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External orientation still the way to go despite external headwinds

Comments on Alok Sheel "China, India and global headwinds", 25/08/2015

The GFC and its aftermaths exposed some weaknesses of high exposure of those economies to external demand/trade through external shocks in economics weakening. Due to the weakening of many industrial economies and their desire to get out of the weaknesses, the so called imbalances became very fashionable, because some industrial economies with trade deficits could get a boost if their trade deficits were reduced. China was a big target or a case of the imbalances.

Willingly or not, trade imbalances may have been reduced over the past few years. Adjustments of trade imbalances may or may not be optimal to the world economy as a whole or any pair of countries which have bilateral trade imbalance. For example, Australia is generally a capital importing country and trade deficits may be needed to balance its capital needs.

Even in a country that my not always need external capitals, from time to time it may be beneficial to use external capitals. In such cases, trade deficits may de desirable.

Furthermore, differential technical changes and productivity rises between countries may cause trade imbalance that may need a period of optimally transitional adjustment that can take relatively long time to complete.

The lessons from the GFC and its aftermaths is not turning to inward looking and deliberately reduce external trade. The lessons should be explore every part of demands, both internal and external to boost growth. It would be a costly mistake to give up external orientation in the age of globalisation and economic integration and to only focus on internal demand. Any reduction of trade to GDP ratio should be based on fully explore both internal and external demand, as opposed to purely internal orientation.


China's economic reforms will go forward rather than backward

Comments on Peter Drysdale "Back to the future in managing the Chinese economy?" 24/08/2015

China is unlikely to go backward in terms of it economic system and management, although its approach to its political situation may be very different with tighter control along the its way to a destiny that is unknown at this stage.

China has benefited enormously from its economic reforms from a command economy to a market economy and through its opening to the outside world through economic integration with the international economy.

Its leadership team, no matter what some of their personal thinking, is unlikely to risk its legitimacy in governing the country by going back to the command economic system. The stakes are too high and the price would be too greater not only for the ordinary Chinese, but also much more for the leadership to do that. China is irrevocably integrated with the international economies and there is no possibility of return to its pre-reform era economic system, irrespective what the productivity of the previous era.

That, however, does not mean that China’s institutions will move in the direction of the US’s of any time soon, particularly its political system.

The interventions in its stock markets and the reactions to the fall of Chinese currency or more than 3% indicate the immaturity of the Chinese authorities in managing financial markets and exchange rate regime rather than a return to a command economic system.

Notwithstanding that, the general trend of economic liberalisation to market driven is clear and there is no point to go back and no point for people both inside and outside China to worry about a potential return to the previous economic system.

China's economic development and its institutions

Comments on Paul Hubbard "If Mao still ran China, China would still be poor", 24/08/2014

While most of Paul Hubbard's arguments in this post may be correct (particularly in regarding the Mao era model) and that includes the title particularly, the point on the middle income trap is a bit confusing, particularly in the context of using the US institutions as a reference point. This is because the high income levels are themselves vastly different from the entry point ($US 12,616 or more on 1/07/2014 by World Bank) to the highest level ($103,050 for Norway), or even the level of the US ($55,200). China's income level was $7,380 then.

Yes, it can be expected China will continue to improve governance and carry out further and possibly continual reforms over the years and decades ahead. But that is very different to catch up with the institutions in the US.

It is possible that China may enter into the ranks of high income countries in a decade. Its institutions, however, can be reasonably expected to be still very different from that of the US's. Further, there is the debate whether China's development and economic growth represents a new and different model, presumably different from that of the US's.

While so far it is difficult to prove the China model, it cannot be completely ruled out at this stage either. It may takes much more time (likely to be several more decades) to prove or disapprove a China model.


