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China Resources Power Holdings
14 апреля 2016, 18:07

Норвежский фонд меняет стратегию инвестиций

Норвежский нефтяной фонд, активы которого составляют около $860 млрд, больше не будет инвестировать в 52 энергетические компании, доходы которых в значительной степени зависят от добычи угля, включая британскую Drax, AES, Dynegy и FirstEnergy в США и т.д.

14 апреля 2016, 18:07

Норвежский фонд меняет стратегию инвестиций

Норвежский нефтяной фонд, активы которого составляют около $860 млрд, больше не будет инвестировать в 52 энергетические компании, доходы которых в значительной степени зависят от добычи угля, включая британскую Drax, AES, Dynegy и FirstEnergy в США и т.д.

14 апреля 2016, 18:07

Норвежский фонд меняет стратегию инвестиций

Норвежский нефтяной фонд, активы которого составляют около $860 млрд, больше не будет инвестировать в 52 энергетические компании, доходы которых в значительной степени зависят от добычи угля, включая британскую Drax, AES, Dynegy и FirstEnergy в США и т. д.

07 октября 2015, 15:37

China Resources Power Stock: 3 Reasons Why CRPJY Is a Top Choice for Value Investors

China Resources Power (CRPJY) is an impressive stock as it has a strong Value Score, favorable Zacks Rank and is also seeing positive estimate revisions.

06 октября 2015, 15:44

Investors' Radars Failed to Catch China Resources Power (CRPJY), Has Yours?

One company that looks well positioned for a solid gain, but has been overlooked by investors lately, is China Resources Power (CRPJY)

28 сентября 2015, 15:34

Why China Resources Power (CRPJY) Could Shock the Market Soon

China Resources Power (CRPJY) sees solid earnings estimate revisions and looks poised to shock the market, and yet seems overlooked by the investors.

05 сентября 2013, 21:31

Study: “Beginning of the Longest Period of Economic Decline in American History”

Mac SlavoActivist Post Economists will often argue that booms and busts are cyclical. Every depression or recession we’ve ever experienced in America has, usually within just a few years, been followed by booming periods of growth. But, as the best and brightest of the financial world like to say, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. According to a demographic study from economists at Cornell University and the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the recovery that many Americans believe is taking hold right now may not actually be happening. In fact, it could take another 30 years or more…Keep in mind that the study takes into account only the demographic factors over the next several decades and does not include additional government taxation, currency devaluation, and overall global economic supply & demand factors.The next few decades could be uncharacteristically bleak, according to a new study. […] Demographic factors — which have largely aided the U.S. economy in the past — could end up pushing incomes down for the next 30 years or more.If other factors don’t force incomes up, we may be at the beginning of the longest period of economic decline in American history. […] These trends alone could reduce the median income by 0.43 percentage points per year between now and 2020, 0.52 points per year between 2020 and 2030, and 0.2 points per year between 2030 and 2040. Those numbers might sound small, but over time they would add up to a significant loss of purchasing power for the typical American and a long era of decline for the nation as a whole.  google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; A typical worker earning $50,000 today would earn only about $48,400 by 2020 if his or her income fell by the amounts projected in the study. The worker’s income would fall to about $45,900 in 2030, $45,000 in 2040 and to less than $44,000 in 2050. In a society built upon consumer power and the idea that succeeding generations leap ahead of preceding ones—rather than fall behind them—four decades of falling incomes could be catastrophic. The study only makes income projections relating to demographic changes. Other changes could either offset those income declines, or exacerbate them. Future tax hikes or cutbacks in Social Security—some combination of which seems likely, to deal with mounting government debt—would reduce income even more, for instance.It’s no secret that the middle class is dying a slow and horrible death, which will ultimately lead to impoverishment of the majority of our population. As of right now 100 million Americans are already living at or near poverty – and this is supposed to be an economic recovery! The study notes that if you’re making $50,000 today, you’d be making $45,000 by 2040. And again, this analysis is based strictly on demographic changes. Now take into account the continued and inevitable destruction of the US dollar. Over the last hundred years, since the establishment of the Federal Reserve, the US dollar has lost over 95% of its value. In another 30 years we can expect a further devaluation, if not an all out collapse. That reduces your purchasing power another 30% or so. In the future, you’ll be paying $10 for a gallon of gas or milk, but making less money.And that purchasing power decrease doesn’t even take into account the increased demand on global resources for economies like China, India, Russia, and Brazil, which are adding more strain on supplies of oil and food commodities. Supply and demand alone will drive prices higher. Finally, as the government (local, state, and federal) goes deeper into the hole, we can fully expect a number of austerity measures that will include increased taxation on individuals (think Obamacare, which has been officially labeled a tax by the U.S. Supreme Court), cuts in benefits like social security & disability, and increased regulatory fees and burdensome mandates on businesses. Everything that is being done right now is working against us, on almost every level. While there may be positive swings in economic growth, wages or real estate prices throughout the next thirty years, the reality is that Americans will continue to get poorer, until there is no middle class left. We often look to the Third World for an idea of what real poverty looks like, but we don’t have to do that anymore. This trend is now taking shape in the United States, and we’ll soon see slums like those in Detroit (pictured below) springing up all over the country to house the tens of millions of people who will be affected by this collapse over coming years. This is our future. If we can weather the storm without riots, rebellion and bloodshed it’ll be a miracle.Read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.com where this first appeared.  (function() { var params = { id: "e8082ee8-e8e6-4408-9184-6819da67690b", d: "YWN0aXZpc3Rwb3N0LmNvbQ==", wid: "9380", lazyLoad: "0", cb: (new Date()).getTime() }; var qs=""; for(var key in params){qs+=key+"="+params[key]+"&"} qs=qs.substring(0,qs.length-1); var s = document.createElement("script"); s.type= 'text/javascript'; s.src = "http://api.content.ad/Scripts/widget.aspx?" + qs; s.async = true; document.getElementById("contentad9380").appendChild(s); })(); Enter Your Email To Receive Our Daily Newsletter Close var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: FFEEEE none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font- weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz- initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: FF0000;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json? u=3ac8bebe085f73ea3503bbda3&id=b0c7fb76bd&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields [1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_; html = '

