Communist Tax Lawyer

A news, research and discussion platform for monitoring the evolution of Communist and ex-Communist countries to market economies


Archive For December, 2008

Chronology of U.S.-China Relations

December 31st, 2008

The Associated Press has put together a nice chronology of U.S.-China relations

1971: After decades of isolation, China invites U.S. table tennis team for visit, prompting start of “pingpong diplomacy” that brings first significant thaw in U.S.-China relations.

1972: President Richard Nixon visits Beijing, establishing diplomatic channels for the countries to counter Soviet Union.

1973: China and U.S. open diplomatic liaison offices in each other’s capital.

1979: Diplomatic ties formally established Jan. 1. Deng Xiaoping becomes first Chinese leader to visit U.S., setting tone for warmer relations.

1982: China pledges to seek reunification with U.S.-allied Taiwan by peaceful means but does not explicitly rule out use of force, while U.S. promises not to expand — and gradually to reduce — arms sales to Taiwan.

1987: First U.S. fast food company, KFC, opens in China.

1989: China crushes pro-democracy demonstrations, putting chill on relations with U.S.

1999: During NATO airstrikes in Serbia, bomb hits Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese and setting off anti-American protests across China.

2000: Congress grants China “most favored nation” trade status.

2001: Damaged U.S. spy plane lands on China’s Hainan island after colliding with Chinese fighter jet. Crew of 24 detained 11 days until U.S. issues apology to Chinese government.

2001: China joins World Trade Organization.

2008: Sichuan earthquake kills 70,000 people, prompting huge outpouring of aid from U.S. and other nations. President George W. Bush attends opening of Beijing Olympic Games.

Largest Dinosaur Fossil Site Found in China

December 30th, 2008

Jurassic Park comes to China…

China and Russia set up hotline

December 30th, 2008

China and Russia have set and used for the first time a military hotline to be used in “times of crisis.’

According to reports, similar efforts to set up such a phone system between China and the United States have stalled.

US, South Korean intelligence spot movement of Kim’s train

December 22nd, 2008

seems like north korea’s kim jong-il has recovered from his stroke, reports AFP:

Chosun Ilbo quoted US and South Korean intelligence officials as saying Kim’s personal armoured train had travelled to those areas which he was reported by state media to have visited.

China to the Rescue? Not!

December 22nd, 2008

Thomas Friedman, the author of the world is flat, writes in his nytimes column:

Dafen is just one of a million Chinese and American enterprises that constitute the most important economic engine in the world today — what historian Niall Ferguson calls “Chimerica,” the de facto partnership between Chinese savers and producers and U.S. spenders and borrowers. That 30-year-old partnership is about to undergo a radical restructuring as a result of the current economic crisis, and the global economy will be highly impacted by the outcome.

As such, “the world should not have a false hope that China can cushion the global downturn,” by stimulating its domestic demand in a big way, said Frank Gong, head of China research for JPMorgan Chase. “The best thing China can do is keep its own economy stable.”

Access to NY Times blocked in China, uproar ensues

December 22nd, 2008

Readers of the New York Times lost the ability to access the website from inside Mainland China over the weekend. By Friday evening, thanks to the power of that very same web, many inside the country were already aware of the problem and hypotheses and general ruminations were being made.

By Monday morning, access had been restored – an apparent technical problem in Beijing – and all was right with the world.

Russian’s protest car tariffs

December 22nd, 2008

The thought of paying more for those nice BMWs and Mercs is bringing out the protesters in Russia.

Small demonstrations occurred in several Russian cities over the weekend in reaction to the government’s plan to raise tariffs on imported automobiles, and the riot police broke up one protest on Sunday in Vladivostok in the country’s far east, briefly detaining scores of people, news agencies reported.

Russian Push on Treason Raises Fears

December 22nd, 2008

As with existing law, the legislation would forbid actions considered detrimental to Russia’s security. But the legislation, if passed, would remove qualifiers that require such actions to be “hostile” and directed against the “external security” of Russia before they are considered illegal. In addition, it would prohibit Russians from passing certain information not only to other countries, but also to foreign nongovernment groups, according to the nytimes.

Russia as post-WWI Germany

December 19th, 2008

Judah Grunstein on how present-day Russia and post WWI Germany are similar…(h/t to Andrew Sullivan)

Given that Russia’s bellicose posturing of late has to do with domestic political concerns in addition to strategic ones, and given that the economic hardship ahead will only exacerbate those domestic political concerns, the possibility of an increasingly aggressive Russian leadership — and an eventual “Munich moment” — seems like a very real one. Instead of focusing on Munich, though, we should try to find ways to drive developments in such a way as to preclude it.

China and India: suddenly vulnerable

December 19th, 2008

the economist says:

One worry is that China’s rulers will try to push the yuan down to help exporters. That would be a terrible idea, not least because the government has the resources to ease the pain in less dangerous ways: it is running a budget surplus and has little debt