China needs to be mature in its exchange rate policy

Comments on Sourabh Gupta "China sheds its dollar shackles", 22/08/2015

A disappointing aspect in the Chinese monetary authority's recent actions was on the third day of its new exchange rate policy, that is, it intervened to prevent the Yuan from falling further and reversed the day's falling trend. While it may be understandable that action was to prevent too rapid depreciation of the Yuan and as a result to avoid currency wars, it was against the stated policy to let the market play a greater role.

From China's economic point of view, the depreciation of about 3% was too little and too late to rest its falling exports, given the real appreciation of the Yuan along with the rise of the US dollar against major currencies, particularly the Euro.

In a sense, it still reflected the timidity of the Chinese monetary authority and possibly the Chinese authority in terms of fearing being labelled as currency manipulator by the US, particularly the US Congress. It has been too coward and has not shown independent and confident leadership skills. That is a pity, to say the least, particularly in the context of the strong downward pressure for its economic growth. They need to be mature and to be seen as mature enough in their dealing with the US.




Tristram Sainsbury: "US global economic leadership: responding to a rising China"

A useful paper for reference, by Tristram Sainsbury "US global economic leadership: responding to a rising China", 19/08/2015. It discussed a few poor responses by the US towards the rise of China, including the AIIB, IMF reforms, and the TPP.

The full report website: http://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/us-global-economic-leadership-responding-rising-china

Every country needs to learn how to learn, including the advocates

Comments on Emmanuel Jimenez and Elizabeth M. King "Middle income countries need to learn how to learn", 20/08/2015

There appears to be a typo in the third paragraph, where “by 2050, this figure had shrunk to less than one in ten”, the number 2050 should be a smaller number, because it refers to the past but 2050 is in the future.

I was surprised that vocational and adult continuing education is not mentioned in this article, given the focus on leaning new skills or further expanding and or improving existing skills to meet the ever changing work needs.

I would suggest such education had played an important part in raising the average knowledge and skills levels in those tiger countries. As development of new technologies or improves in technologies will play very important roles in this century, vocational and adult continuing education is likely to be as important as the improvement in primary and secondary education, because people need to keep pace with changes in technologies.




China may break the some of the rules of classical economic development

Comments on Indermit Gill and Homi Kharas "Can Asia keep growing through middle income?" 18/08/2015

While Malaysia and Thailand may have been on the middle income list for some time and might be considered as potential victims of middle income trap, China has not been in the ranks of middle income for that long. I am not sure the case of Indonesia given that it has been a democracy for some times already. It is likely to be premature to say that China is a contender for middle income trap, even though China is still under an authoritarian regime.

There is no doubt that China will continue to reform itself on many fronts, it has not shown serious reforms to be a democracy any time soon. It is likely it will remain authoritarian for any foreseeable future. In such a political context, if it falls into the middle income trap, the main political system may be cited as the main reason. However, if it succeeds in graduating from middle income into the ranks of high income countries, one may have to find an exception to some of the institutional arguments.

China may indeed to be a different model of development. Of course we are now all speculate on the Chinese case, even though it may share some of the most important attributes that other successful East Asian high incomers, such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea.

Those attributes include but not limited by high saving rates, strong political regimes, good primary and secondary educations, strong entrepreneurship including innovation, open and externally oriented economy and so on.

As for the argument of institutional factors, I think a stable and predictable political system and a gradually reforming to increase efficiency at the national level may be the key, as opposed to a defined western style institutions.


Chinese authorities should be wiser now

Comments on Peter Drysdale "The problems for Asia’s growth", 17/08/2015

China's slowing economic growth is probably greater than the Chinese leadership team expected and adds to the potential that it may fall into the so called middle income trap. There are a number of factors that combined to result in the excessively slowing of the Chinese economy. Surely the prolonged weakening in economic growth in major international economies including the US, and particularly in Europe has been one of the external factors.