Выбор редакции
19 августа 2013, 13:42

Гонконг: полугодовая прибыль China Resources Power Holdings выросла на 78%

Гонконгская энергетическая компания China Resources Power Holdings сообщила о росте полугодовой прибыли на 78% благодаря снижению цен на топливо. Так, чистая прибыль в первом полугодии составила HK$5,33 млрд ($687 млн) или HK$1,12 на акцию по сравнению с HK$3 млрд или HK$0,63 на бумагу годом ранее. Выручка за рассматриваемый период увеличилась на 4,5% с HK$30,9 млрд годом ранее до HK$32,3 млрд.

Выбор редакции
22 июля 2013, 21:16

CR Power shareholders scupper merger

CHINA Resources Power Holdings Co, the power generator at the center of a corruption scandal, has scrapped plans to merge with a sister company following shareholder opposition.

Выбор редакции
18 июля 2013, 15:05

China Resources Power shares tumble on graft accusations

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shares in China Resources Power Holdings Co Ltd tumbled 10 percent on Wednesday in what brokers said was a response to comments in Chinese media alleging corruption in the...

Выбор редакции
17 мая 2013, 15:20

Сделка недели M&A: Китайская энергетическая госкомпания объединила подконтрольные ей структуры в сделке размером $22 млрд

Энергетическая компания China Resources Power Holdings договорилась о приобретении газовой China Resources Gas Group, чтобы сформировать интегрированную энергетическую группу с присутствием в более чем 20 провинциях, автономных районах и городах Китая

08 марта 2013, 10:00

Australian uranium discovery threatens ancient indigenous cave art

A significant deposit has been found in a remote Australian mountain range near some of the oldest rock art on the planet• Aboriginal rock art at risk from mining – interactive mapOne of the world's biggest uranium producers has found a significant deposit in a remote tropical Australian mountain range near sandstone galleries holding some of the oldest and most spectacular rock art on the planet.After years of drilling, Canadian-based mining company Cameco has reported the find in the Wellington Range, where the thousands of Aboriginal artworks adorning cliffs and caves include a painting of the extinct dog-like creature, the thylacine, made in a style that is at least 15,000 years old."The importance of this art site is that it's like a library," Ronald Lamilami, a traditional Aboriginal landowner in western Arnhem Land and a custodian for the art, told The Global Mail, which on Friday published a detailed feature and map of the rock-art sites at risk nationwide. Lamilami said he fears if mining goes ahead, the works of his ancestors will be damaged.The archaeologist Prof Paul Taçon, who has worked with Lamilami to document and date the artwork, said that dust and visitors from mining exploration could potentially damage works at the Northern Territory's Djulirri, Malarrak and Bald Rock galleries.Uranium runs right through the Wellington Range area, and Cameco has explored close to Djulirri, although the big deposit found recently is nearer to Australia's northern coast, Taçon said.Where once there was trenchant opposition to expanding uranium mining in Australia – which has the largest known reserves in the world – the present Labor government has softened its stance, as the resources boom feeding China's voracious appetite for energy powers the Australian economy.When the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, worked through a uranium deal with India late last year, Toronto-based Cameco noted her nation could benefit from a nuclear boom in India and in China.The company has reportedly been trying to strike a deposit in Australia as rich as that of the Athabasca Basin in its home country, which supplies about one-fifth of the world's uranium.Djulirri, a magnificent complex where artwork ripples across cliffs, into caves and beneath overhangs, contains more than 3,000 images, including the oldest known "contact" art, a faded yellow ochre depiction of a south-east Asian boat at least 350 years old.The rainbow serpent, fish, kangaroos and other creatures are painted in traditional "X-ray" style and the world's only known indigenous rock-art stencils depicting whole birds are silhouetted on a cave wall, while the gallery also features European missionaries, a biplane and a buggy.At nearby Malarrak and Bald Rock galleries, there are more recent images of rifles, a coffee mug, an ocean cruiser and three stencils of a tobacco tin."There are rock art sites throughout the Wellington Range, but most of it still has not been adequately surveyed," said Taçon, who worries that the explorers surging across Australia as its resources boom continues will damage works never properly recorded.There are estimated to be about 100,000 rock-art sites in Australia, with more than one million images, but there is not even a national list, let alone adequate heritage protection, according to Taçon.Lamilami said his people are not anti-development, but the resources boom has made it apparent that mining will impact both the people and the country in Arnhem Land."It's spreading like a wart," he said.Australia's environment minister, Tony Burke's office said Cameco had not yet submitted a proposal for any uranium project in the Wellington Range, but such a plan would need clearance if it was likely to have significant environmental impact.Cameco Australia's managing director, Brian Reilly, said that the company would work with all stakeholders to protect the area's environment, culture and heritage.Traditional owners – the Aboriginal people who own land belonging to their ancestors – review any exploration work by the company, which conducts heritage surveys to ensure these areas are protected, he said.Meanwhile, an exploration company owned by the world's second richest woman, Gina Rinehart, has just announced that it will withdraw two applications to explore for minerals, after Aboriginal complaints that mining could damage another world-class rock art precinct in northern Queensland.However, research by James Cook University adjunct research fellow in archaeology Noelene Cole has discovered this region, known as "Quinkan" country, is crisscrossed by similar applications. These have not been lifted.• Read more about the threats to Aboriginal rock art on The Global Mail.MiningEnergyIndigenous peoplesAustraliaAsia PacificArtArchaeologyguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

