shaw not write in capitals (actually you shaw not do that in any language) and because Brazil in English is with a "z".Whatever.Don't be such a lame guys.We are in a newspaper that is from a right party.China is communist and my dear "Leitao" is right party in Brazil as well (am I right,don't I?) So she's blaming China for the global warming.Ohhh that's too much Ms Leitao.China has got 1/4 world's population.They're now growing bigger and their population is becoming able to eat something once in a while.US companies and another companies in the world go to China because they know they can do nearly everything they damn well please over there.The US and the Europeans allows that because these way they can send their garbage elsewhere and still gain a ton of money just buying from China and reselling it to us.No need to invest heavily in envaironmet friendly machinary that cost rivers of money.They got cheaper workers and make even more money out of that.So guys, don't be dumb.Everybody is making money with China,but in the end it will have a pay back nothing is for "free" in this world.Be sure of that!!!

conscience-to-the-world:

TO: ALL BRASIL CITIZENS

WHEN CHINESE COME TO THIS BRASIL NATION THEN SOONER OR LATER ALL BRASILIANS WILL CAN FIND GRASS AND WEED TO EAT ONLY!
WHY?
BECAUSE CHINESE WILL GOBBLE AND SWAP EVEYTHING THEY CAN FIND IN THIS NATION FOR THEIR HUNGRY MOUTHS!

PLS. WAIT AND SEE CHINESE SETTLE IN THIS BRASIL NATION AND WILL DISCOVER BY YOURSELVES LIKE MOST OTHR NATIONS SUCH AS CANADA, ANS ASIAN NATIONS, INCLUDING AFRICA JUST LIKE DARFUR!
CHINESE WILL TRAIN BRASILIANS TO MURDER AND DESTROY THEMSELVES LIKE CHINA HAS DONE TO CAMBODIA, BY USING KHMER ROUGE TO KILL MILLIONS OF CAMBODIANS AND NOW IN DARFUR WHILE CHINA TRAINS SUDAN TO MURDER NUMEROUS HUNDRED THOUSANDS AFRICANS AS THE EVIDENCES FOR ALL BRASILIANS TO SEE AND TO STUDY THEMSELVES!
PLAY WITH CHINA IS TO PLAY WITH DEVILS OR SATAN!!!! AND PLEASE USE YOUR COMMONSENSE TO DISCOVER YOURSELVES!!!!

Ricardo - Rio de Janeiro:

Ô João da Rocha,
liga o desconfiômetro!
Aqui não é lugar para se escrever em Português!

Rômulo B. Sales - Maceió/AL:

It's very clear to understand what is happening and what is about to come to China by reading "Alan Greenspan - A Era da Turbulência Aventura Em Um Novo Mundo", chapter 14.

I see clearly China as a real threat to global sustaintability.
---------free translation-------
"...Chinese economy (1994), according to the 'Paridade do Poder de Compra' had become the wolrd's second biggest economy, leaving behind only the USA. China had emerged also as the major consumer of general commodities, the second major consumer of oil and the major steel producer and its no longer considered the "bicycle economy" as it used to be in the 80's: the country has produced, in 2006, more than 7 millions automobiles..."

"I have no doubt China's comunist party will be able to keep an authoritary regim, almost capitalist, relatively prosperous for some period of time. However, whitout democracy process, I wonder how far it goes...."
---extracted from the above mentioned book---

Also, needless to mention that China is becoming Brazil's most important commercial partner. And that's obviously great, its a positive side. What deserves a little time to think things over is the side effects of China's growth as the world has limited mineral sources to sustain the whole demand.

Anonymous:

conscience-to-the-world :
TO THE ENTIRE WORLD:

CHINA IS THE LAND WHICH CAN ENJOY TO EXECUTE ITS CITIZENS TO HARVEST HUMAN BODY-PARTS TO MAKE MONEY! THEN ANY WORST MEANS TO MAKE MONEY THIS NATION CONTROLLED BY THE COMMUNIST VAMPIRES OR THUGS THESE BAD ANIMAL-LIKE THUG WILL DO ALL!
WHO ON EARTH CAN DO BUSINESS WITH THE CHINESE VAMPIRES? THESE VAMPIRES CAN EXTRACT THEIR OWN PEOPLE BLOOD FOR MONEY THEN WHAT ELSE THEY WON'T DO TO ANY OF YOU???????

