Janus’ Musings

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China – The new colonialist

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The Economist (here and here) has a article on China’s insatiable appetite for commodities and how that is driving it’s foreign policy:

THERE is no exaggerating China’s hunger for commodities. The country accounts for about a fifth of the world’s population, yet it gobbles up more than half of the world’s pork, half of its cement, a third of its steel and over a quarter of its aluminium. It is spending 35 times as much on imports of soya beans and crude oil as it did in 1999, and 23 times as much importing copper—indeed, China has swallowed over four-fifths of the increase in the world’s copper supply since 2000.

And then later:

The worst fallout from China’s quest for natural resources will be seen not in the countries they come from, nor in the countries that are competing for supplies, but in China itself. Over the past few years the volume of raw materials it consumes per unit of output has risen sharply. In particular, China has gone from miser to glutton in its use of energy, and is now struggling to diet. That has involved bigger imports of oil, gas and coal, and so more foreign entanglements. But it has also led to the rapid depletion of resources that China cannot import, such as clean air and water.


Written by janusmusings

March 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Posted in Asia, china

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