06 марта 2013, 22:11

Institutions matter, a lot

"WHY Nations Fail", the ambitious work by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson attempting to explain historical differences in economic development levels, is a flawed book. (You can read our review here.) Its biggest short-coming, in my view, is its attempt to squeeze every experience into its framework rather than positing it as a sort of line of best fit through the available data points. But I do think that its key idea—that social and political institutions are very persistent and critically important to the maintenance of sustained growth—is powerful, important, and generally right. And I find Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson much more persuasive than Bill Gates, who recently wrote a critical review of the book.I take issue with a few of Mr Gates' criticisms. They're mutually inconsistent, for one thing. Mr Gates dismisses the authors' story about Roman institutions based on the fact that the Roman economy was built on small-scale agriculture, but he almost immediately turns to drawing great conclusions from the experience of the Chinese economy from 800 to 1400, which was also overwhelmingly oriented around small-scale agriculture (and in which growth in real per capita output was imperceptibly small). Mr Gates holds up the Asian tigers as evidence that growth can occur without "inclusive institutions". And he reckons they may show that growth is a better candidate for causal factor for inclusive institutions than result of inclusive institutions. But this (well trod ground) has two big problems. The first is sample size; we're aiming to identify causal relationships across the whole of the world economy, so cherry picking a few examples that fit a theory while ignoring the (many) others that don't is hardly helpful. And the second is that the Asian tigers are not necessarily a counter-example to the institutional view. My reading of Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson is not that societies can never amass wealth in the absence of inclusive institutions but that the ones that are able to hold on to their wealth and keep adding to it generally tend to be the ones with inclusive, as opposed to extractive, institutions. And so I find Mr Gates' alternative theory unimpressive:This points to the most obvious theory about growth, which is that it is strongly correlated with embracing capitalistic economics—independent of the political system. When a country focuses on getting infrastructure built and education improved, and it uses market pricing to determine how resources should be allocated, then it moves towards growth. This test has a lot more clarity than the one proposed by the authors, and seems to me fits the facts of what has happened over time far better.Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson wouldn't disagree with that at all, I suspect. Rather, they would say that Mr Gates is skipping the hardest questions: why some countries go down the infrastructure, education, and market-pricing path while others don't, and why some countries once rich, are able to keep an elite from killing the golden goose by extracting all the gains while others are not. Mr Gates' book on the same subject would presumably be called "Nations Fail", which is true but uninteresting.All of which brings us to the big question: what about China? Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson are sceptical of the Chinese economy while others, including Mr Gates, are confident that prosperity will continue and that gradual political change will lead to the development of inclusive institutions. We will see. China's fate, as a single but massive data point, will inevitably shift the debate. I certainly hope that Mr Gates is the more correct. But it is far too early to declare China a counterexample to the Acemoglu-Robinson argument. Though there are pockets of advanced-economy wealth in China it remains a poor country. And while Mr Gates is correct to note that rapid Chinese growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, one could also argue that the restrictive policies of the authoritarian Chinese Communist Party have greatly limited the ability of hundreds of millions of others to share in the benefits.Generally speaking, I'm surprised Mr Gates isn't more receptive to the book's arguments. Surely if growth were simply a matter of knowing what to do there would be far less need for his charitable activities. The maddening question is why so many places are able to observe the policies of successful places but unable to emulate them. Messrs Acemoglu and Robinson might not be entirely right about why nations succeed or fail. But at least they're engaged with the right problem.