The appreciation of the Chinese Renminbi, the yuan, against many currencies as it pegged to and rose together with the US dollar is another headwind as far as external factors are concerned. It has rendered the Chinese exports as a whole uncompetitive. The Chinese authorities were probably too concerned about the pressure from the US to call currency manipulator and didn't act early enough to mitigate its appreciating currency. The recent move by the Chinese authorities to allow greater movement/depreciation against the US dollar indicates how strong the downward pressure of its economic growth rate.

The third factor is the rapid rises in wages in China that contributed to both external and internal problems. Externally it further reduced its international competitiveness so added to the slowing export growth. Internally it may added to the tightening of the labour market due to population growth and demographic change and reduced the employment growth than otherwise.

More importantly from policy point of view, the Chinese authorities were probably too relaxed in its economic management and didn't use enough expansionary policies, in the hope that its consumption may pick up the economic slacks to drive the economy. That policy stance was a combination of the result of the previous huge stimulus in the wake of the GFC and the desire to deleverage. Of course that policy stance became problematic in the context of both external and other internal problems as mentioned.

That policy stance, in the hope of the market would come to rescue, even would not work well in well functioned markets such as the industrialised countries, not to mention in China where the market is not as perfect as those in advanced economies.

The Chinese authorities have probably realised the country's economic problems and have taken actions to stimulate its economy, although it may have been too late and too little. Nevertheless, it is a useful lesson and if they have learned that lesson well, it should be conducive to getting future policies right. That in turn is likely for China to avoid the middle income trap and graduate as early as possible to high income ranks. Hope that is a price paid with a dividend.


A new brave Australia - competition

Another reference article, by Ross Gittins "Competition is the key to a brave new Australia", the Canberra Times, 15/08/2015.

To quote the first two paragraphs to give us an idea what this article is about:

"Under its newish secretary, John Fraser, Treasury has a new slogan. It is proud to be "fiscally conservative, market-oriented and reform-driven". So just what reform does Treasury advocate?

Well, in a speech last week Fraser spelt it out. But first he noted that the key element of market-oriented reform is that it almost always involves heightening competition. He illustrated the point by summarising what happened during the golden age of micro-economic reform in the 1980s and '90s."

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/the-economy/competition-is-the-key-to-a-brave-new-australia-20150814-giyzok.html#ixzz3iybsq0yG

Tessa Morris-Suzuki: Shinzo Abe is rewriting Japanese war history

This is only a reference to a useful and just article by a scholar on Japanese history at the ANU, Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki "Shinzo Abe divides our region with a rewrite of Japan's war history", 16/08/2015. See the link here to the article at the Canberra Times:
Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/shinzo-abe-divides-region-with-a-rewrite-of-japans-modern-history-20150815-gizxev.html#ixzz3iyZov3VV

Singing swansong for North Korea now is too premature speculation

Comments on the comments by Dennis on "Time to tap Russia and China on North Korean denuclearisation"by Akanksha Sharma, 16/08/2015

The remark by Dennis that "... and China will never put any serious pressure on North Korea to give up their nukes for fear that N Korea will collapse", to the most may be partially correct and possibly very misleading. Yes, China probably does not wish to see the North Korea collapse, but it is not in China's interest to see North Korea really becomes a nuclear power, given its ramifications for geopolitical balance and the excuses the US and Japan use to station missile defence systems in East Asian countries. However, one should not overstate the influence of China on North Korea, given the wayward and unpredictable behaviour of the latter. China has been embarrassed by North Korea many times in recent years.

The predication that North Korea is in its end stage is likely to be a pure speculation and may not turn out to be true. Certainly it is premature to rely hopes on such a speculation. If that was true, then why is there an urgent need to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear power? We could all just simply wait for its collapse and then rid off its nuclear bombs.

The US should probably not station any troops in the Korean peninsular at all as opposed to not station in the North as you argued.

PS: Dennis made a reply to my comments and as a result, I made the following reply (22:23 pm, 18/08/2015):

I am sure both the South Korean and the Japanese leaders know much better than you in terms of what is best for their respective countries. They should know far better what is in their own countries' interests. It would be arrogant to assume they don't know. I am not sure either country wishes to have become a nuclear power either with or without the persuasion from the US.

