Wednesday 11 March 2020
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, Daily Beast, and David Livingston, The Space Show
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block A: Dexter Roberts, author of the new book The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, the Factory, and the Future of the World, in re: The effect of the coronavirus on China's supply chain and society. In the biggest cities, a return to somewhat ore regular routine. Workers go into office occasionally, at the order of the regime. Not true of rural workers, who are simply not being paid. Do Chinese people understand that this is because Xi wants an appearance of normality to the outside world and to the domestic population. The rural population is reasonably much concerned, is giving up on entrepreneurial aspirations in the countryside, facing an unfriendly entrepreneur’s envt in China; are forbidden to go where they want to . Instead, must go to factories only when called upon, and can't get healthcare. And soon will be replaced by automation. The regime often kicks rural workers out of cities. The Household Registration Policy, which limits every move of w worker, needs to be ended.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block B: Dexter Roberts, author of the new book The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, the Factory, and the Future of the World, in re: The effect of the coronavirus on China's supply chain and society. The virus itself [intrudes] into the supply chain. Big companies like Apple have been taken by surprise. A firm so dependent on China should have thought of this. Now, they all finally have a sense of urgency. Migrant workers have no future. The regime wants to be less export-reliant, and depend on domestic consumers – but these are the people who have inadequate income to buy much, and are about to be dishomed. Last month, car sales went down 79% year on year. The service economy is devastated—no one goes to restaurants or the theater.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block C: Dexter Roberts, author of the new book The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, the Factory, and the Future of the World, in re: All visitors to the US from Europe are suspended for thirty days in response to the Wuhan virus. What can the American people look to so next time we can expect quicker response from leadership? A big part is the leadership in China and their decision to control information ever more tightly. We lost a lot of valuable time. . . . I still hope – distinction between the party and he people, who hold a certain affection for the US and Americans. Need to find out where we share our values. It should work, but it doesn’t. “On top” failed this time. In the US, we have lots of good sources; Chinese people lack those sources now. The bargain—We’ll guarantee rising living standards and you won't demand civil rights”—has worked well, esp in the cities but not for migrant workers or the rural people of China. As the Chinese economy declines, the deal ceases to obtain. The party, the people in the cities, take a lion’s share of the benefit. When the regime offered urban schooling to rural children, the elite urban parents protested.
The power of the Chinese propaganda arm is formidable, In good times, the city-dwellers tend to believe it. Less so people in the countryside, as they're aware of the discriminatory system. Mao said his way to take power from China was to take the people in the countryside against the Kuomintang. This is a parallel. Levels of happiness: much lower than those of city people.
Living conditions in Shanghai aren't good enough for rural transplants to live there without their family. Terrible pollution; lots of lifestyle problems. It’s the rural people on whom the regime is counting to restore national normality, but that may not work out too well.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 1, Block D: Gordon Chang, in re:
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block A: Brandon Weichert, publisher of the Weichert Report & national security policy analyst specializing in emerging technology, in re: Two theories on origin: it escaped from a wet market in Wuhan, or else _____.
Yes, it’s possible to back-trace it; but may not be open (by China) to the public for political purposes. Even the US may not want to release it. Origins knowledge gives us more info for the future, and tells us how the heck it got out. I’ve been tracking Chinese biotech dvpt for three years; they’re gung ho about dominating he 21st Century battlefield. Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is epicenter of Chinese bioweapons: cancer, HIV, and viruses.
The Lancet on 24 Jan published an article showing that some cases had no contact w the wet market—as did not Patient Zero. And just before the plague emerged, Xi gave a big speech excoriating Chinese scientists for taking insufficient care in virology labs. China knows that this is the [leading edge] of global warfare.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block B: Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong and author of Shadow Banking and the Rise of Capitalism in China, in re: How the coronavirus is affecting the Chinese and global economies. China has just announced a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in China. We seem to be ahead of the curve, with people going back to work; now congestion is ‘’way up. Big firms are doing alternate weeks to separate half the population at a time. A friend from Beijing is quarantined in Bali. A concern is that people aren't buying much yet, so small businesses are running out of cash, and further, the mass return may re-ignite the virus. We don't talk about anything else but the virus. Masks all the time, wash hands a few dozen times a day. Flights coming in from Europe and a few from India.