21 февраля 2013, 04:02

The Kitchen Sink is Here

Anthony Freda ArtDan and Sheila GendronActivist Post With all that is going on now, it brings to mind something I was told by a friend 15 years ago: when you see a kitchen sink fly by your face you'll know that the end is near. What brings it to mind is that I could swear I just noticed a kitchen sink fly past my face. This friend is the same person who introduced me to William Cooper so many years ago. What he said in full was “When they are ready to collapse the economy and bring us to the predicted WW3 (See Pike, Manzinni) they will come at us on all fronts:  Economic, Political, Societal, Religion, Gun Control, and TPTB's favorite, War! The reason for the all-fronts in this war against us is that we are in the process of being liquidated, and just like the pick-pocket uses distraction to lift your wallet, TPTB are now in the process of using distraction to pick our pockets one last time. While some of us may notice TPTB picking our pockets, that too is only a distraction. The real end game is the upcoming WAR!While most people are busy noticing their paychecks are much smaller due to increased payroll taxes (Obamacare) and reduced hours that so many people are having to live with, the war drums are beating louder and louder. China and Japan are mobilizing for war over some worthless islands and Korea has become an ICBM nuclear power and now has the capability of sending a Hiroshima-type bomb to the center of the USA to create an EMP blast that will knock out the electrical grid for most of the USA. We are busy complaining about increased payroll taxes and lack of jobs, while on the western front Israel and the USA are pounding the war drums over Syria and Iran and doing everything they can -- up and and not limited to -- calling the Syrians and Iranians little sissies to prompt the war! google_ad_client = "pub-1897954795849722"; /* 468x60, created 6/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "8230781418"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; The truth is TPTB need a good war to clear the books and hide their crimes. Hegel and Machiavelli to name a couple, have advised to make sure to leave the thieves in charge when you exit the office, and TPTB all seem to have taken that advice very seriously. Brings to mind a joke a recently heard....A dying priest living in Wash DC (the District of Criminals) has one last dying request: to meet with Obama and Harry Reid before he died. Both granted the old priest's request and met with him. Upon meeting the old priest Obama asked why his last request was to meet with them. The priest's answer was, “I wanted to be like Jesus. He died between two liars and thieves.”The point is that all the above-mentioned details are only distractions to the main event, and that main event is WAR! It will matter very little if you have a good-paying job once you hear the air raid sirens blaring – if you are lucky enough to get that much warning. I know that some may say that this is an extreme view, but “they” (you know, “they” – like the “they” Edmond O'Brien speaks of in the Sam Peckinpah movie, The Wild Bunch, who substituted iron washers for gold coins). Are always known only after the fact. We are seeing unfold the same type of circumstances that brought about the Second World War and then, like now, people were distracted – because it was planned that way. To quote FDR “nothing happens in Washington, DC unless it was planned that way”. The thing to notice is the level of distraction TPTB are using today to hide their real plans. So getting back to the topic at hand, in our opinion the time is now to get ready. The time for waiting is over and you must begin now to prepare for the inevitable and that inevitability is WAR! This war is not going to be over land or resources; it will be a population reduction war, plain and simple. The question you must ask yourself is, do you want to be one of the many who will be eliminated? If you did not notice the kitchen sink fly past your head, there is a name for that condition. It's called Cognitive Dissonance. Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance). In simple terms, it is insisting that facts are not facts because we don't want them to be. This is your wake-up call! TPTB are very predictable, if you take the time to notice their “modus operandi”. There is a Season of Sacrificial Rites during which they tend to begin wars. This is between March 19th and 22nd, the Spring Equinox (Mark Passio, WhatOnEarthIsHappening.com Podcast #36). Look at the dates we invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and Lybia. Coincidence? What to do? Here is a “To Do List” for your consideration:First and foremost GET FOOD NOW! You can do little to save your self when you are dying of hunger. I know that most say “ I'm going to get around to that some day soon,” but the time is now and if not now the chances are good it will be never. It makes no difference to me if the food you decide to store is some of the food many companies are hawking on the Net or just a load of beans and rice. The time to do this is NOW!  Have a source of water. It can be filters that can make non-potable water drinkable, or cases of bottled water. Every person in your group will need at least one gallon of potable water per day or death will come in a matter of days.  