Wed 8/14/13 Hr 2 Batchelor

Share This Post

Guests: Charles Burton, Assoc Brock University. : Nitin Gokhale, Security & Strategic Affairs at New Delhi Television. Michael Auslin. AEI. Joseph Sternberg, WSJ Asia.

Wednesday  14 August 2013/ Hour 2, Block A: Charles Burton, Associate Professor at Brock University, on this: Neil Haywood murdered; the killer is Bo Xiai's wife, Mme Gu Kailai, has been convicted. Bo was a member of the Politburo, Secretary in Chungching, hasn’t yet been tried (for his own malfeasance), showing dissent within the Party. Heywood's mother in England speaks up: no one as been in contact with us; the widow and children are penurious.   Bo is rated by Forbes as the tenth-richest in China [$10 bil? not clear]; the case refers to only $4mil and a French villa in Cannes and a house in Kent [?]. Disjunctive arithmetic.  Neil Heywood's widow isn't working, lives in a very expensive apt in Beijing, has children in expensive school; how can she do this? Bo Guagua, the son, is now in Columbia Law School. Who's paying for that?

The wife and the mother of Neil Heywood, the British businessman whose mysterious death in China set off the downfall of a senior Communist Party official last year, have pressed for compensation over what the Chinese authorities had determined was a murder, according to people with knowledge of the case.  . . . [more]

Wednesday  14 August 2013/ Hour 2, Block B: Nitin Gokhale, anchor and Security & Strategic Affairs Editor at New Delhi Television, in re:  Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant raises hackles in China. China needs to use the Indian Ocean to maintain contact with its energy sources, and is jealous of any potential challenge – here, an Indian-built carrier, just launched.   Three carrier strike groups for its navy, on e coming from Russia in December; this home-blt aircraft carrier – a major breakthough, being the only one of its kind in Asia. (China's comparable ship is Ukrainian.) next one will take another three years; a matter of great pride.  Next; disaster at the naval yard, explosions, skeleton crew on sub, sank. Something went wrong in its weapons chamber just past midnight Indian time. Sank in three meters of water.  Sixteen-yr-old sub, just returned from refitting in Russia, so nothing wrong in engine or weapons system. Took very long to salvage: first four hours, material actually melted, escape hatches closed; for half a kilometer in radius the water was boiling.    Divers had no space to manoeuver; all alarming and tragic. Russian standards and technology are under question – torpedo leaked? Material from the missiles? 

The launch of INS Vikrant has raised hackles in China, with Chinese defence experts saying the aircraft carrier would have great significance for India as it would allow the Indian Navy to wade into the Pacific Ocean - which Beijing considers as its backyard. "This bears great significance to Indian Navy. It makes India only the fifth country after the US, Russia, Britain and France to have such capabilities," senior captain Zhang Junshe, vice-president of China's Naval Research Institute, told the state-run CCTV on Monday.

Wednesday  14 August 2013/ Hour 2, Block C:  Michael Auslin. AEI, in re: A Primer on Japan for Caroline Kennedy President Obama's choice as ambassador may find herself dealing with a Beijing-Tokyo military confrontation. She's being thrown in the deep end right away – islands at the NE edge of Taiwan (Diaoyutai/Senkaku): strategic; militaries of Japan and China been at each other's throat for two years.  Threat to East Asian stability.  Caroline Kennedy can pick up a phone and call the president. Will he listen to her advice?  Political payback – she supported  him early on and gave him credibility against Hillary Clinton.  TPP - trade talks. Need innovative thoughts on how to encourage entrepreneurial endeavor.  Japan doesn’t have a durable growth strategy. Formerly was based on exports, but when exports cratered and earthquake occurred, economy tanked again. How do you stimulate domestic economy? How to innovative in a tight & competitive mkt? When her father was president, JFK appointed Edwin O Reischauer as ambassador, who was a phenomenal success. 

Wednesday  14 August 2013/ Hour 2, Block D:  Joseph Sternberg, WSJ Asia editorial board, in re: yuan ("easy to say")  and ren min bi ("a dance step"): Noel Quinn, HSBC, says "the yuan is not an intl currency but is convertible for trading." China was tired of using the dollar as the reserve currency, wanted domestic funds traded in ren min bi.  Capital flows still restricted; no-man's land where no one knows what's convertible.  "It’s hit high tide; one severe downturn will throw it all into spiral."   To make yuan a convertible currency will take a few years. A century?