NEVER DANCE WITH THE VAMPIRES! OR NEVER DANCE WITH COMMUNIST CHINA!!!!!

Eduardo Viola:

I fully agree with Miriam. Unfortunatelly the perception of the Chinese threat has been very limited by the Lula administration, particularly at the beginning. Now there is more awareness, but not at all on one crucial issue: climate change. Brazil, a country with a low carbon energy matrix, continuous supporting China against commitments for the reduction of carbon emissions by middle income countries. Considering the perspectives for dramatic change in the American position with the new administration starting in 2009, the Chinese government is becoming the most important obstacle for the building up of a new global architecture to promote climate change mitigation and the transition to a low carbon economy. A shift in the Brazilian standing toward the European/Japanese position would be crucial (along with a new American position) for progress in global climate governance.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

A CHINA NÃO É AMEAÇA, MAS UM NECESSÁRIO EQUILIBRIO MUNDIAL.


Miriam, a China não é o monstro que querem rotular para a opinião pública mundial.
Nos últimos cinco anos, o país, através de suas exportações, foi o principal responsável pela contenção de abusos inflacionários em países ricos e pobres. Havia uma cultura empresarial de produzir pouco e ganhar muito, com o excesso de protecionismo a maus e incompetentes empresários, pelo próprio Estado. E as concorrências ficaram mais acirradas, exigindo, do setor produtivo, modernização tecnológica, capacidade gerencial e preços. E o povo já começou a usufruir desses benefícios que chegaram direta ou indiretamente.

Por outro lado, não se denunciam os absurdos cometidos pelo atual modelo capitalista, concentrador de riquezas, volátil, fabricador das crises de 1929, 1987, 2007 e de muitas outras, que descapitalizaram e desorganizaram a economia de paises pobres e em desenvolvimento. A subprime das Letras Hipotecárias é um forte exemplo disso. O mercado financeiro ganhou bilhões de dólares com essas crises pré-fabricadas e maquiado nos balanços contábeis. E os Bancos Centrais ficaram coniventes com elas.

Voltando ao assunto China, o país já está dando demonstrações claras e reais de que será um grande aliado dos brasileiros e vejamos por que:
- De 2004 a 2007 importou do Brasil mais de USD 31, 3 bilhões de e exportou USD 29, 6, acusando um saldo a nosso favor, na balança comercial, de mais de USD 1,7 bilhões;
- Já é o terceiro maior importador de produtos brasileiros, atrás somente dos Estados Unidos e da Argentina. Em curto prazo, passará a ser o primeiro.
- Acho até salutar que os Chineses interfiram no controle dos preços do aço, que tiveram aumentos despropositados, nos últimos anos, adquirindo um terço do controle acionário da Xstrata. O monopólio nessa área é prejudicial ao Brasil e aos demais países em desenvolvimento. De 2004 a 2007, o minério de ferro, teve um aumento acumulado de mais de 170% (um absurdo) A Vale ou qualquer outra empresa, nacional ou não, não pode continuar impondo preços descabidos para os seus produtos e que chegam a influenciar decisivamente a geração de inflação, além de prejudicar o desenvolvimento de qualquer Nação.
-Cobrar da China, de cultura e costumes milenares, com um quarto (1/4) da população mundial, a liberdade total de informação e imediata, é criar instrumentos poderosos para a desorganização do Estado Continente. Essa mudança tem que vir paulatinamente, para realmente gerar benefícios econômicos, políticos e sociais.
- Não precisamos brigar com a China ou depreciá-la, mas sim, aproveitar as imensas possibilidades que o país nos oferece para se tornar o maior importador de produtos brasileiros. Em resumo, a China é pior em que, em comparação com o regime capitalista que concentrou quase 50% de todas as riquezas em mãos de apenas 2% da população mundial?

No one in particular:

"The best that the U.S. can now expect considering our declining economic and military situation, is to be a minor player on the world stage": nah. The "best" that the US can expect to see now are speech changes where the Arabs become "our great allies" and Israel, more or less a money-drain, be left to flutter in the wind.