Have a safe place to be. If you live in a highly populated area, GET OUT NOW! Having storage food and guns and ammo will do you little good if the bombs fall on your head. The key here is knowing what a safe place is. The greatest threat will be crowds of people who are not prepared. If you live in a densely populated area the threat will be greatest. So if you live in a densely populated area think of places you can go SOON that have the least threat.  Guns and Ammo. I know that the cost of semi auto rifles has gone through the roof, but for those of you who have up to now put off purchasing a gun and ammo will have to pay some pretty high prices for what up till recently was affordable (I have heard that M4s and Mini 14 have gone through the roof. Some reports have it that even M1 carbines are going for $2500) So for those who have waited till the last minute, I have some suggestions. The Ruger 10-22 22 caliber semi auto (an old favorite) and a Mossberg pump shotgun may be the way to go if you can find one to buy. The reason to have guns is not so that you can join in the “fun” of starting a revolution. It is for defense and for hunting.  I have heard all the excuses...My wife/husband/children, etc. will think I'm crazy.  My job is here and I need my job. I'm not sure the time is now.... I must have more time!  I don't have enough money!  ETC., ETC., ETC  All these excuses will do you no good once war breaks out. I recently heard an ad for storage food and the catchy tag line was “better one year too early then one day too late”. Truer words were never spoken. But again, the time to finish your preps is NOW – not sometime in the future. I know that some may say that I'm being alarmist, but you should know that “THEY” always have said people were alarmist in the past when good advice was given. At least you won't be able to say that someone did not tell you.From the authors of Surviving Survivalism – How to Avoid Survivalism Culture Shock available at survivingsurvivalism.com var linkwithin_site_id = 557381; linkwithin_text='Related Articles:' Enter Your Email To Receive Our Daily Newsletter Close var fnames = new Array();var ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';fnames[1]='FNAME';ftypes[1]='text';fnames[2]='LNAME';ftypes[2]='text';var err_style = ''; try{ err_style = mc_custom_error_style; } catch(e){ err_style = 'margin: 1em 0 0 0; padding: 1em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em; background: FFEEEE none repeat scroll 0% 0%; font- weight: bold; float: left; z-index: 1; width: 80%; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz- initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; color: FF0000;'; } var mce_jQuery = jQuery.noConflict(); mce_jQuery(document).ready( function($) { var options = { errorClass: 'mce_inline_error', errorElement: 'div', errorStyle: err_style, onkeyup: function(){}, onfocusout:function(){}, onblur:function(){} }; var mce_validator = mce_jQuery("#mc-embedded-subscribe-form").validate(options); options = { url: 'http://activistpost.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe/post-json? u=3ac8bebe085f73ea3503bbda3&id=b0c7fb76bd&c=?', type: 'GET', dataType: 'json', contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8", beforeSubmit: function(){ mce_jQuery('#mce_tmp_error_msg').remove(); mce_jQuery('.datefield','#mc_embed_signup').each( function(){ var txt = 'filled'; var fields = new Array(); var i = 0; mce_jQuery(':text', this).each( function(){ fields[i] = this; i++; }); mce_jQuery(':hidden', this).each( function(){ if ( fields[0].value=='MM' && fields[1].value=='DD' && fields[2].value=='YYYY' ){ this.value = ''; } else if ( fields[0].value=='' && fields [1].value=='' && fields[2].value=='' ){ this.value = ''; } else { this.value = fields[0].value+'/'+fields[1].value+'/'+fields[2].value; } }); }); return mce_validator.form(); }, success: mce_success_cb }; mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').ajaxForm(options); }); function mce_success_cb(resp){ mce_jQuery('#mce-success-response').hide(); mce_jQuery('#mce-error-response').hide(); if (resp.result=="success"){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(resp.msg); mce_jQuery('#mc-embedded-subscribe-form').each(function(){ this.reset(); }); } else { var index = -1; var msg; try { var parts = resp.msg.split(' - ',2); if (parts[1]==undefined){ msg = resp.msg; } else { i = parseInt(parts[0]); if (i.toString() == parts[0]){ index = parts[0]; msg = parts[1]; } else { index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } } } catch(e){ index = -1; msg = resp.msg; } try{ if (index== -1){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } else { err_id = 'mce_tmp_error_msg'; html = ' '+msg+''; var input_id = '#mc_embed_signup'; var f = mce_jQuery(input_id); if (ftypes[index]=='address'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-addr1'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else if (ftypes[index]=='date'){ input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]+'-month'; f = mce_jQuery(input_id).parent().parent().get(0); } else { input_id = '#mce-'+fnames[index]; f = mce_jQuery().parent(input_id).get(0); } if (f){ mce_jQuery(f).append(html); mce_jQuery(input_id).focus(); } else { mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } catch(e){ mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').show(); mce_jQuery('#mce-'+resp.result+'-response').html(msg); } } } BE THE CHANGE! 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05 февраля 2013, 09:00