Further I am not sure that China didn't apply pressure to North Korea to stop nuclear testing. The public records indicate China did, contrary to your claim that it didn't. Simply ask a question, given Beijing could become a target of North Korea's nuclear missiles, is that in China's interest to not pressure for the North to stop testing?

There is a simple sanity test here.


More transparent in Chinese exchange rate is in the right direction

Comments on Alice de Jonge "Fans of a more open China should welcome the devalued yuan", 13/08/2015

I believe that China will move further in the direction of letting the market play a greater role in determine its exchange rate, even though the PBC has strong power to intervene when it is necessary.

The announcement that the midpoint of the Chinese Yuan and the $US is the close point of the previous day makes the process more transparent in general and the operation closer to market forces in particular. These steps by the PBC is likely to further facilitate China’s desire and objective to internationalise its currency to commensurate with its economic status in the world.

It will be interesting to see how the PBC will determine the midpoint of its exchange rate when there is a clear conflict between the previous day’s close and any information point to a likely significant impact on the Chinese currency that has newly been available since the close.

If it is mechanically following the previous day’s close, people may trade according to the new information to profit from that. And that will likely force the PBC to consider some deviation from the previous day’s close. It may need to assess how much to deviate and in what directions, so the new midpoint is much more aligned with market forces.

PS: in response to comments on the potential impact on Australians and New Zealanders' properties by John Hill:

It is probably less likely for them to sell right now as compared to reduced demand/buyers due to relative movement between the Chinese Yuan and the Aussie dollar.The property bubble may not burst as a result, but its further inflation may be somewhat more checked.


Three of China's strong internet related companies: BAT - 百度,阿里巴巴,和腾讯

This report mentioned China's BAT, three big Chinese internet related company - 百度,阿里巴巴,和腾讯。

"中国互联网创业活力为何碾压日本?" 12/08/2015. Yes, it seems to be true that Japan has been lacked behind in terms of internet related, or mobile phones making. This is very different to its earlier innovations in electronics, such as TVs (such as Sony), as well as cars where Toyota is one of the world's big car manufacturers. That may be related to the so called Japan's lost decades, that is, from the early 1990s to possibly now.

It is useful to know. Of course, there are also other newly established strong tech companies, like some in the making of Chinese branded mobile phones, 华为,小米等。

Facebook Platform is said to be behind many new tech services start-ups

I find this report from the Canberra Times interesting: "The superpower fuelling turbo start-ups", 12/08/2015

It is about Facebook Platform and its role in fuelling many start-ups. It will be good to future new tech services start-ups to know that this is an important way to use it in their new tech services endeavors.

I certainly keep this report as a useful reference.

'Dirty float' may be better than the markets

Comments on Vanessa Desloires "'Dirty float': how China manages its currency", 12/08/2015

While the use of "dirty float" puts a very negative sound to the managed float of a currency, the practice itself may not necessarily be dirty or worse than a free float or completely determined by market. This is because nowadays, speculations in the currency markets are so rampant that for most of the time a currency's market value does not reflect its value determine by economic fundamentals. In addition, there is the phenomenon of overshooting of exchange rate. Those two added together means very large, excessive and persistent deviations of a currency from the economic fundamentals of the home economy.

Economic policies aim at manage the economy so it is stable at full employment with low inflation.

Why shouldn’t the exchange rate be managed to make it stable and reflect the underlying economic fundamentals?

I think it should. Then it comes to the managed floating, the so called dirty floating.

Viewed from this perspective, the managed floating should be commended as opposed to being called dirty float, as long as it is at or close to the economic fundamentals.

Of course, to achieve the goal of being at or close to economic fundamentals requires a clear and transparent mechanism to operate the float and value a currency, so it is not used to gain trade advantages over others by under value the currency too much.

