China’s “Red Market” Destruction of Religion | Bitter Winter Part 2

The Communist Party has a plan to destroy
religion And it begins with the “Red Market” Can religion in China survive? Welcome back to China Uncensored. I’m Chris Chappell The Chinese Communist Party has a clever plan to destroy religion in China. It doesn’t just attack religion from the
outside. It also tries to subvert it from within. Shelley Zhang is back with part two of her interview with Marco Respinti, the Director-in-Charge of Bitter Winter— who’s exposing this issue. Mr. Respinti, thank you for joining us in this park in Milan. Thank you. I do have to say that a lot of the things that you report on in Bitter Winter I really haven’t seen reported anywhere else. For example, last year the Chinese government passed this new regulations on religious affairs.Could
you talk a little bit about that and the impact that it’s had? Yeah. The regulation was published officially in February 1st, 2018, but it was in the air for some before. That was a really turning point in the attitude
of the CCP towered religion because it’s a very strict
law that almost forbids every kind of religion
public manifestation. The CCP has been convinced since years, and when I say years I mead decades, that from the Mao Zedong times on, that religion is an unnatural thing and that naturally it will go extinct someday. Also, they show that that didn’t happen so
fast so they managed to help the extinction of religion. Why they still think that religion will die
out naturally. Sometimes they help this process and the new regulation on religion affair have been designed just for that. To help in a very effective way the extinction
of religion. Today, the religious markets of landscapes can be divided into three main area. According to some Chinese sociologist who studied religion in China, they can be divided into the gray market, black market, red market. The red market is the attempt by the CCP to
tame and domesticate religion. Trying to infiltrate and control them and so this is why they’ve created five patriotic circle, patriotic association back in the 50s to control Protestant, Catholics, Taoists, Buddhist and Muslim. This is the red market, the official religion. Then we have the gray market, which is kind of mixed area in which religion is not permitted, but it is tolerated at some extent because the religious group populating this
gray area also huge are connected to some … What would these groups be? For example the Catholic church for many time or the Protestant and non patriarchal church called the house church. It’s a huge network of protestants churches. Very difficult to control and to infiltrate. Even if they are considered enemy of the state like every kind of religious group, they are tolerated because they cannot be
repressed directly. They are expecting them to die out. Helping them, but tolerating them to some
extent. Then we have the black market where the groups belonging to these area called
xie jiao, meaning unorthodox, heterodox. Heterodox. Heterodox. Teaching, it’s an old expression used by the Chinese power back in the old
days which has been resurrected by the CCP to mean,
cults. This is a level for which they condemn these groups like criminals for just belonging to one of these groups is one of the most awful crime that you can
do in China. These people belonging to the black market are persecuted directly. The other groups are infiltrated, controlled, but this is not because the CCP is good toward
them, but because it doesn’t have enough power yet to repress directly all of them. He tries to infiltrate and to control them
in an indirect way. The black market would be which groups? Falun Gong for example who has been exterminated literally in huge numbers. The Church of the Almighty God which is noteworthy because it’s the youngest new religious group
in China and the one who is growing at a faster pace. It’s very huge and it’s persecuted. It has been called the new Falun Gong. Not because of theology. They have a completely different theology, but because of the persecution there, their
suffering. Groups like the Shouters where a new religious
movement coming out of the Protestant universe so of
speak. Many groups who are considered cults which
by the way, it’s an expression that scholars don’t use because it’s a way of labeling, giving names to your opponent and it’s not very scholarly to use that. The CCP is condemning directly these people and persecuting directly these people. To the gray market, middle of the road place, one thing which is worth it to say is that they try as I said to control, infiltrate them because they don’t have the
power to repress them directly or because they have a connection internationally. For example the Catholic church. One thing is to say the Catholic church is my enemy and the CCP is not using any more of that language. Another thing is trying to repress that. How can you repress a thing like the Vatican, the Catholic church which is all over the
world powerful at some extent. It’s not the matter sometimes of the size
of the group, but the connection they have. For example, the Falun Gong was persecuted
the first time, it didn’t have so much connection abroad so it was kind of an internal affair for China. Then the Church of the Almighty God is another persecuted group who had no connection before they escaped China or the connections
they have now is not so strong, huge and recognized publicly as the Catholic church or the Protestant church so it’s easier for the CCP to go and repress
them in the dark. Yes, and like you said, to use xie jiao which does not mean cult in Chinese, but to translate that as cult and use that label on these groups. Yeah. Where would Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims or Kazakh Muslims fall in this hierarchy? Yeah. This is a good question because officially
Islam could at some extent belong to the first area, the red market because there is the Islamic
Chinese Association which is the patriarchic triangle of controlling
them. If you must belong or comply to that association, you’re tolerated officially. If you don’t, you are persecuted, but what group do you belong? I would say the middle of the road because
they can not define, even if some try to define even Christianity
as cult, they can not define Islam as a cult. Islam will not belong to the black market. It would belong to the gray market theoretically. You understand that these divisions are very
important for scholars to try to figure the situation
out. On the ground, the boundaries between these
groups can easily be overlapped and become depending on some officially, they can be completely ignored. As a matter of fact, in Xinjiang, Islam is persecuted as such. Uighur’s or Muslim are persecuted because
they are know Han Chinese because they belong to a different
minority. Some people would think that this belongs
to some political, not religious reason, but this is not true because alongside the Uighurs in Xinjiang, all the Turkey people and Muslim people are
persecuted — Kazaks, Uzbeks, Tatars, these people—so they are persecuted because they are minorities and Muslim. Again, we have some Muslim who are not, who don’t belong to, who are not part of any ethnic group like the Hui Muslim. They are Han Chinese being Muslim and they were once the good Muslim, but this is the words of the CCP against the bad Muslim in Xinjiang. We know and we have reported so much about
the persecution and the CCP is waging against them today. They are not belonging to any ethnic minority so it’s a war against Islam because it’s a
war against religion. The same happens to the Tibetan Buddhists. Tibetan Buddhists, officially again Buddhism cannot be labeled
as a cult, but we know that it’s strictly forbidden especially in Tibet were there is also political
problem and we don’t deal with that as Bitter Winter, but we know that. Tibet Buddhism isn’t repressed as such. Practically, you could look at Tibetan Buddhism as belonging to the black market. Maybe the scholars would react to these because it’s not technically true, but practically all of them are segregated. All of them are denied in their rights, religious and human rights so this is the
situation. Are there a lot of religious believers in
China? Yes. I remember some studies dating back to some
10 years, maybe 15 years ago something called Guarding
the Party. Not meaning defaced, but meaning the CCP. Meaning that the reasoning, crazing religious attention at least also
within the party. We know for sure and some scholars have studied the unwanted effect of the Tiananmen Massacre exactly 30 years ago. This is in two levels. First of all the CCP at that time, 30 years ago was convinced that what was happening in Soviet Russia and in the East meaning the crumbling of the Soviet Empire
and communism, they thought that it was the effect of some