Government connections and financial constraints : evidence from a large representative sample of Chinese firms

This paper examines the role of firms' government connections, defined by government intervention in the appointments of Chief Executive Officers and the status of state ownership, in determining the severity of financial constraints faced by Chinese firms. In line with the previous literature, the paper demonstrates that investment by non-state firms is highly sensitive to internal cash flows, while no such sensitivity is found for government-owned enterprises. Even within the subset of non-state firms, government connections are associated with substantially less severe financial constraints (less reliance on internal cash flows to fund investment). The paper also finds that large non-state firms with weak government connections are especially financially constrained, due perhaps to the formidable hold that their state rivals have on financial resources after the "grabbing-the-big-and-letting-go-the-small" privatization program in China. Firms with government-appointed Chief Executive Officers also have significantly lower investment intensities, due perhaps to their lower-powered incentives. The empirical results suggest that government connections play an important role in explaining Chinese firms' investment behavior and financing conditions, and provide further evidence on the nature of the misallocation of credit by China's dominant state-owned banks.

05 февраля 2013, 09:00

Government connections and financial constraints : evidence from a large representative sample of Chinese firms

This paper examines the role of firms' government connections, defined by government intervention in the appointments of Chief Executive Officers and the status of state ownership, in determining the severity of financial constraints faced by Chinese firms. In line with the previous literature, the paper demonstrates that investment by non-state firms is highly sensitive to internal cash flows, while no such sensitivity is found for government-owned enterprises. Even within the subset of non-state firms, government connections are associated with substantially less severe financial constraints (less reliance on internal cash flows to fund investment). The paper also finds that large non-state firms with weak government connections are especially financially constrained, due perhaps to the formidable hold that their state rivals have on financial resources after the "grabbing-the-big-and-letting-go-the-small" privatization program in China. Firms with government-appointed Chief Executive Officers also have significantly lower investment intensities, due perhaps to their lower-powered incentives. The empirical results suggest that government connections play an important role in explaining Chinese firms' investment behavior and financing conditions, and provide further evidence on the nature of the misallocation of credit by China's dominant state-owned banks.

