|Asia News Digest
Fearing Unemployment, China Acts To Prevent Social Unrest
Nov. 18 (EIRNS)So concerned is China's government about the impact of the global breakdown crisis on its economy, that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has enacted measures to "help protect social stability." Ministry official Liu Junsheng told the China Daily Nov. 17 that social stability is now "more important than economic development."
In a directive issued Nov. 17, the ministry announced that China's provincial and local governments must give "top priority" to keeping workers on the job. Not only the cheap-export-oriented industries, but also China's steel, aluminum, auto, and other basic industries, are laying off large numbers of workers. The ministry is demanding not only measures to control the layoffs, but also emergency plans to prevent, or deal with, large groups of unemployed workers. In the export sector, some bankrupt foreign factory owners have shut down and fled China, leaving unpaid workers on the streets.
Shandong and Hubei provinces are now requiring companies to get prior approval for layoffs of more than 40 workers, which is a stricter amendment of the national labor contract law, which came into effect in January. This year so far, almost 700,000 workers have lost their jobs in Shandong, a center of export production. China's state-owned companies in finance, oil, power, and telecommunications, have been told to cut wages, not jobs.
Soros to China: Go Green, Fund the IMF
Nov. 20 (EIRNS)Pro-nazi drug-legalizer George Soros, who was thrown out of China for financing an attempted "regime change" in 1989, was interviewed in the Chinese economics newspaper Caijing on Nov. 1, where he peddled green fascism and a return to the anti-FDR policies of eugenicist John Maynard Keynes. Soros admitted that he had he lost a bundle on speculation on Asia and Southwest Asia: "I thought that China and India and the Gulf States would be immune to the crisis, but they were not. That has been a source of actual loss for mea lot of money."
But his bets will be made good, he said, if China implements three things: political and economic liberalization; use of its reserves to bailout the IMF; and going green in place of industrialization. China, he said, must "stimulat[e] investment in preventing global warming, because that is a problem that is facing the world. I hope that both the U.S. and China will introduce energy saving and alternative energy generation as a way of stimulating the economy, because that is what you need to come out of this global recession."
Soros also exposed his own fascist proclivities: "We are back to Keynes," he said. "He had the right idea for the 1930s, and these ideas have come back in a cyclical fashion, and they are right for the 21st century." Keynes wrote, during the 1930s, that his policies were better implemented in a fascist dictatorship like that of Germany under Hitler.
Japan May Reverse Privatization of Postal Bank
Nov. 20 (EIRNS)Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso has given his support to a bill, now before the Diet (parliament), mandating a freeze on the privatization of the Japan Postal Bank. This privatization was the work of neocon Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (2001-06). The Postal Savings Bank, the largest in the world, served as a means for government direction of private savings into infrastructure and general welfare policiesa reflection of the American System policies that dominated post-war Japan's economy. Koizumi rammed through the break-up of the bank, with a plan to begin selling off the government shares in the banking and insurance divisions over the next year.
The bill, which passed the upper house of the Diet and is now before the lower house, calls for freezing the process because of the miserable market conditions. The government says it is not trying to reverse the privatization altogether, but the Japanese press reports make clear that if the freeze is implemented, then the massive opposition to the privatization in Japan will be given a new life to overturn it. Kyodo News says the freeze "could lead to a review of the privatization process," noting that reversing the privatization would be very popular, and help the ruling LDP in the elections which are expected soon.
Karzai Threw a Monkey Wrench at Both Bush and Obama
Nov. 17 (EIRNS)In a move intended to surprise Washington, and also to distance himself from U.S./NATO policies, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has promised Taliban leader Mullah Omar that the government would provide security "at any cost," if he agrees to enter into peace talks. Omar, head of the Afghan Taliban, is one of the three most-wanted individuals by the foreign troops operating in Afghanistan.
There are a number of reasons why Karzai made this move: First, to secure his own physical survival, as it is evident to him that he will be replaced in the Presidential election next year. The British-Saudi nexus is moving things in that direction, while Karzai is also under constant attack in the U.S. for the alleged corruption inside his administration. Karzai is also aware that in the long run, the hard-core Taliban, represented by Mullah Omar, is likely to be back in power, courtesy of the British.
Last week, a massive bomb destroyed the home of Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, in Kandahar, sending yet another message to the President. Karzai is aware that the October meeting in Mecca, between the Saudi-backed more moderate Taliban, represented by the former Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakkel, and Karzai's representative, was a Saudi effort to get control over Kabul, at the cost of inciting anger of Tehran. Karzai maintains friendly relations with Iran.
The British-Saudi moves to make a deal with the Taliban were reported in an Oct. 10 EIR article, "Is the Anglo-Saudi Crowd Plotting an October Surprise?" describing a deal with Taliban in return for turning over Osama bin Laden. Such a deal could still take place before Bush and Cheney leave office.
The timing of Karzai's announcement also relates to the internal situation in the U.S. First, there is the vacuum in U.S. policy following the elections, which will exist at least until the new President takes office in January. In part, Karzai is acting preemptively. The second reason is a recent statement by Gen. David Petraeus, who became head of U.S. Central Command on Oct. 30. During his inaugural visit to Islamabad, Pakistan on Nov. 2, Petraeus said he wanted to separate the Taliban from al-Qaeda, by adopting political strategies aimed at reconciling the former with an Afghan government. But Karzai knows the so-called moderate Taliban, represented by Mutawakkel, has no ability to separate al-Qaeda from the hard-core Taliban. Only Mullah Omar can do that.