religious groups. They studied carefully what was happening
there in order to avoid that happening in China. The Tiananmen Massacre can be also, not only, but also explain in the way of repressing potential enemies in China what they did in Europe and that potential
enemies are religious groups. Scholars have studied that. They are not convinced that the CCP was right
saying that religious groups were effective in destroying
the Soviet Empire. I mean, they had a role, but the role was also something else in political economic
reason, but the CCP has been convinced since then at that time that that was the truth. This explains why religion became the first
enemy of the CCP because they see the potential in the religious
groups of destroying China just like they think that
religious groups destroyed Soviet Russia. What brought them to this understanding regarding China specifically is that also before, I mean 30 years ago before the Tiananmen Massacre, people got disillusioned by the ideology and they started turning to religion. We saw the growing of an important new religious
movement and also, main line religions having new believers and some of them, many of them, I will not say most, but many of them belonged also to the party. The growing after the Tiananmen Massacre, the growing of some new religious movement like the Falun Gong and others, but also main line Christianity and Buddhism
and Islam can be explained saying that in face of the
massacre, of that massacre, people got even more disillusioned by communism and these effect also some official within
the CCP. So what you’re saying is that the CCP’s fear of religious organizations or that they could somehow present an ideological challenge to the CCP goes back 30 years? Yes. From what you were saying about the religious
affairs, regulations, it could seem like the CCP’s repression of
religion is very new. Well, if we studied history, we see that religion has always been persecuted
as such. Of course, there are up and downs. This belong of course to different personality of the leaders of the CCP, but also depends on the strength that they
have. As I said, I think that Xi Jinping now either
has or think to have the strength to go back to the old days of direct persecution. I also see that Xi Jinping thinks of himself as a kind of new Mao Zedong and I explain
why. Even if there are differences, huge differences in terms of history, circumstances and ideology also, he made himself president for life. He inserted his own thinking within the constitution ust like Mao Zedong did. He thinks of himself as being the real leader
of the church, maybe the new God. I’m not making it up. We know when we published the attempt of some
CCP official to go into churches, mosques and even families tearing down religious pictures
of Jesus or of Buddhist signs, Islamic signs, substituting them with two portraits, Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping. Then going back to the families one week later to check out if they were praying actively to those two portraits. Even if it’s a secular atheistic ideology, communism and the CCP know how much important is religion for the people. They are trying to substitute themselves to
God because they fear God or they fear religious
people. Yes, there is an increase in direct persecution from last year on, but up and downs not withstanding, persecution has been around always in different
ways. Again, this depends on the strength. It depends on some of the context. China today is in the news. It has many ties, political and economically with many, many, many nations. I think that that is my opinion. I think that Xi Jinping and his officials think that people will not pay too much attention to human rights if they do something wrong because they have other interests, economic
and political. I think that it is the right moment for them to repress directly religion. Maybe 10 years ago, 20 years ago, they were
not. The CCP I mean were not in the position to
do that, but the cast of mind of thinking that religion is unnatural and that will naturally die out never abandoned the CCP. One thing that I noticed from Bitter Winter’s
reporting is, seems like a lot of the things that the Chinese
Communist Party is doing to repress religion affect all Chinese
people, not just religious believers. Things like having the turning churches or religious buildings into these … what are they called? The civil [crosstalk] leader or it was civilization practice centers. Yeah, civilization practice center to sinicize religion and groups. So to kind of replace that with kind of communist
party ideology where instead of going to church on Sunday, now everybody in the village has to come and
do something else, listen to operas, talk about the CCP or something or the district people who have to kin of
monitor everybody and know whether people in their neighborhood are practicing religions or other things about
this because it’s something is spreading to even people who are not active religious
believers. Yeah, I strongly think so and this is fact because I mean, attacking and destroying religious
group or religion as such don’t effect only religious
people. For good or for bad, if we like it or not,
believers or not, religion is part of the cultural landscape
of humankind that’s been around since forever. It will never die out even if the CCP thinks
differently. We in fact see spreading of a new spring for
religion. Many growths, many new growths, many different persuasion, many phase, many
creeds. It’s part of the world. To think that you can eliminate completely religion from human culture and human civilization, it’s a crazy thing to do. If you eliminate religion in many groups in
people, you will not have art, music, whatever. Even if you’re not a believer, if you’re not a church goer, if you don’t go to the mass, if you don’t practice religion, religion comes to you in terms of culture. Music, art, literature, whatever you want. You name it. It’s not possible to separate one or the other. If you attack religion, you will end up in attacking normal people, also non believers. This is one thing. The second thing is that in order to repress
a religion, the CCP is establishing a way of controlling
society in every little corner. There are facial recognition machines. There are people who want to go abroad and have a passport and that’s proof some
questions. If you enroll in university, they will ask you if you are a believer and if your parents. There is a control on the life of the people. I can imagine one non believer being annoying by seeing his son going to the university and being questioned if he’s a believer or
not. This is a violation of your rights and freedom. Thirdly, China is becoming very repressive or is already a very repressive society. Some people say that regarding Xinjiang for
example, yes, we know the tragedy of the camps. Some scholars who visited Xinjiang says okay, we have the camps, but Xinjiang as such has become an open air huge detention camp. Meaning that people are repressing their own fundamental freedoms, liberties. Yes, attacking religion is affecting also
non believers. This is bad for the whole society. What would you say that Bitter Winter has been reporting that’s not getting enough
attention in international media? Well unfortunately, many of the things that we publish don’t get enough attention. We Uighurs, we deal a lot with Uighurs, and they are in the news at some extent, because the US, the US congress passed laws,
bills, and there was much attention in the US on
Uighurs, also because the Uighurs are lobbying very
well, in the US. But there is much more than that, I mean there are many more countries in the
world, and there are many more problems in China that don’t get the same attention. Out of many, I just mentioned one, and the problem is refugees. The persecution in China gets many Chinese
to escape. They come to the West, they go to many countries. They have the problem of being accepted, as
full citizens. There is a lot of rhetoric these days on immigration. I don’t justify all that rhetoric, but I understand when people are saying that sometimes immigration can cause problems. But one thing is to send lawfully back some, unlawful immigrants because of economic reason. It’s a bad thing if he is poor, but we need to cope with that. A totally different thing is to get back on
the spot some Chinese exiles who has been persecuted for his religious or her religious faith and these people get arrested, detained, tortured, and even killed right away. So we have a responsibility toward those people. And if we don’t cope with that we will be, some extent, aiding the CCP in its crimes. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you. And that’s it for today’s China Uncensored. Make sure to check out part one of this interview which we published last week. Once again, I’m Chris Chappell. See you next time.