16 ноября 2012, 03:33

On-the-Record Conference Call on the President's Upcoming Trip to Asia

Via Telephone 3:06 P.M. EST MR. RHODES:  Thanks, everybody, for getting on the call here.  We wanted to walk you through the schedule and objectives for the President’s upcoming trip to Asia.  We’ll do this on the record.  You’ll have me and then Danny Russel, who’s our Senior Director for Asia on the NSC, and Samantha Power, who’s our Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the NSC. I’ll just begin by making a few comments about our schedule and objectives.  Danny can talk a little bit about the context for our Asia policy, and then Samantha can talk a little bit about some of the work she’s been doing associated with the issues that we’re addressing on the trip. First of all, as you all know, the President has made it a critical part of his foreign policy to refocus on the Asia Pacific as one of the most important regions to the future of the United States, both economically and in terms of our political and security objectives in the world.  We devoted an extraordinary amount of time in the first term of the administration to refocusing on Asia and increasing our presence in Asia, both economically, politically, and through our security relationships. When many of you ask about our second term agenda, I can tell you that continuing to fill in our pivot to Asia will be a critical part of the President’s second term and ultimately his foreign policy legacy.  We see this as an opportunity to dramatically increase U.S. exports, to increase U.S. leadership in the fastest growing part of the world, and in advancing our values as well as our interests, which this trip is designed to do. Let me just walk you through the three stops with a word about each, because each of them is indicative of an element of our Asia policy.  Thailand is representative of our focus on alliances.  Burma is a key part of our efforts to promote democracy and human rights.  And Cambodia represents our engagement in the multilateral organizations that are shaping the agenda in the Asia Pacific region. We’re going to begin in Thailand because our alliances in the region are the cornerstone of our engagement there, and Thailand has been a longstanding and close ally of the United States.  This is an opportunity to reaffirm this relationship.  We’ll get to Bangkok at roughly three o’clock in the afternoon local time on Sunday.  The President will begin his visit with a tour of the Wat Pho Royal Monastery, which is one of the iconic religious and cultural sites in Thailand.  From there he will visit the King of Thailand and have a royal audience with the King.  The King is obviously tremendously well thought of within in Thailand, and a longstanding friend of the United States.  Following his visit with the King, the President will go to the Government House where he will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck of Thailand.  Danny can speak a little bit more about the agenda for that meeting. Following the bilat, the President will have a joint press conference with the Prime Minister.  And again, this is one of our key allies in the region, and we will be discussing with them a range of issues that Danny can walk you through. After the joint press conference, the President will be hosted at a dinner and reception by the Prime Minister that night.  And that will conclude the Thailand portion of our schedule.  We will spend the night in Bangkok. Then, the next morning, the morning of Monday, November 19th, we will leave for Burma.  Just a few words about the trip to Burma.  From the beginning of the administration, as you know, the President has signaled an openness to engagement with governments who have not had relations with the United States, provided that we see those governments taking steps to change course and to respect the rights of their citizens.  And we pursued a period of engagement with the Burmese government that helped encourage and lead to fairly dramatic reforms that we’ve seen.  And again, Danny and Samantha can speak to those.  But we’ve seen, certainly, the greatest political opening in Burma in the last two years that we’ve seen in many decades.  And it was for that reason that the President decided last year, while he was in Asia, to send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Burma to pursue a continued opening between our two countries.  It's also why we've sent an ambassador to Burma, we've looked at a set of sanctions on Burma, and now why the President is going. I want to be very clear that we see this visit as building on the progress that the Burmese government has made, but they are at the beginning of a journey towards democracy and human rights.  And we are going in part to encourage them to continue down that road, because much more needs to be done within Burma to realize the full potential of its people. So the President is going at a pivotal moment in Burmese history to embrace the progress that’s been made and to encourage the government and the people of Burma to move forward on their transition to democracy.  He will do so in a number of ways. He will begin his time in Burma, which will be in Rangoon, by having a bilateral meeting with President Thein Sein of Burma.  That will be held in the Parliament Building in Rangoon.  Thein Sein was recently here for the U.N. General Assembly in his first visit here to the United States as President of Burma, and now the President will have a bilateral meeting with him at the Parliament House.  We expect there to be, for your planning purposes, a statement to the press at that meeting. Following his visit with President Thein Sein, the President will travel to Aung San Suu Kyi's residence in Burma.  The President was able to host Aung San Suu Kyi here at the White House in the Oval Office, and he is very much looking forward to the opportunity to go to her residence.  Of course, many Americans have been moved by her courage in resisting arrest -- many years of house arrest in her own country on behalf of her pursuit of democracy.  Her release and election to Parliament is one of the positive developments that have taken place.  She is now an important opposition figure in the Parliament, working with the government to advance a reform agenda.  So the President will have an opportunity to have a bilateral meeting with her at her residence where of course she spent so much time under house arrest.  Following that meeting, we anticipate that Daw Suu Kyi and the President will have an opportunity to make a statement to the press as well.  The President will then travel to our embassy where he'll be able to meet with embassy staff.  We have ramped up our mission there considerably as a part of our opening to the country, so he will have an opportunity to thank them for the work they're doing in building out our relationship.  Following that, the President will deliver a speech about the future of Burma and the future of the relationship between the United States and Burma.  That speech will be held at the University of Rangoon, which is a very historic -- has played a key role in the history of the country, first in supporting the independence movement in the 1930s, then being one of the leading universities in Asia; being a center of the democracy movement in the 1980s.  So we see it as a very fitting venue for the President to address the people of Burma and to discuss the broad range of areas where we want to work together to support continued reforms across many different areas.  That would include continued political reform towards democracy.  That would include continued national reconciliation, including with various ethnic groups who have been in conflict with the government.  That includes support for economic development for the Burmese people.  And that also includes the way in which Burma is a critical part of our vision for the future of Southeast Asia and America's relationship with this very important region of the world. We also anticipate that the President will have an opportunity on the margins of that speech to meet with a variety of members of Burmese civil society, to hear directly from them as well.  Following the speech, the President will depart Burma en route to Cambodia.  Now, we are traveling to Cambodia, as I said, to attend the East Asia Summit.  Last year, those of you who came to Bali with us will recall the U.S. for the first time joined in the East Asia Summit.  So again, this is a part of our efforts to join in the regional architecture of the Asia Pacific so that the United States has a seat at the table, has a voice in setting the agenda, and is a part of the discussion about the future of this incredibly important region. He will begin his trip to Cambodia with a meeting with ASEAN.  ASEAN is of course the organization of Southeast Asian nations that we have invested a lot of time and diplomacy in strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and ASEAN.  So we'll have a full agenda with them.  Danny can speak to this as well.  We also anticipate meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia as the host of ASEAN and EAS.  My colleagues will speak to this.  