In summary, it may be better to have a relatively stable exchange rate regime based on a clearly defined and transparent framework for many countries if the so wish to do so.

The extreme thinking of market determined exchange rate is always better than the managed one is an illusion when the market does not work well enough to reflect economic fundamentals.


Lower penalties mean more jobs

Comments on Ross Gittins “Don't be sure lower penalties mean more jobs” 10/08/2015

Yes Ross, you have a point in that the general equilibrium effects may be much smaller than the partial effects to those businesses that may open longer or start to open on weekends than otherwise. 

Notwithstanding your point, there is likely to be some net positive or benefiting effects, even though it is difficult to estimate the net effects.

Reflection on war and peace - at the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII

Comments on Tessa Morris-Suzuki “70 years on, peace remains incomplete”, 8/08/2015

Yes, the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war should be a time for reflections of costs of terrible wars and the benefits of lasting peace for the Asian and Pacific region. It would be terrible to have another and second period of cold war in the world.

The US is currently the sole superpower in every sense and it is only interested in maintaining its military, economic and political superiority over any other individual countries. In that context, the rise of China poses significant challenges to the US. China has risen to the second largest economy only behind the US and it is expected that it will overcome the US as the largest economy in the world in the not so distant future (even though some have argued that China has already been the world largest economy in purchasing power parity terms). As the Chinese economy grows further at a significantly faster speed, its military expenditures are likely to grow to be commensurate with its economic power. Given its much larger population, it won't be too long for it to catch up with the US militarily, at least in terms of military expenditures. That will be likely to cause concerns and insecurity in the US. As a result, the US will continue to take measures to contain China as much as possible.

On China's part, it has been used to the containment by the US, even though the future containment is likely to be different from the past, as an increasingly felt insecure in US may take more stringent containment strategies.

While China is a minor nuclear power, particularly as compared to the US and Russia, its industrial capacities as the world's factories mean it could become a nuclear power if it really faced with stringent security threats and if it chose to do so. Let's hope it will never be necessary for China to choose that route, given that route could mean other minor nuclear powers could do the same.

Russia is still a superpower in terms of its nuclear weapons and the recent events in Ukraine and the deterioration between Russia and the West is a reminder of Russia's power as well as its vulnerabilities.

China and Russia are likely to maintain a good bilateral relationship in the face of the containment by the US.

So what lies ahead will, to a large degree, depend on how the US to choose its future and the strategies towards newly emerging and definitely growing powers.

I hope my above concerns, out of the reflection of war and peace at the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war, will be proven to be wrong and will never be realised.

Snow or not - China gears up for winter Olympic games in 2022

Comments on Xu Guoqi “No snow, no worries? China gears up for its first serious Olympics”, 7/08/2015

The current leader, President Xi, has set important goals for China to achieve, characterised by the dual (double) centenaries. One is the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party and the other is the founding of the People's Republic of China. By 2022, China will have past one of its dual centuries, that is, the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 2021. It will still have nearly 3 decades for the centenary of the People's Republic of China from 2022 to 2049.

There are 7 years to the winter Olympic games in Beijing in 2022. China has now encountered significant headwind in its economic growth that post challenges for its catch up with the US as the world largest economy and that stirs up the fear of and concerns for the middle income trap. Nevertheless, by 2022 it should be clear whether China has been able to overcome the middle income trap or not.

PS: As to whether there will be natural snow or China will have to use man-induced snow for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, only time will tell, given that Beijing and the cities that to be part of the venues to host the winter games are in snow zone.

China and US looking past each other on trade and investment - for very different reasons

Comments on Gary Clyde Hufbauer “China, US looking past each other on trade and investment” 7/08/2015

There is a very significant difference between the reason why China is not included in the TPP and the reason why the US is not in the AIIB. China has been deliberately excluded by the US (and possibly Japan), while the US has deliberately chosen not to join the AIIB, and also lobbied its allies not to join it).