Kashgar Markets in Xinjiang | Sunday Bazaar to the Night Market

The Kashgar market is the place to be on Sundays. It’s a massive market on the east side of
town. It has everything from tourist items, carpets,
silks…everything you’d want. It’s just a great place to walk around, eat
some snacks and people watch – which is one of my favorite things to do here. Of course, when the sun goes down the party moves west, across
the street from the Id Kah Mosque to the Night Market.

Is Economic GROWTH Compatible with the ENVIRONMENT?- VisualPolitik EN

Congratulations!! Yes. To you and to all of us. Dear friends of VISUALPOLITIK, it may have
gone unnoticed, but this is a historical event. Listen up: For the first time in the entire
history of humanity, we live in a world where poverty no longer affects most of the population. Surprised? Well you shouldn’t be. Here at VisualPolitik, we’ve already told
you that this was about to happen. Folks, today, let’s forget all the apocalyptic
perspectives that we’ve covered for so many years about the world we live in. The truth is that today, on our planet, most
of the population either belongs to the middle class or to the wealthiest classes. In other words, as you can see, poverty is
now not such a looming issue. Yes, I know, there’s still a lot of poverty,
but the truth is that we’ve never before known a world where poverty didn’t affect
most of the population. Don’t tell me that isn’t great news. But… just a second, you might be asking
yourself some questions, like for example… What on earth are you talking about Simon? What do you mean exactly? If that’s the case, why is there so much
pessimism? Or maybe… Is all this sustainable? Can the environment withstand such a heavy
burden? Are we perhaps on the threshold of the world’s
destruction? We’ll explore all of these questions in
this video. Listen up. The general impression – don’t deny it
– is that we live in a world full of misery, inequality, injustice… And yes, all of that exists but, fortunately,
it’s becoming less frequent. Yes, see, every time we turn on the TV or
visit a news website, we almost always find catastrophes of all kinds… Unfortunately, we don’t usually find good
news… Even though this kind of news are much, much
more important. See, according to the Brookings Institute
and the World Data Lab’s estimates, we hit an extraordinary milestone this past September
2018: For the first time in the history of mankind,
most people who live in this world are no longer poor. We’re talking about more than 50% of the
world’s population, of approximately 3.8 billion people who belong to middle class
or wealthy homes. In fact, this is the rough distribution of
the world’s population today, check it out. Now, some of you may be wondering… What exactly do you mean by the middle class? Well fundamentally, people with enough purchasing
power to allow them to live comfortably. That is, they can buy washing machines and
refrigerators; they can go to restaurants and on vacation; people who can endure some
unexpected instability such as an illness or a period of unemployment without falling
back into poverty. But, to be more specific, for this study’s
authors, the households that have a consumption capacity of more than $11 a day per person,
adjusted by the price level, are part of the middle class. But that’s not all, the best is yet to come. Allow me to explain. As you know, there’s still a lot of poverty
in the world. No less than 650 million people live in extreme
poverty. They aren’t even guaranteed the most basic
things… like food. And of course, 650 million people are far
too many. The good news is that changes are happening
so quickly that in a few decades this issue may have disappeared entirely. But… Do you want to know exactly how quickly we’re
talking about? Well, to give you an idea of how fast things
are changing, check out these figures. In our world, for every second that passes,
1 person escapes extreme poverty. Every second. It’s exactly this lightning fast rate that
caused the population living in conditions of extreme poverty to fall by 75% between
1990 and 2015. But even with this news, without a doubt,
what’s most surprising is what’s happening with the middle class. In that same period of time, that is, every
second, approximately 5 people leave poverty behind and join the middle class. 5 people per second! That, folks, means that, if this rate continues,
in just about 12 years, by the year 2030, the middle class would make up the vast majority
of the world’s population. Good news, don’t you think? A middle class world means a world with fewer
poor people, with a greater commitment to academic studies and knowledge, with a greater
tendency to set up companies and, also, a population that’s more demanding toward
politicians. Among other things, because the middle class
is a proprietary class. People in the middle class have houses, savings,
businesses, and that, of course, leads them to be more committed to stability and to be
more demanding. And not only that, as we’ve told you many
times, this huge growth means another thing: hundreds of thousands of opportunities for
enterprise. Now, just a moment. Here’s a question that many of you may be
asking yourselves. We know because you usually tell us in the
comments. Can our world support so many people consuming
so much? Aren’t we sowing the seeds of destruction? Let’s see (A PATH TO THE ABYSS?) Climate change, mass extinction, water pollution… Folks, I don’t even have to say it. We’re facing many challenges. In fact, if we just take a look at the news,
we could get the impression that we’re heading directly and at full speed towards the precipice. And of course, with so many people consuming
more and more resources, it’s normal for our lives to be pervaded by this question:
What’s going to happen to our planet? But, what if it wasn’t exactly like that? What if, after a certain level, the relationship
between the environment and wealth was positive? Well, folks, that’s the direction that things
are moving. See, when we talk about development, economic
growth, consumption… Two issues logically concern us a lot: one
is pollution and damage to the environment, and the second is whether or not there will
be resources for everyone. Let’s start with the first one. Is it possible that things aren’t going
down such a bad path? Let’s take a look, for example, at what has
happened in recent years in the largest economies on the planet: that is, in the United States,
the European Union, China and Japan. Well, in 1960, the United States issued 0.94
kilograms of CO2 for every dollar of production. In 2014 this value was just 0.34, 64% less. For its part, the European Union reduced its
CO2 emissions per dollar of production by 54% between 1991 and 2014. Same for Japan. Even China, infamous China, the country that
used coal for everything, has reduced its relative CO2 emissions by 75% over the past
4 decades. That is to say, technological developments
and new environmental concerns are helping the world produce more while polluting less. Yes, folks, you heard that right. Improved technology and increasing concern
for the environment are managing to slow down and even reverse our damage to the planet. Take a look at the United States: Again and again, environmental improvements
once deemed impossible have taken place. Since 1970, when the Environmental Protection
Agency was established, the United States has slashed its emissions of five air pollutants
by almost two-thirds. Over the same period, the population grew
by more than 40 percent, and those people drove twice as many miles and became two and
a half times richer. Steven Pinker) The truth folks is that it’s becoming increasingly
clear that the relationship between the environment and wealth has an inverted U shape. That is to say, after a determined level of
wealth, societies begin to worry more about the environment, begin to take measures to
take care of it and begin to develop and use cleaner technologies. (“Renewable energies will dominate the future
German electricity sector thanks to the impulse of offshore wind and geothermal.” For example, this is what the Environmental
Performance Index– an index constructed from metrics that measure the quality of air, water,
forest and natural habitats–indicates. Out of the 180 countries that make up the
index, all but 2 have improved in the last decade. On the other hand, this index also shows that
the richer a country is, on average, the cleaner its environment becomes, the more environmental
awareness exists, and the better results it gets. Sure, if we think about it, it’s quite logical. Richer countries can allocate more resources
towards technological development and protecting natural areas. In fact, since 1990, as the world has become
richer and richer, protected areas have almost doubled. Today, more than 15% of the surface of the
planet is protected. And not only that, deforestation, one of the
great ecological threats, is undergoing a clear decline. Deforestation of the world’s largest tropical
forest, the Amazon, peaked in 1995, and from 2004 to 2013 the rate fell by four-fifths. Steven Pinker) Well, a larger middle class will mean more
resources to care for the environment, more people developing cleaner technologies and
a greater level of environmental awareness. Don’t get me wrong, there are many challenges
ahead, but the trend isn’t nearly as bad as it’s often portrayed. We don’t really need to take our foot off
the gas, and of course we’re convinced that we need to promote cleaner production methods
and technologies, but we’re not in an apocalyptic or irreversible situation. And of course the empirical evidence tells
us that the best way to overcome these challenges is with more investment and with richer and
better-formed societies. Regarding the second question to whether natural
resources will be exhausted or not… I think we can rest assured that they won’t
be. Not only because there are many resources,
but above all because human activity aims to seek better ways of production, including
recycling, the development of new technologies that allow for the exploitation of new resources
or that manage to do more with less. For all of these reasons, dear friends of
VisualPolitik– and don’t worry, we’ll talk much more about this topic in the future–
I think we have to be more than satisfied that for the first time in the history of
humanity, our average condition isn’t poverty or hunger. Yes, humanity is managing to defeat poverty. So I really hope you enjoyed this video, please
hit like if you did, and don’t forget to subscribe for brand new videos. Don’t forget to check out our friends at
the Reconsider Media Podcast – they provided the vocals in this episode that were not mine. Also, this channel is possible because of
Patreon, and our patrons on that platform. Please consider joining them and supporting
our mission of providing independent political coverage. And as always, I’ll see you in the next