The markets here are crazy, up , then crashing. Today, it's the US govt that looks inept. China is now responding to the problems in the US. China is heavily dependent on the global supply chain, and if the US economy tanks, big problems. More cash to the banks; GDP could be 3% or zero. Some really interesting leakages of hostility to the regime: people shouting out the window that it’s all lies; when Xi visited, kept sharpshooters in the streets to prevent any protest. Carrie Lam is invisible. Hong Kong people were trained in how to deal with this illness by SARS fifteen years ago.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block C: Michael Yon, reporter based in Thailand; in re: Some of the major banks stopped doing currency exchange; restaurants are wide open, few masks, no gloves. “Don't worry, be happy.” I don't trust the numbers in Thailand more than in the US or China. Thai media are in the Beijing government’s pocket. You’ll never see HH the Dalai Lama on Thai media—they're very much in the Chinese pocket. Bangkok was the main destination for travellers from China—with Chiang Mai and Phuket. Sex tourism. I expect we’ll be hit hard here soon. My doctor friend expects to see massive populations pouring into the hospitals. The outside thermometer is ninety-ish. Maybe a thousand mils between me and the far south of the country, where it's really hot; up here in the north, it's more like Florida. This bug has done well in the Middle East . . . but seems to have taken a break in Thailand. In Thailand, there’s a financial impetus not to get tested because of the cost. No sign of people collapsing in the streets, as occurred in Wuhan.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 2, Block D: Captain Christopher Howard Sharman, USN captain and Stanford University Affairs Fellow at Hoover; in re: . . . Hai Yang Shi You 719, a Chinese research vessel that China sent to to Vietnam to conduct a seismic survey near the Paracel Islands, in waters claimed by both China and Vietnam.
Vietnam watches where and how Chinese uses these ships, as they infringe on Vietnam’s sovereignty.
Since 2004, the US has conducted one or two ship visits annually; by 2018, we had the USS Carl Vincent visit. The more ship visits, the more two countries can develop with each other. Maybe in the future we could see a US submarine visit Cam Ranh port.
“. . . China already claims 90 per cent of these [South China Sea] strategic waters and is pressing its neighbors to restrict joint ventures with oil companies from outside the region through its Code of Conduct negotiations with ASEAN. Beijing has even proposed it should be notified in advance of military exercises between an ASEAN nation and the United States – and that it should be able to veto the exercise. The carrier port call undermines China’s efforts.”
“China’s message to the region is that the United States is an unreliable partner. ASEAN nations are watching Washington’s actions closely to evaluate the trustworthiness of the United States. The withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017, the absence of a top Trump administration official at last November’s ASEAN Plus summit in Thailand, and missed opportunities to halt Chinese armament of artificial islands constructed in the South China Sea contribute to ASEAN’s unease. Moreover, Washington just postponed a special ASEAN-U.S. presidential summit scheduled for mid-March in Las Vegas based on coronavirus concerns.”
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block A: Salena Zito, Washington Examiner , & The Middle of Somewhere column; in re: Banning fracking: how can you get Pennsylvanians to go for Democrats if you ban fracking?
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block B: Salena Zito, Washington Examiner , & The Middle of Somewhere column; in re: Banning fracking: how can you get Pennsylvanians to go for Democrats if you ban fracking? In middle America, closing of department stores. Pittsburgh: see Salena.com In Kaufman’s, a note from a long-time customer. . . . We’ve grown so accustomed to doing almost everything through our phone that we’ve become disconnected from each other. Turns out the memories are not of things bought but of events. As mundane as shopping can be, people felt connected to each other; this is a broad sentiment among Americans.
A Christmas Story: all Ralphie wanted for Christmas was a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Ralphie's desire was rejected by his mother, his teacher Miss Shields, and even a Santa Claus at Higbee's department store, all giving him the same warning: "You'll shoot your eye out." The glam cosmetic counters, the chandeliers, the marble floors, the red carpets. A place that inspires. We've replaced them with Walmart and Target.
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block C: David Livingston, The Space Show, in re:
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 3, Block D: Lee Ohanian, Hoover, in re: Bernie Sanders vows to stay in contention, although a preponderance of voters have gone to Biden. Are the primary voters in the Democratic Party rejecting the man they embraced four years ago? Yes, partially, and some nuanced aspects. Four years ago, Bernie Sanders came out of nowhere and grabbed a lot of the vote; he took Hillary right to the were on Medicare for all, free college, erasure of student debt – all very expensive programs. As people have had time to think on these, he’s not seen as the right person to challenge President Trump. The party is so diverse that . . . of all registered Vermont voters, only one in six managed to get to the polls to vote for Bernie. . . . He’s a gadfly; at this stage of his career, his goal may be to try to change the party in to an institution with which he feels more comfortable, incl AOC, Tlaib, Omar; in these, he’s succeeded remarkably.
Joe Biden will have a challenging time trying to attract Sanders supporters. In foreign policy he’ll be called a hawk—180 degrees away from many—and not easy with the Bernie Bros. After 40 years in the swamp and the recipient of much corporate money, and not a world about cleaning up a rigged system . . .
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block A: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation, by Oliver Bullough
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block B: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation, by Oliver Bullough
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block C: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation, by Oliver Bullough
Wednesday 11 March 2020 / Hour 4, Block D: The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle to Save a Dying Nation, by Oliver Bullough
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