The US has demonstrated that it has been containing China’s rise not only militarily but also economically.

However, whether the US attempts to do those will be in its own interest or not is yet to be seen. It will likely damage its own interests more than damage to China’s.


No point for US to preach its high standards

Comments on Paul Hubbard "China takes the lead on the silk road", 5/08/2015

In relation to the following paragraph, China should reject the US offer politely, given it is not a member of the AIID:

"Nevertheless, the United States and Japan both chose not to become founding members of the bank. This was driven partly by concerns that the AIIB would undermine the lending standards of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which these powers have traditionally led. But despite early lobbying from the United States, key allies — including Australia, South Korea and the United Kingdom — eventually joined the rush to the new institution. And the United States has pledged to ‘engage directly with China’ to help the AIIB implement the high-quality standards it seeks."

There is no point for the US, that is not interested in joining the AIID, to preach how it can help with its high quality standards. That is not too much different from the actions of hypocrisy, self indulgence and arrogance.

Aged pension too disadvantages own savings for superannuation

Comments on Sally Rose "Million-dollar super targets labelled scare campaign", 4/08/2015

The aged pension is too discriminatory against savings from own superannuation contributions, in terms of once a person reaches the threshold, he/she does not get any aged pension. Just compare two persons with almost identical situations in terms of wages and salaries, but one saves, say 5%, more for superannuation and the other doesn't. If the person with own contributions to super just reached the threshold income for aged pension. The person will have the same income with his/her superannuation as the other one with aged pension. The same outcome, but the person with additional contribution to own superannuation has sacrificed its living standard for almost nothing. Worse still, own superannuation may not be index as generously as the aged pension.

Is it fair? Obviously it is not.

As a result, there should be some reforms to the aged pension system to encourage people to save without adversely affecting their entitlement to aged pensions.


China needs a realistic view on other mega free trade agreements

Comments on He Fan and Xiaoming Pan "China’s negotiation strategies at the crossroads of international trade" 4/08/2015

I have a number of comments on this post.

Firstly, I am not sure the authors really means that "at home, China’s reliance on export-oriented growth faces an unprecedented challenge in the face of shrinking global demand". Has the global demand really shrinked or has the growth slowed?

Secondly, is the remark that "Facilitating GVCs is the leading cause of the proliferation of regional and mega-regional trade negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)", correct? Is facilitating GVCs really the leading cause for TPP and TTIP? If it is then there would be huge holes or gaps in those two trade agreements, because China, a very important and the most important country in the value chains of many manufacturing activities is not in either of those two, and it has been deliberately excluded from the TPP that would defeat the purpose of facilitating the GVCs.

Thirdly, while the authors are correct in saying that "in the post-GFC world, exports are evidently no longer the engine of China’s economy", it does not necessarily or automatically mean that exports will never be an engine of growth for ever. In that sense, the new normal in relation to exports may be temporary rather than being permanent. As a result, the remarks that "the ‘new normal’ requires adjustments in domestic economic policies and externally-oriented trade policies and strategies. Trade strategies that are compatible with China’s domestic conditions will help China achieve a stable shift to the new normal", may need some caution, as the situation with exports may change when the global economy puts behind, the temporary "new normal", that is the consequences of the GFC and back to its real "normal".

Alternatively, the exports orientation should not be sacrificed but should adapt to the ever changing world economy and to grab every opportunity to increase trade and exports.

Fourthly, the remark that “in the Pacific Rim, while RCEP and the TPP complement each other in terms of their membership scope and issue coverage, they are in competition to offer the first update to the international trade rules of the WTO”, may represent an one-sided fantasy or day dreaming on the authors part, because the US does and will not think in that way. The authors also indirectly or implicitly acknowledged this point in the statement “despite its increasing trade power and enthusiasm to join international trade rule-making, China is currently excluded from TPP negotiations.”