BBC talking business interview on EU-China deal

Aaron Heslehurst: Okay, here’s a question,
Parma Ham, Cava, Irish whiskey, you can get me? and Feta cheese, what do they all have
in common? And the answer is, they’ve all just got special status in a deal between
the EU and China. The agreement will protect the geographical origins of 100 of those products,
and the methods, but does it really matter if your cured ham comes from Parma? I don’t
know. We’ll find out. Bernardine Adkins is Partner and Head of EU Trade & Competition
at the law firm, Gowling, and joins us, and a familiar face, always good to see you. We
should have opened this, shouldn’t we, we could have had it!? So, just for the uninitiated,
is this about … so, 100 products, 100 European products, 100 Chinese products, so that’s
saying a Chinese company that makes ham in China can’t call it ‘Parma ham’, is that right? Bernardine Adkins: Correct, yes, but if it’s
derived from a particular area of China that has its own protection, is produced in a certain
way, it can get that protection for its Chinese product. Aaron: Right. And this has taken a long time
coming because I think in 2012 each side only had 10! Bernardine: That’s right. This is what people
need to appreciate, these trade agreements take years to build trust, years and years,
this hasn’t suddenly happened over-night. So we started with 10, but that was only after
a few years of negotiations, now we’re at 100, 4 years from now there’ll be an additional
175 added from each side, it takes a long time. Aaron: The UK’s hoping they can do it over-night
but we’ll talk about that in a second! Bernardine: I know. Aaron: But I am hearing, certainly some people
in Europe, from the European side of things, they say, for this agreement, it has to be
a company in China, with new laws in China, and especially stricter enforcement. That’s
always a problem, isn’t it? Bernardine: Yes, yes, historically it has
been but China is now really coming of age in terms of appreciating and understanding
the need and the power for intellectual protection for its own innovations, to give its own innovations
protection, so China is realising that it needs to become a worldwide citizen with its
own appropriate protections for intellectual property rights and innovation, absolutely. Aaron: And I’m just looking at these three
items in front of us but all together this is big business, isn’t it? Bernardine: Absolutely, and growing, and growing,
because, basically, you’ve got an emergent middle class in China now that want high quality
authentic Europe foods, there’s a huge appetite for these foods and they’re premium quality,
premium prices as well, so a great growth area for agri food. Aaron: And let me get this in, coming back
to the UK, and of course Brexit, we can’t avoid that, now, you say UK centric brands
need to examine their own brand portfolio? Bernardine: Absolutely. Aaron: What does that mean, why do they need
to do that? Bernardine: Right, so, I think at the moment
everyone’s just breathing this huge sigh of relief, we’ve just avoided another cliff-edge,
it’s just like, No, please, please’, everybody needs to stay focused. So, basically, you
produce a product, you have a brand attached to it, there’s a huge value in the brand but
you want your brand, if you’re UK centric, to be able to sell the product throughout
the whole of the EU, all 28 member states, but what can currently happen at the moment,
if, for example, a national trademark, Polish, for example, is confusing with a UK one and
then they, basically, say, ‘We want to elevate our trademark right to community right, to
cover the whole of the EU’, you could say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a conflicting UK trademark,
you can’t do that’, once we’re out of that system … Aaron: Ah, we lose that. Bernardine: … yeah, you lose that protection.
So if people have just been focusing on thinking, ‘We’ve got an easy ride here, we’ve got that
protection in place’, that protection is going, so people need to blow the dust off their
portfolios, double check what they’ve got there, and this is something my IP colleagues
are doing a lot for people, is check out what you’ve got, ‘Are you using it? Because if
you’re not using it in the EU, you will lose it over a number of years … Aaron: Wow! Bernardine: … so you need to start resurrecting
those rights if they’re laying dormant, start to make sure you’ve got yourself adequate
protections within the EU.’ Aaron: And let me just throw this in because,
as we were saying, seven years ago, 10 products, 100 products now on both sides and in a couple
of years they plan to have 175! I didn’t even know there was so much of this stuff that’s
designated like this! Bernardine: Yeah, absolutely it tastes good! Aaron: And a lot of Chinese stuff is coming
into Europe, we buy a lot of the Chinese stuff into Europe! Bernardine: That’s right, you know, the various
brands of tea, rice, bean paste, ginger, things that are very special to certain regions,
geographic origins, etc., that you could only produce because of that locality, that weather,
that earth, etc., etc., wine being an obvious example, for example. Aaron: Okay. Bernardine Adkins, it’s always
a pleasure! Do you like Feta cheese? Bernardine: Absolutely. Aaron: It’s yours! Bernardine: That’s very kind. Aaron: Thanks very much.


Population growth by country What are the most populous countries in the world? Over the last century, the world has seen rapid population growth. But how are populations distributed across the world? Which countries have the most people? In the map we see the estimated population of each country in 2019. Here we see that the top five most populous countries are: (1) China (1.42 billion) (2) India (1.37 billion) (3) United States (329 million) (4) Indonesia (269 million) (5) Brazil (212 million) For several centuries, China has been the world’s most populous country. But not for long: it’s expected that India will overtake China within the next decade.

Paypal CEO dodges questions about doing business with China

one of the other two places that you’ve
taken the company is you got the first outside license through an acquisition
to do business in China how do you square the values that you talked about
with doing business in China which typically means following the rules of
the Chinese government you know you’ve obviously stood up for
the civil rights of LGBTQ workers in America what about protesters in Hong
Kong mm-hmm so we work with regulators around the
world I mean that is who we are and so we need to learn if you’re going to be a
global company to be flexible you need to be nimble and you need to follow the
rules of of each country that you’re in is but we’re not just talking about
banking regulations here I mean China has you know a pre atrocious track
record when it comes to human rights surveillance don’t you worry that at a
certain point you won’t be able to speak out on your values without risking the
business that you’ve built in China we need to rise above you know our own self
interests and really think about the whole and to me the whole is do
consumers have financial health I think what we should try to stay away from
where we can our political issues so do you not anticipate your values
conflicting with doing business in China or so you have a plan we offer around
the world trying to lift underserved populations into the digital economy is
where we can provide the most value I think to the world’s population and I
really want to stay focused on that mission because I think it will make a
real difference and I just want to come back to it one more time because I’m a
little confused you really don’t think doing business in
China is gonna bump up against those values every country around the world
has issues every country around the world we need to navigate those in the
way that we feel is most consistent with our values and most consistent with our
mission not easy to always go do but I wouldn’t single out the China versus any
other country

Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio Discusses the Impact of China’s Growth on the World Economy