Marcelo Lopes:

I fully agree with Ms.Leitao's reasoning. However, not only Global Corporations are entering into alliance with China, bending to its greedy and environment threatening interests, but other countries'governments as well. It seems to be the case of Brazilian Government which played a role of important China's ally in recent international Conferences on Environment issues.

El Comandante:

It is really completely absurd to single out China as a rapacious threat to the world economy or environment-- simply because they are "the new behemoths on the block". Every US citizen alive today still consumes (on average) twice as much Eden-poisoning hydrocarbons as their Chinese counterpart. Democracy doesn't seem to enter into it, as the Western democracies remain deliriously coked up on the joys of an unsustainable civilization. Unfortunately, it is too late to do much about it since we are now crossing the threshold of Peak Oil, and the wealth necessary to adapt to a post-petroleum economy will evaporate in a few years. I weep for humankind! We may go the way of the dinosaurs. Certainly, the next world war will be fought with clubs.

Rober Lemasters:

Chinese businesses are, for all practical reasons, appendages of the Chinese government. Everyone who does business with China knows that fact. What should also be included are the U.S. corporations that have off-shored manufacturing to China and Wall Street investments because they do business at the pleasure, control and under the regulation of the Chinese government. What should be of great concern, to us all, is the example of the two U.S. companies that produces laser guided smart bombs and other state of the art weapons technology. These companies were bought by Chinese business interests and that technology and production has been transferred to mainland China and their military. Note that the sale of these two companies was stopped by the Clinton Administration but given the go-ahead by the Bush White House.
The transfer of wealth and technology by U.S. investors and corporations has enabled Communist China to become a world super power and soon to be the world's strongest military power. The Chinese military will surpass the U.S. Military which they are now very close to doing with their domestic military aircraft production, they do now in production numbers (China has more modern military aircraft then does the U.S. military forces now) and soon to be superior technology. China now has a global military and economic reach. The fact that the world in vastly overpopulated, resources including energy will be fought over, as has been the entire history of the cause of war and conflict. The best that the U.S. can now expect, considering our declining economic and military situation, is to be a minor player on the world stage, which might not be too awfully bad for those of us who have the good common sense to mind our own business. Isolationism doesn't sound all that bad anymore considering the last few decades and where we are now....unless dear citizen you and your family are willing make some hard choices and sacrifices... to go to war...a real war...

Rober Lemasters:

Chinese businesses are, for all practical reasons, appendages of the Chinese government. Everyone who does business with China knows that fact. What should also be included are the U.S. Corporations that have off-shored manufacturing to China and Wall Street investments because they do business at the pleasure, control and under the regulation of the Chinese government. What should be of great concern is the example of the two U.S. companies that produced laser guided smart bombs and other state of the art weapons technology. These companies were bought by Communist China and that technology and production was transferred to mainland China and their military. Note that the sale of these two companies was stopped by the Clinton Administration but given the go-ahead by the Bush White House.
The transfer of wealth and technology by U.S. investors and corporations has enabled Communist China to become a world super power and soon to be the world class military power. The Chinese military will surpass the U.S. Military which they are now very close to doing with their domestic military aircraft production, they do now in production numbers (China has more numbers of modern military aircraft then the U.S. now) and soon to be superior technology. China now has a global military and economic reach. The fact that the world in vastly overpopulated, resources including energy will be fought over, as has been the entire history of the cause of war and conflict. The best that the U.S. can now expect considering our declining economic and military situation, is to be a minor player on the world stage, which might not be too awfully bad for those of us who have the good common sense to mind our own business. Isolationism doesnt sound all that bad anymore considering the last few decades and where we are now....unless dear citizen you and your family are willing make some hard choices and sacrifices... to go to war...a real war...

Rober Lemasters:

Chinese businesses are, for all practical reasons, appendages of the Chinese government. Everyone who does business with China knows that fact. What should also be included are the U.S. Corporations that have off-shored manufacturing to China and Wall Street investments because they do business at the pleasure, control and under the regulation of the Chinese government. What should be of great concern is the example of the two U.S. companies that produced laser guided smart bombs and other state of the art weapons technology. These companies were bought by Communist China and that technology and production was transferred to mainland China and their military. Note that the sale of these two companies was stopped by the Clinton Administration but given the go-ahead by the Bush White House.
The transfer of wealth and technology by U.S. investors and corporations has enabled Communist China to become a world super power and soon to be the world class military power. The Chinese military will surpass the U.S. Military which they are now very close to doing with their domestic military aircraft production, they do now in production numbers (China has more numbers of modern military aircraft then the U.S. now) and soon to be superior technology. China now has a global military and economic reach. The fact that the world in vastly overpopulated, resources including energy will be fought over, as has been the entire history of the cause of war and conflict. The best that the U.S. can now expect considering our declining economic and military situation, is to be a minor player on the world stage, which might not be too awfully bad for those of us who have the good common sense to mind our own business. Isolationism doesnt sound all that bad anymore considering the last few decades and where we are now....unless dear citizen you and your family are willing make some hard choices and sacrifices... to go to war...a real war...

Anonymous:

Chinese businesses are, for all practical reasons, appendages of the Chinese government. Everyone who does business with China knows that fact. What should also be included are the U.S. Corporations that have off-shored manufacturing to China and Wall Street investments because they do business at the pleasure, control and under the regulation of the Chinese government. What should be of great concern is the example of the two U.S. companies that produced laser guided smart bombs and other state of the art weapons technology. These companies were bought by Communist China and that technology and production was transferred to mainland China and their military. Note that the sale of these two companies was stopped by the Clinton Administration but given the go-ahead by the Bush White House.
The transfer of wealth and technology by U.S. investors and corporations has enabled Communist China to become a world super power and soon to be the world class military power. The Chinese military will surpass the U.S. Military which they are now very close to doing with their domestic military aircraft production, they do now in production numbers (China has more numbers of modern military aircraft then the U.S. now) and soon to be superior technology. China now has a global military and economic reach. The fact that the world in vastly overpopulated, resources including energy will be fought over, as has been the entire history of the cause of war and conflict. The best that the U.S. can now expect considering our declining economic and military situation, is to be a minor player on the world stage, which might not be too awfully bad for those of us who have the good common sense to mind our own business. Isolationism doesnt sound all that bad anymore considering the last few decades and where we are now....unless dear citizen you and your family are willing make some hard choices and sacrifices... to go to war...a real war...

Salvador:

Vai em Português. Correto o raciocinio, felizmente, já desenvolvido também por outros tantos cidadãos deste planeta, que, já desde antes do nobre titulo concedido por Lula aos chineses, andam roendo as unhas por causa da China. Um dia até os xenófobos anti-EUA lamentarão a troca de poderes - "éramos felizes e não sabíamos". Um abraço.

Bruno Braga:


I think every economy is limited by its own structural weaknesses, in general, in the (non efficient) resource allocation. It is a main principle that the needs are unlimited and the resources are limited, but these resources will always seek for the best place to live -- in other words, where they will be more rewarded.

Probably China is the most efficient resource allocator in all the world today. The big USA public deficit and the small growth taxes in the developed world are a signal of the international capital doesn´t have a better place to go now. With a big internal demand, if the world doesn´t deaccelerate with the USA recession, this country may definitely loose space in the international economy for China.

I really belives that without the China´s miracle, another country would be the destination of the resources of the world -- probably USA. May be the growth taxes would be smaller, because of a smaller efficiency of the current american economy. Therefore, the capital itself is always searching for opportunities around the world and feeding the good projects of development. It is the capitalism that is stressing the world; China is just the current main turbine choosen to carry out this non-explicted planning. And they are really doing it very well.

To the capital, the absence of democracy is not a risk anymore. The ROI of chinese opportunities are compensating almost any riks that China´s autoritary government may represent. The country is not doing all this revolution without money. This is the greediness of the international capital that threats the world today.

Eduardo A.:

China = USA on crack.

Bruno Holmes Chads:

In the early future, China is going to be a serious problem, certainly bigger than USA is today, problem for the human community and of the environment. The question is: how to change the direction of a country considered by itself socialist but that is more capitalist than anything we've seem in the history? How far is going this production of damage?

Jose Ferreira Neto:

I think she is right. There is no doubt; China is stressing the planet, too much. Also in Africa, its actions encourage the dictator to act freely; with no limits.

Humberto Santos:

Dear Miriam, congratulations for this page. I'm a daily reader of yours articles at O Globo, and I see you on TV presentations too.
Success in your career.
Regards.
Humberto
www.bolsahoje.blogspot.com

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