The following paragraph also reflects the contradictory of the claim of the complementarity of the TPP and RECP: “At the same time, some new sensitive issues — such as SOEs, the environment and labour — pose challenges for China in 21st century trade negotiations and joining the TPP. Handled badly, they can also be impediments to genuinely free trade. The environment was once an area in which Chinese standards once diverged from most developed countries, but today Chinese standards in many areas exceed those of even some TPP member countries.

Further, the authors also remarked that “the mega-regionals could either turn out to be a stumbling block for genuinely global free trade or pave the way to reaching a multilateral deal within the WTO’s framework.” It is another reflection of some of the contradictions in the authors’ arguments earlier on, as here the so called comlementarity gives way to problems. But that is where China’s approach to trade negotiations should be focused on, that is to say, on what is happening as opposed to what some fantasy may point to.

Nevertheless, I do share the view that China’s SOEs needs to be handled with care, creativity and boldness, by China and its leaders. Some reforms are needed in that particular areas, so China will not be disadvantaged due to its SOEs.

Finally the last sentence by the authors, while understandable, still hinges on wining the sympathy of those which deliberately do not have for China: “the internal reform of the Chinese economy and its changing role in the global economy provide common ground for China, a large developing country, and developed countries to work on their divergence and to agree to a new set of rules.” It is a miserable position to be.

Yes to an independent umpire to enforce parliamentary entitlement rules

Comments on Alan Fels "Wanted: an independent umpire to set and enforce clear parliamentary entitlement rules", 4/08/2015

The proposal to have an independent body to enforce the rules for parliamentarians is a good one. It should be carefully considered and included in the recommendations in the review announced by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The current practice of having the Department of Finance to do such similar work means it is toothless tiger, given that there have been so many misuses already exposed and highly publicised. One can only imagine how many there are more misuses that have not been exposed.

To have the head of the Remuneration Tribunal as the co-chair of the review is a joke, given that the tribunal in the past has granted outrageous increases in the pay to parliamentarians, something like dozens or even around 50 percent in one go.

Those were not consistent with community or public expectations. That tribunal has lost its creditability due to those ridiculous magnitudes of increases.

As a result, the tribunal needs fundamental reforms to reflects community standards and expectations.

Turton's ridiculous comments on Japan's new security laws

Comments on Michael Turton's comments on "Storm brews over Japan’s new security laws" by Ben Ascione, 4/08/2015

Your comments are extremely biased and disappointing.

There are two points regarding your comments. Firstly, leaving aside how those bills will affect China and its security, the Senkaku/Diayu Island is at least a disputed territory, not undisputed Japanese territory as you biasedly claimed.

Secondly, China will not kill Taiwanese and the unification of Taiwan with the mainland is not annexation.

There is another point, that is, China is not the aggressor as you claimed, both China and Taiwan claim the Diayu/Sankaku Island as their own territory.


China's leaders should be a little wiser re knowledge available in cyber space

Comments on Greg Austin "2015 is the year of Chinese cyber power", 2/08/2015

China, while understandably blacklisted some US technology companies due to their role in spying other countries for the US government, should be encouraged to have adequate freedom and democracy in cyber space.

It is in its own interests to allow its people to access what is available in the cyber space to simply stay with the world in terms of information and technological developments. Otherwise it will make its people unfairly disadvantaged due to the loss of so much information available in the cyber space.

Competitions between nations in the cyber space will play an important role in positioning a nation in the world. China's block of many web contents places it in a damaged and disadvantaged position.

A suggestion to the editors of the eastasiaforum

Comments on Arthur Stockwin "Japan’s defence and diplomacy heading in the wrong direction", 2/08/2015

This is a suggestion to the editors of the eastasiaforum.

Ii is very disappointing to see that while there are so many Chinese scholars and scholars who are involved in Chinese/China studies (whether it is economics, politics, cultural, historical or whatever), working in Australian tertiary institutions and particularly at the Australian National University (ANU), there are very few who are actively involved in the eastasiaforum. I don't know whether they are not interested in this at all, because of the forum's rating or something else?