I’m Jim Haskel, Senior Portfolio Strategist. I’m here with Co-CIO Ray Dalio. And the subject today is China, and Ray, you’ve been going there since 1984; a lot of experience. China in the news today in many different regards. Can you walk us through a little bit about your experiences and how you’ve seen China evolve over the last 35 years? I’ve been able to go to China since 1984 and participate and see the evolution, yeah. And it’s been quite something. You know the first time I went, I was invited by CITIC, which was called a window company then, which was the only company that was allowed to deal with the outside world, and they were curious about the world financial markets. So I was invited there. At the time uh the city was mostly hutongs, which are small neighborhoods, poor neighborhoods. And I remember speaking in their office building, called the Chocolate Building, and looking outside, and we were talking about opening up. And at the time, I knew what opening up would mean, you know? The rest of the world had a cost level that was here, and China had a cost level there, and if they could eliminate their inefficiencies, it would go like this. And so I looked out there and I said, you know, you’ll see those hutongs become replaced by skyscrapers and so on, and they told me that, you don’t know China. But that force, and their character and the creativity that they exhibited took them to what is the greatest economic miracle of all time. To put that into perspective, per capita income since then increased by 26 times. The share of world GDP went from 2% to 22% today, so it’s a comparable power to the United States. The poverty rate went from 88% to less than 1% and the life expectancy increased by 10 years. There are many, many others; in capital markets, very big changes. But I never went for making money; I went for curiosity, you know? And that curiosity brought me in contact with the Chinese people, who I really, really came to love and admire. The character of them, the type of relationships that they valued; all of those types of things. And I could see that character and I was able to, over those years, build friendships; I was able to contribute in some small ways to the development of the financial markets and see it. And I remember these people; I’ve a great old group of friends who were the first pioneers to set up the stock market there. They were seven companies—each had a representative. And it was in a dingy hotel, and these people were to form the stock market and the financial markets, and so it evolved. And that evolution was an intimate evolution, in which I brought my family, I brought my kids. I remember bringing my son Matthew when he was very young along, and we would go in and we’d have meetings and they would bring cookies and milk and he’d be there. And he ended up going to school there when he was 11; it was a whole different world, he lived there. And that whole different world, just to give you an idea of the technology— you know where they are in technology now, which is comparable in many ways to the United States. When I went, I would bring them as gifts $10 calculators that they thought were miraculous. So I’ve gotten to know the people—I go there because I like and admire the people, and I’ve done that for 20 years or more before we ever did anything commercially. And so we’re sitting in a time now where China has evolved in a big way. And I wonder, just from your perspective now that, as an American who’s gone to China for years and years and years, how do you make sense of this growing conflict that you’ve written a lot about, between China and the United States? What do you think is the root cause of that? Well, it makes total sense in a historical context. You know, I’ve been studying economic history— I used to study what the last 100 years is— and recently because I wanted to study the rises and declines of reserve currencies, I’ve studied the last 500 years carefully and looked at the last 1,000 years. And what I’ve seen over and over again is that when there’s a rising power challenging an existing world power, that there is going to be a conflict. And there’s a global world order. And the way that usually happens is there’s a conflict, and then there’s a war, quite often, and then after the war, whoever wins the war gets to set what the global world order is. And then you have a period of peace, because no country wants to fight that country until there’s a rising power challenging an existing power again. That’s happened 16 times in the last 500 years, and in 12 of those times, there’ve been wars and sometimes you get around them. I’m not saying that there’s going to be a war, but I think it’s a natural development in terms of China growing, expanding. You know, we have a small world and it’s a big country, and we’re going to bump into each other, and so it’s that natural conflict. And then the question is, you know, how it’s best dealt with. But I think it’s just a natural evolutionary step. And you’ve sort of put the framework around this where trade is just the symptom of this broader conflict; whereas trade is always in the financial news, but it’s really just one symptom. There’s also, you know, military posturing—there’s other elements of this whole conflict. Sure, history has shown us that there’s this pattern—I’ll describe the pattern. We’re now living in a US dollar reserve currency world, so I want to look at the US dollar and the US empire. Before that I wanted to look at the UK and the British empire, and then before that I wanted to look at the Dutch empire. And I wanted to follow them in their various dimensions. So I read all of those stories—I looked through the numbers and read the stories— and I could see that the stories would repeat, the same basic stories. The charts on this page show six major measurements of power. The first is technology and education; second is output, how strong the economy is; third is trade; fourth is military; the fifth is the strength of the financial center; and the sixth is reserve status. What we did is to stitch together a whole bunch of statistics so that we can measure each one of those. And so they go back to 1500 and you can see the cycle repeat over and over again. This next chart shows the averages of these rises and declines by each of the factors, and I think they tell the story pretty well as to what a classic rise and decline of the empires and reserve currency status is. So for example, the Dutch back in the 1600s—late 1500s and early 1600s— invented ships that could go all around the world. And because Europe fought a lot, they put arms on the ships and then they could go all around the world, and the world was their oyster. So they could bring back great things, and they then increased their share of world trade to be 50% of world trade. And when they went globally, through their businesses, Dutch East Indian Trading Company, they had to be enabled with military to protect their trade routes, and they developed financial empires. So as a result, we saw not only trade grow, we saw the military grow; we saw them carry their reserve currencies around, and because they were used so commonly, they became world currencies, and that’s what made them world reserve currencies. And as a result, they also developed financial centers; because of developed capital markets, money came around the world to invest through those capital markets, in those currencies, in those businesses that were their businesses and other business, so they developed financial center; Amsterdam was the center of world financial markets as a result of that, and as a result they built their trade and their commerce together. They quite often— then over a period of time, there were forces that led to their decline. And those forces were typically a combination of higher levels of indebtedness, others gaining competitive advantage—for example, the Dutch shipbuilders were hired by the English to learn how to build great ships that would carry them around the world, and there was a change in technology. And there was really not much of a difference between the businesses, the technologies, and the government in terms of making those things happen. For example, the British East India Trading Company had a military that was twice the size of the British military, and they were the ones that conquered India, and so on. I just put together the averages of those forces so that you could just see, let’s say, the average of power, and it goes back to 1500 And you could see the blue line is the United States, and you could see its rise and then its relative decline. And you could see the emergence of China to be almost a comparable power. And you look at that red line over a period of time, and you could see going back to 1500, that China was always one of the either the highest, most powerful country, or one of the most powerful countries, until they had the decline from about the 1800 period. But you could see that emergence. And so to me, this is all very classic. Mm-hmm. So now, if you bring this back to the current conflict between the United States and China, what I think is so interesting is that you also believe that global investors must look at China and explicitly start to consider whether China should be part of their portfolios. And so it seems kinda interesting—we’re talking about an emerging conflict, but we’re also simultaneously talking about there’s really some merit for China to be a component of a global portfolio. So give us your perspective on that and why. So think about it. Would you have not want to have invested with the Dutch in the Dutch empire? Would you have not want to have invested in the industrial revolution and the British empire? Would you have not want to have invested in the United States and the United States’ empire? I think it’s comparable. Would you have not want to have invested in those places? And look at the growth in the markets. Over the last 10 years, the stock market in China has increased by—market capitalization by a factor of four. The bond markets, combining both the government and corporate bond markets, have increased by a factor of seven. And they’re each the second largest markets in the world. And I have had plenty of contact with those markets and with those people, the regulators and so on behind them, and I have you know a lot of admiration for that. So I also believe in diversification, yeah. I believe that China’s a competitor of the United States or Chinese businesses will be competitors of American business or other businesses around the world, and that you’re going to therefore—you wanna be, if you’re diversified, having bets on both horses in the race. And then I think from investing over the years, I’ve been doing this for a long enough period of time to know that there’s a tendency of bias not to do the new things. Like when I first started, we were at the end of the era where pension funds invested mostly in bonds. OK, then, then they thought it was bold to go to equities. Then they thought it was bold to go to international equities. And a lot of people argued against going to global equities. And so on. Emerging markets equities and emerging markets—all of that was considered to be bold. And so the thing that people haven’t yet done seems like the big risky thing where, in my opinion, going where the growth is and also having the diversification is a smart thing to do. So when you considered the merits of that, even if you agreed with what you’re saying, is now the time when the trade part of the conflict may be getting even more serious because we’re moving from tariffs into things like supply disruptions, and export interruptions, and prevention of particular exports. Is timing an issue or do you ignore that completely? Well, the markets as you know are always discounting timing, right? You have a new, good thing happens and the markets rally; you have a bad thing that happens and the markets sell off. And so the markets kind of reflect, broadly speaking the ebbs and flows of the good and the bad. And so if you wait for everything to be, you know, crystal clear, everything’s going to be terrific, you’ll pay a higher price than if you don’t. I think the real question is are we going to go to war. If we go to war, then we’re in a different world. I don’t think we’re going to go to classic war. I do think there’s going to be a restructuring of the world order in terms of changes in supply chains. There’ll be changes in who’s making what technologies; important changes and sort of those things. But I don’t think that that’s going to mean that there won’t be the evolution of China, the evolution of the United States, and I think that that diversification is good. So yes, I would say that now is the time. The reason now: now’s the time that it’s opening up. And you could be early or you could be late. I think that, you know, it’s better to be early, because as you know the inclusion in the MSCI indexes and other such things are meaning that they’re opening up and that will accelerate. Those percentages will keep rising. And so do you want to be early or do you want to be late? It’s better to be early than it is to be late, and I think also it’s a time for diversification. Ray, investing in China can be a risky thing to global investors. That’s the way they perceive it. How do you think about that relative to the other risks they’re already carrying in their portfolios? I think that every place is risky. So we’re talking about relative risk, OK? I think Europe is very risky, when monetary policy is almost out of gas, and we have the political fragmentation, and they’re not participating in the technology revolution. And I can go on and on as to why I think Europe is very risky. I think the United States is very risky in its own ways. Having to do with the combination of the wealth gap, the political system, the conflict between socialism and capitalism that will be part of our election, the fragmented decision making—so many different things, and the absence of the effectiveness of monetary policy when we get to be operating that. I think emerging markets in their own ways have their own distinct risks. And I think that China has its own particular distinct risks, which are all different. And I think, when I look at it, I think that it’s less or no more risky in the totality than other markets, and I think what is most risky is not to have a good diversification of markets. In addition, the Chinese have more ability to deal with monetary and fiscal policy relative to the United States. I’m not saying everything is a plus. There are pluses and minuses. But as you know, one of my big concerns— and I’ve got a number of big concerns about the West, the United States, and some of the issues that are facing the western economies— and among those are the inabilities of central banks to be as effective when interest rates get to zero and quantitative policies, quantitative monetary easing, is not as effective. So let me pause on that and touch on that. If you look at the difference in interest rates to zero and the capacity of fiscal policy to be coordinated, they have a lot more room to be managing those things, and they are managing. I mean if we, I dunno how long I’ve heard everybody say, OK the debt problem is going to be a problem there and so on. Again, I’d suggest you read the dynamics in my book about the nature of debt and what countries can do when the debt is in their own currency. I also think that not investing in China is very risky. I mean, think about it. Here we are in the early part of the 21st century, and there’s this emergence of China. Do you really want to make the decision not to invest in China and not to be there in the future? Look, I believe every place is risky. I am very risk focused. I tend to see things that are going to go wrong. I have an inclination to do that. So I think that every place is risky, which is why I like the notion of diversification. I just want people to see China objectively. I know over this past number of years, I have been pro-China, very bullish on China in its various ways. And people say, you know, why are you so bullish on China? And I know it’s very controversial to be, particularly at this time, to be very bullish on China. And I just want to let you know that I’m sincere, OK? I’ve been there, Because I hope you know that by now that my main objective is to be as accurate as I possibly can, Yeah, I really admire what is being done, and I wanna be a part of it, and I think our investors should be a part of it. I want to ask you about the best way to actually invest in China. What we see is that most of the portfolio flows go to either the private equity markets or the public equity markets, and that’s a little counter to your framework of how you invest across time and throughout the world. How would you think about best approaching the Chinese markets, as a new investor? Well, I wouldn’t think of it as being any different than being in any other place. The public markets and the liquid markets are going to allow all the advantages that they allow, and the private markets are going to allow all the advantages that they allow. The public markets are going to provide the liquidity, the diversity, the ability to move positions around and rebalance and so on, which is very important to us. And then the private markets, let’s say the venture markets, expose one to the new technologies and the energy that’s happening in terms of entrepreneurship and young technologies there. And I think that’s important. I think there’s an awful lot of money that is chasing those venture capital investments, and then I think there’s a whole lot of opportunity. I would say it’s a reflection really of how that country has changed, wow, from my $10 calculator days and to see what the mind-blowing technologies are. To put that in perspective, they’re now the #1 country in fintech, #3 in AI and machine learning, #2 in wearables, #2 in virtual reality, #2 in educational technology, #2 in autonomous driving, and they are running fast to be #1 in those industries. They now account for 34% of unicorns in the world, by comparison to 47% in the United States and only 19% in the rest of the world. And that’s when they start as unicorns. If they take the share of unicorn value, it’s 43% versus 45% in the United States and only 12% in the rest of the world. So if you’re looking at venture, I think you’ve got to be there. So I think it would be important not to miss out on those. As far as the public equity situation it’s analogous. You could see the market capitalizations accelerating in the stock, bond, corporate bond markets, all of their instruments, and you could see the foreign flows coming in at an accelerating pace. You can expect those markets to be bigger than the markets that we have in anywhere in the world, with time, and they will serve a similar purpose. So as far as let’s say the legal regulatory system, it’s advanced, but it hasn’t advanced as much as some of the developed countries. But it is more advanced and developing at a fast rate than most of the emerging countries. And if you deal with the question of whether it’s a more autocratic system and whether you prefer a more autocratic leadership system than a democratic leadership system, you’ll have to make that choice for yourself. don’t look at it as some unique place in terms of some of those impediments; look at the whole picture. I would say that the Chinese or Confucian way of approaching things has a lot to be said for it. So, you have to make your own choices. Let’s get back a little bit to some of the questions that investors have. For example, should they think of China as an emerging market investment? Should they think of it as a developed market investment? Something in between? In terms of the expected return-risk correlation of that investment— you talked a little bit before about diversification—but what about the expected return and risk of an investment in China and how would you structure that? When you ask me the question of is it more like an emerging country or more like a developed country, so many different aspects of what defines an emerging country or a developed country’s market vary, OK? So, they race down—what is the size of the market capitalization? What is the legal form? What are property rights? Just so many different dimensions. But I would make as a generalization that China is somewhere between 60 or 70% more like an emerging country in those respects than it is like a fully developed country. But it doesn’t have a regulatory system that is as developed as the developed countries that have been at it a while. It doesn’t have some things It has market capitalization, it has liquidity, and that’s a two-edged sword. It has also greater levels of inefficiency. So the greater levels of inefficiency provide investment opportunity. So, as a generalization, I would uh describe it that way. If I’m looking at it instead in the question of expected returns and risk, I think as you know, I look at each market and I look at the return relative to the risk, the expected return relative to the expected risk, and the past return relative to the expected risk, and what drives it. And by and large I find developed markets and emerging markets roughly comparable, and that being able to put together portfolios of those in an effective way is the way to engineer that portfolio. So when I look at China, I think that the expected return relative to the expected risk will be equal to, or perhaps higher, than elsewhere. Partially because of the fact that there’s the diversification that you could have and put together well, but also partially because of the greater capacity of the central banks, the central bank I should say, in being able to ease monetary policy and also run fiscal policy to be able to have higher ratio, and I think that that would be a plus. You’ve traced the arc over the last 35 or so years of China’s history and described the evolution. If you look now forward 5, 10, 15 years, what do you think the highest probability— what will we be looking at when we look at China’s evolution? We’ll be looking at a very different world, and we’ll be looking at a very different China, and we’ll be looking at a very different United States in 5, 10, 15 years. In some ways that we will never be able today to anticipate and in some ways that are inevitable, in kinda the same sort of ways that demographics is inevitable. The following charts probably help to answer your question. They show a number of statistics, including the sizes of the economies, the relative sizes of the economies, the relative shares of world trade, the shares of the global equity market capitalization, the shares of the global debt market capitalization, over the next number of years. These projections are based on our 10-year forecasts that look at a lot of indicators to determine what the next 10 years’ growth rate is going to be, likely to be. They’re based on the relationships between those types of growth rates and changes in market capitalizations, and also work that’s now being done to develop the market capitalizations and open those economies. They’re not going to be exactly accurate, but they’re gonna be probably pretty much accurate. You know, so in a nutshell, it’s going to have the largest economy in the world, the most trade in the world, the most market capitalization in the world. Mm-hmm. Those are big changes. Yeah. And the United States, and Europe, and Japan, and emerging countries are going to have big changes, too. You’re sketching out a continuation of some dramatic trends that have already taken place. Any threats that you see to that progress going forward? Well, I mean there are always threats. I think the threat is the threat of conflict with the United States in whatever form that will be. There are always threats, you know? And they have to do with probabilistic things. You can have threats that’ll affect our countries in terms of anything from climate change issues, pandemics, political disruptions. There’s that whole range that can affect any of those countries, right? Ray, we’ve covered a lot. We’ve talked about the evolution of China, the opening of the capital markets, how to think about it from an investment point of view. I thank you for your time and perspective, and I look forward to sitting down once again and updating this in the not-too-distant future. It’s my pleasure. It’ll always be interesting.