I am sure it is worthwhile to be involved to contribute to the building up of public goods for the benefit of the public. Some of them surely should have known better the facts or better knowledges regarding China, such as the war reparations were received and compensations for comfort women as Cathy Yang claimed, , due to the nature of their professional work.

I would suggest the editors of eastasiaforum should reflect on that and identify the key reasons as to why, and encourage those to be actively involved in the forum.

PS: When I compare the eastasiaforum and the conversation, it seems the former is quite slow to have comments appear with the article, as opposed to the latter. The latter has the default for any comments to appear after they were provided and take out those they deem not to meet the standards for one reason or another. The former, however, has the default that does not allow any comments to appear automatically and only allow they to appear after some time. There is a clear difference between the two.

The editors should improve their work in this regard. They should not delay the appearance of comments due to their slowness.

A crude joke - the head of the Remuneration Tribunal as co-chair to review politicians travel entitlements

Comments on Michelle Grattan "Bronwyn Bishop finally resigns as speaker", 2/08/2015

It is disappointing to have the head of the Remuneration Tribunal John Conde included in the review panel as the co-head, along side with former head of the Finance department David Tune.

The Remuneration Tribunal has long lost its creditability due to its granting of extremely generous salary increases to Australian politicians in the past when the government in both main political persuasion did not allow the increase in the wages and salaries of APS employees to allow for inflation, and ask them to demonstrate productivity improvement.

As a result, to have the head of that tribunal to review the extraordinary costs of politicians's entitlements, about half of billion dollars as reported recently is a bit of joke, given the tribunal's role in the proliferations of politicians remunerations.

It is a crude joke to have the head of the Remuneration Tribunal as the co-chair to conduct such a review. The Remuneration Tribunal and the politicians seem to have extraordinarily conflict of interests.

Perhaps there should be a review of the Remuneration Tribunal actions in the past in the context of the wages and salaries of APS employees.

I have no knowledge how members of that tribunal are appointed, but they seemed to act out of steps with the Australian community in general.

Equivalence between ETS and a carbon tax

Comments on David Hodgkinson, and Rebecca Johnston "Politics aside, a simple carbon tax makes more sense than a convoluted emissions trading scheme", 2/08/2015

While the two do have significant differences, they also share some commonality, or equivalence. For example, the ETS implies a equivalent price or tax to the carbon tax when the target of emissions is set as the exactly same that a carbon tax would achieve. Of course, there are other conditions that would need to meet. For example, the ETS must be a national and include all emissions sources where the carbon tax would apply to and the ETS market needs to be efficient and there is only one national price.

While the Abbott politics has hit hard on carbon taxes imposed by ALP government, there is no point to deny the equivalence of an well functioned ETS and a carbon tax.

To do it is just too cowardly in the wake of the very effective attack on the ALP government's carbon tax. Those who attempt to battle the Abbott anti carbon tax mantra should do better than that.

Cathy Yang's extraordinary arrogant claims!

Comments on Cathy Yang's comments on "Japan’s defence and diplomacy heading in the wrong direction", 2/08/2015

Cathy Yang, it seems your statements are wrong and have no basis in terms of, I quote, "War reparations were received, compensations for comfort women were offered."

China has never received war reparations and many ordinary Chinese have been unhappy or angry for that, partly it was past Chinese communist leaders who decided not to ask for war reparations when China and Japan established diplomatic relations during Mao and Zhou era.

As far as I am aware, no compensations for comfort women were offered to Chinese nationals involved.

Can you supply evidence to back up your claims please?

Your claim that "China will never attack, or take the US nor Japan by forces" implies you can foretell the future regarding to Chinese leaders actions in terms of China's relations with the US or Japan. That is extremely extraordinary and arrogant. How do you have that power?