Why the market for skin whitening is growing

It’s a care package for my mom back home in Los Angeles. It’s always filled with everyday
items and a bunch of Filipino goodies. Instant noodles in here, sinigang soup packet, fruit from my mom’s backyard, toothpaste But then there’s this skin whitening products Skin whiteners are a big business. More than four hundred million dollars worth of skin whitening products is sold each
year in India alone Eight out of ten women in Nigeria use skin lightening products, the world’s highest percentage Skin lightening market in Asia-Pacific
alone is valued at over 13 billion US dollars In 2015, the skin whitening industry was worth about $10 billion worldwide And by 2024 it is expected to more than triple to $31.2 billion These products have been around for a long time and have proven to be damaging physically and emotionally So what accounts for the growing popularity? For starters skin whitening products
rely on advertisements like these “Wow, you have the most beautiful, glowing skin” “Now, I have visibly fairer skin” Skin color forms part of what gives us access and prestige in society All these negative
associations that society has already imposed on dark skin You can’t be happy.
You can’t find a man. You don’t fit into society beauty ideals So the advertising is only reinforcing and exacerbating a sustained message Thanks to globalization, it’s a message that’s reaching more people every year The worldwide cosmetics market was worth about $293.5 billion last year and it is expected to grow That growth is fueled by a rising middle class especially in the Asia-Pacific region which has the biggest share of the cosmetics market But these products and the messages of
these ads are destructive because they rely on a concept called “colorism” which sociologist Margaret Hunter defines as the process of discrimination that
privileges light-skinned people of color over their dark-skinned counterparts. One study showed that lighter skinned black women in North Carolina received shorter prison sentences than their darker peers Another study found that white
interviewers deemed light-skinned blacks and Hispanics more intelligent than
dark-skinned people who had identical educational achievements. They also reinforce centuries-old ideas about race and hygiene. Check out these old soap ads. This was part of a larger project of presenting white civilization, European civilization as superior and here, the association is that blackness is a form of uncleanliness that can be wiped away But it’s also, in many ways, simply a very blatantly racist ad. During the civil rights era, the Black Power movement sought to counter this idea with
messages like “Black is beautiful” but that message hasn’t undone the damage
wrought by centuries of colorism Cause this looks a lot like that one Cause the way brown looks These products are also dangerous because they can physically
damage the skin I’ve seen very intense cystic acne I’ve seen irreversible skin thinning From using high-strength hydroquinone I’ve seen ochronosis, which is a paradoxical darkening of the skin. Aside from creams and soaps, there’s a wide variety of ways people are lightening their skin like getting chemical peels using glutathione injections or pills or even applying cleaning bleach to their face and body Hydroquinone is a highly toxic chemical
used in photo processing, rubber manufacturing and hair dyes but it is also one of the most commonly used ingredients for skin whitening It’s regulated in the U.S. and banned in certain countries abroad but consumers get their hands on high concentrations of it through under-the-table sources In the U.S. light-skinned beauty standards still exists in more subtle messages like who is considered the most beautiful and some celebrities of color appearing to have lighter skin over time You are looking to be white. What do you
say to that? I would say that as an adult you decide to do things It’s like, do you guys condemn people who tan their skin? Do they do it because they hate themselves? No, it’s a choice as an adult While wanting lighter skin is
not a crime nor is it necessarily bad it’s important to be conscious of this
choice and why it’s different from skin tanning or putting on lipstick Because ultimately, from applying creams and getting regular treatments to avoiding skin tanning all together skin whitening is a way of life Attitudes are starting to change with inclusive makeup lines and emojis, media campaigns celebrating dark skin beauty and more celebrities talking about the issue “I still feel like that’s what we’re fighting, healing from the past” But many people are still unaware of their preferences for light skin because it’s so deeply ingrained in
society and despite the criticism and safety issues of these products the projected growth in sales means the world still has a long way to go until the practice of skin whitening becomes obsolete

Decoupling the U.S. Capital Market from China, Now or Never – Zooming In

the chief investment officer of the California Public Employees Retirement System CalPERS held a similar position in China while working for the state administration of foreign exchange tadhana none without jana Pullman Oz and I don’t go on the down to swap up Ecco from your honor CalPERS is funding Chinese military contractors and human rights abusers how big is China’s footprint in the u.s. capital markets the number of companies that are in our capital markets today that are Chinese we find that some six hundred and over 650 such enterprises are there you’re telling me they don’t know about the weavers they do not know about the enslavement of the Chinese people sure they know and they don’t care besides national security concerns and human rights abuses the real danger associated with investment in China is fraud bang tonight our CEO Liang Zhou how about yo-yo tonicity granny under a highly thought of ownership outdated Sylvia welcome to zooming in I’m Simone Gao if you ask any American whether hundreds of billions of US tax dollars including federal employee pension funds should go into Chinese companies that post national security threat to the US are human rights abusers and engage in fraudulent practices they would say no of course not but that’s exactly what’s been going on for years and the appalling fact is that that practice is very hard to stop because Wall Street is making tons of money from it everyone else is doing it there seems to be no other viable alternatives and it might be too late to decouple now but is it really so what’s the true face of these investments can they bring financial securities to Americans or will they make the country more vulnerable is now the last chance to change it or explore these questions in this episode of zooming in in a person’s life if there’s an opportunity to work for the motherland this responsibility and honor is unmatched by anything his name is ben hmong he’s the chief investment officer of the California Public Employees Retirement System CalPERS CalPERS is one of the country’s largest pension funds that manages more than 350 billion for public employees either retired from or currently working for most of the state and local public agencies in California when the people’s daily quoted mr. monks pledged allegiance to his motherland he was referring to the People’s Republic of China Hmong was born and raised in China and came to the u.s. to study at the University of California Davis in 1995 prior to his position at CalPERS Hmong served as the deputy CIO at the state administration of foreign exchange of China safe for three years safe is a Chinese administrative agency under the State Council tasked with drafting rules and regulations governing foreign exchange market activities and managing the state’s foreign exchange reserves these reserves held by the People’s Bank of China stood at three point zero one trillion dollars at the end of December 2016 tightly controlled by the regime China’s foreign reserve system is one of the key institutions for the world’s second largest economy in order to work in such an organization he had to be eligible ideologically and professionally the former means being loyal to the CCP while the latter means meeting professional standards for the CCP ideological requirements are more important since many core secrets are involved in working in such organizations mr. monk does have a prestigious background before he first joined CalPERS in 2008 he worked at Barclays as a senior portfolio manager at Lehman Brothers Holdings as a risk officer and he was also a fixed income trader at Morgan Stanley mungs experience in the United States qualified him to be a candidate for the Chinese government’s prestigious headhunting program thousand talents plan TTP the TTP recruits and hires professionals who hold high-level positions mainly in the United States but also throughout the Western world individuals recruited by the TTP according to an FBI report have been experts or scholars and prestigious universities or research institutes senior managerial professionals and internationally known financial institutions or entrepreneurs holding IP rights once recruited by the TTP they’re required to work at least six months per year in China the TTP according to the same FBI report is a program that allows China to gain access to and benefit from advanced technology from the United States and to severely impact the US economy Hmong was officially hired by safe through the thousand talents plan in November 2015 experts recruited by the thousand talents plan are required to work in China for a certain period the CCP authorities try every means to butter them up for example by helping them start their own business in China or by granting them corporate shares the CCP also encourages them to steal intellectual property from foreign companies or research institutions in fact constitutes a criminal act for example Tesla reportedly sued its ex staff for taking more than 100 thousand documents and forwarding them to which Chinese competitor ex pawn Motors such cases are abundant in China out of consideration for their business and market in China a host of affected companies are reluctant to make their stories public there are other cases of plagiarism not yet exposed Hmong worked at safe for three years before he returned to California according to a Bloomberg report monk said it was a relatively easy decision for him to move back to the US since he felt like a visitor when he worked in China based on the TTP requirement Hmong would no longer be officially associated with TTP once he moved back to the US copper’s declined our request for interview ban Hmong and the company sport although it’s unlikely that Hmong is still officially involved with the TTP his China experience gave him leverage at his current post as the chief investment officer of CalPERS China after all is the hot spot to invest in nowadays how did it happen and what does it mean stay tuned for part 2 of this report the days that investors can earn 7% in US bonds are long gone in a decade-long low-rate environment from university endowments to government pension funds institutional investors have been challenged to achieve decent returns through a large allocation to the u.s. bond markets this investment community sought after similar approaches to deal with the changing landscape it unanimously increased riskier asset class investments such as emerging markets and private equity this demand increase for riskier assets induced many beneficiaries China in particular attracts attention the sheer size of its economy the rosy prospect for its future growth especially against the memory of the 2008 financial crisis when China shined as the only bright spot in the world economic landscape all make China a perfect candidate for an investment community desperately seeking the next chapter for growth but this China fever does come with a price based on its 2017 and 2018 annual investment report CalPERS invested in more than 100 Chinese companies among them are companies related to China’s military cyber warfare human rights abuses and defense industries some of them have been cited for unethical business practices outside China China communication construction company one of the largest contractors of China’s one belt one Road initiative military island builder in the South China Sea offender of corruption labor abuse and fraudulent bidding practices China aerospace International Holding Ltd China’s largest space contractor China Unicom the reason North Korea’s internet exists aviation industry Corporation of China aircraft and drone builder for the People’s Liberation Army frequently sanctioned by the US government hikvision and da hua the world’s largest video surveillance system provider whose technology is widely used in surveilling Chinese citizens both are on the entity list of the US Department of Commerce Cobbers governance guidance does commend the company to operate in support of the universal human rights it also requires the company to do businesses with parties that enjoy political freedom and freedom speech which a number of the Chinese companies CalPERS invested in clearly violate zooming and asked CalPERS if these investments jeopardize the company’s fiduciary responsibilities to their clients CalPERS Dena gave us an answer Cobbins china investment is not an exception among institutional investors but rather a common practice in fact billions of dollars from US pension funds in college endowments have channeled into chinese technology companies in search of investment returns after the Chinese communist regimes bloody crackdown of the 1989 Tiananmen protein government put various sanctions on China those sanctions were quickly relaxed as the Bush Clinton and Obama administrations pursued a policy of engagement with China American technology and capital flow to China facilitated China’s technological rise particularly in the past five years China has made great advancements in artificial intelligence big data drone technology etc US pension funds and endowments have been a big financial proponent of that development according to a Bloomberg report the Delaware Public Employees Retirement System and the state of Michigan Retirement System have been funding Shenzhen DJI technology corporation the world’s leading drone maker whose products are banned by the US Army since time based in China is considered the world’s most valuable AI startup it has raised money from venture firms including those backed by CalPERS the Washington State Investment Board and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas byte Dance Ltd a leading developer of AI apps headquartered in Beijing has benefited from the backing of funds raised from the New York State Teachers Retirement System the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and the Minnesota State Board of investment these investments paid off the Washington State Investment Board posted an internal rate of return of twenty four percent from its investment in the Warburg Pincus China fund between early 2017 and 2018 by comparison the funds private equity portfolio returned fifteen point three percent in 2018 in fact more than ninety thousand of US foundations and endowment have some exposure to China that range from millions to billions of dollars in 2018 alone with the prospect of high investment returns China looms especially large for institutional investors in the emerging markets it represents an uncomfortably outside stake in the US pension funds and endowments an overpowering influence stay tuned for part three of this report you an MS CI decision only further excited this dynamic on June 20th 2017 the Morgan Stanley Capital International Index MSCI announced that it will include China a shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index starting in June 2018 next it will be including those shares in its all country world index and China index the company also announced that it will increase the weight of China a shares in the MSCI indexes by increasing the inclusion factor from its initial level of 5% to 20% in three steps this is the fourth time China’s a shares have applied for membership after the first three were rejected 234 shares were included in the MSCI index system a shares are stocks of Chinese companies incorporated on the mainland quoted in renminbi and listed in Shanghai in Shenzhen when you look at the indexes like the MSCI Emerging market index its tracked by two trillion dollars of funds under management it’s mimicked by 14 trillion more every time they add a Chinese company and they’re doubling the number in the next 12 months as much as 14 16 trillion dollars automatically buy those stocks that was Roger Robinson at the newly formed committee on the present danger China he was senior director of international economic affairs at the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and later served as chairman of the Congressional us-china economic and security review Commission he pointed out that it was difficult for funds to change course on their China investments and the biggest boost from the American federal pension funds to Chinese tech firms is yet to come the federal retirement thrift Investment Board FR TI b manages nearly 600 billion in u.s. federal employees retirement funds making it one of the world’s largest of its kind its Thrift Savings Plan ESP is the federal government equivalent of a 401k any federal employee who has a retirement fund through his or her job is a member of the TSP one of the most important investment components of the TSP is an international fund known as the I fund in 2017 the frt I be board voted to shift the fund index from the MSCI ei Fe Europe Australasia Far East index to the MSCI all country world II X us investable market index which is poised to include China a shares the index also includes Russian companies set to take effect next year the transition will force the frt IB to invest about 3.3 billion of federal employee savings in state-owned and state directed firms in China now the the alarming part of this is that that the pace the sheer pace of the of the money we’re talking about now we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars moving rapidly toward 1 trillion dollars so we’re not talking about a few tens of billions here we’re talking about hundreds of billions now it raises a question given the fact that the United States has never put up any kind of security minded screening mechanism over our cap markets like we have with Sophia’s & firma in the trade portfolio where at least we’re making an effort to vet Chinese investment in the United States to find out who these people are what are their true intentions do we have a national security threat there that’s worthy nothing like that’s happening visa vie the cap markets never has and and that’s the root of the problem under the current system federal employees have little control over where their pension money is invested federal retirees dollars flow freely to companies such as hikvision which is under US Commerce Department sanctions because of its human rights abuses Jim banks a US congressman from Indiana introduces HR 2903 the blocking investment in our adversaries act with the intention of reversing the controversial decision by the federal retirement thrift Investment Board in 2017 it seems ironic that federal employees funds would be used to support our adversaries congressman banks bill is still under review and the House Committee on Oversight and reform in july 2019 senators Marco Rubio and jeanne Shaheen wrote to the board of frt IB to urge it to reverse its decision to adopt the all country index the result Senator Rubio’s office told zooming in that they did not receive a response to their questions they did receive a reply from the chairman of frt IB saying they would consider his suggestion on October 24th 2019 right before the frt IB Board met again Rubio sent a second letter urging the board to reverse its decision to track the MSCI all country index the frt IB board met on October 29th when zooming in called frt IB on the day of the meeting the company representatives said they could not comment on the board meeting but the company is scheduled to switch to the MSCI all country index sometime in 2020 there are three major concerns regarding investments in Chinese companies national security concerns human rights concerns and concerns about non transparency and fraud while the first two categories under my America’s national interest in American values the third category poses a direct threat to American taxpayers financial security and the longer we wait the less likely any substantial changes could be made how is this sell stay tuned for the next episode in this special series thanks for watching see you next time you [Music]