The President will have a chance to talk about the agenda of ASEAN, of the EAS.  The President of course will also raise our concerns about the need to respect human rights within Cambodia going forward.  Following the ASEAN meeting, that night there is a dinner for the East Asia Summit leaders and others who were in attendance for the summit.  So the President will get to Cambodia, participate in the ASEAN meeting, and then participate in the EAS dinner, and spend the night in Phnom Penh.  Then, on Tuesday, November 20th is the East Asia Summit.  So throughout the day, the President will be participating in a number of plenary sessions associated with the summit.  Again, Danny can speak to the agenda a bit.  We also anticipate he'll have some chance -- some opportunities to have meetings on the margins of the summit.  In particular, we're expecting that he'll meet with Premier Wen Jiabao of China and Prime Minister Noda of Japan.  We also anticipate that he will meet with the other leaders who are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement that many of you know we've been promoting as a cornerstone of our trade agenda going forward. We see extraordinary potential in deepening the economic ties within the Asia Pacific.  And as we look to the future of our trade agenda, completing that successful Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will ultimately lead to a great deal of economic benefit to the United States.  So this will be an opportunity to check in with those leaders as we continue those negotiations going forward.  And then, at the completion of the EAS, the President will meet with our embassy staff in Cambodia.  And then he will return back to the United States, getting here very late overnight, Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. So those are the three stops.  I’ll give the floor here to Danny now to talk about some of the substantive agenda of those stops. MR. RUSSEL:  Great.  Thank you very much, Ben.  I’ll say a few things about the Asia context overall, and then work through the three stops that you’ve mentioned.  At the top, though, let me say that I’d commend everyone to the transcript of the remarks that the National Security Advisor gave at the CSIS conference just a few hours ago, where he laid out a comprehensive and a strategic vision for our approach to the Asia Pacific region. This is the fifth trip by President Obama to Asia in four years.  And those of you who heard Mr. Donilon’s remarks know there’s a lot more to rebalancing and to the pivot to Asia than just hard power.  There was a heavy focus last year, of course, on the security side, which is very significant.  But what this visit by the President will highlight, I believe, is the diversity and breadth of our engagement and our involvement throughout the region. And secondly, that rebalancing includes rebalancing within Asia.  We’re building out our engagement with Southeast Asia.  We’re building out our presence there.  And as Ben said, the itinerary and the three elements of the itinerary reflect the emphasis on allies, on values, and on the institution building.  If 80 percent of life is just showing up, then I think this trip delivers the other 20 percent in terms of substance, in terms of getting things done, pushing the agenda forward, and driving towards progress and outcomes that directly benefit us, the U.S. and the people of the U.S., but also the people in the countries in the Asia Pacific region. So country by country -- in Thailand, the President and the Prime Minister will expand the cooperation that is already underway on the fight against proliferation, the fight against narcotics, against terrorism, and against trafficking.  They will build on the work that Secretary of Defense Panetta is doing today in Bangkok with the Defense Minister on modernizing our security alliance and developing our military cooperation, which include exercises in disaster relief and counter piracy.  The President and the Prime Minister will also put in place a program to promote innovation and to connect universities, business, and research; and lastly, showcase some of the cooperation we’re doing in terms of sustainable development through projects in the Mekong River area and elsewhere. On Burma, what I would add to what Ben said -- and then also you’ll hear from our colleague, Samantha Power -- is that this is not a victory celebration; this is a barn raising.  This is a moment when we believe that the Burmese leaders have put their feet on the right path, and that it’s critical to us that we not miss a moment to influence them to keep them going.  It’s an uphill climb, and we want to make progress irreversible.  We want to show the people of Burma that there are benefits to be had from the hard work, and move some of the leaders off this fence and into the reform program. The President is not someone who has ever believed that problems just solve themselves.  He’s a “pitch in and help out” person, and I think the measure of our policy and the efficacy of his visit is going to be the longer term impact that it has on the process of reform and democratization.  So what I would say is that the thing to watch is both what the President says to the people of Burma and what we see in the aftermath of this visit, which, I think in addition to being historic, will also have a heavy impact. In terms of the meetings in Phnom Penh, as Ben laid out, there are two sets of meetings.  The first, ASEAN, is an organization that President Obama has invested heavily in since he took office.  This is the fourth summit in four years, and I think -- at least by my informal count -- the President has held eight bilateral summit meetings with individual ASEAN leaders.  He’s named an ambassador to the ASEAN headquarters.  And we've developed a range of programs and initiatives with ASEAN that the President in his meetings in Phnom Penh will advance.  These cover economic and security, political -- quite a wide range of issues.  What's worth flagging about the meetings this year is that the Eminent Persons Group, a small group of distinguished Americans and representatives from each of the 10 ASEAN countries, have been working throughout the year since they were convoked in Bali to develop some recommendations to the leaders  -- a report that ought to be coming out shortly.  And I think that as part of the five-year plan of action, their recommendations towards developing a more strategic relationship, expanding our economic engagement, and promoting cultural and educational ties will be a big part of what the President and the ASEAN leaders agree to. So I think the thing to watch at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit is that area:  What concrete areas have expanded economic and trade engagement they can agree to, and in what respects are they able to push forward practical programs in terms of education and people-to-people ties. Lastly, I would say, with regard to the East Asia Summit -- and here, again, the President made the decision to participate in the EAS based on the principle that the institutions in the region weren't going to perfect themselves; that he needed to roll up his sleeves and participate in that.  This is, from our perspective, the venue at which it is possible to have a political, security, and strategic dialogue among leaders, a dialogue that frankly can't be had in other fora.  The President's focus will be first on our priorities at EAS, which include non-proliferation; they include humanitarian assistance and disaster response; and they include maritime security.  But there are other important agenda items there with regard to global health, global development, food security, and energy security.  Invariably -- inevitably, the leaders will want to discuss the salient strategic and security issue facing the region, which is the issue stemming from the competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. So I think the things to watch at the East Asia Summit are, first of all, what is the program of work that the leaders set for themselves in the course of 2013.  I think energy security is one area that could be lifted up and that they may want to focus in on.  And secondly, what kind of discussion do the leaders have on the South China Sea and on the issues of competing sovereignty claims.  Will the leaders affirm the kind of guiding principles that President Obama articulated last year at Bali, and will there be a consensus around and a push towards both progress between ASEAN and China on a code of conduct, but also a general trend towards pushing for deescalation. MR. RHODES:  Great.  Thanks, Danny.  We'll go to Samantha now and then take your questions. MS. POWER:  I’ll be brief, especially because Ben and Danny have covered much of the Burma ground, which is the country I'd emphasize here in these comments in addition to saying a couple of words about Cambodia. As Ben said, and Danny reinforced, we have long indicated  -- the President has long indicated a willingness to engage countries that show concretely a will to reform, a will to make political progress.  And the reason we engage is not to reward, but to lock down progress and to push on areas where progress is urgently needed.  And I give a couple of examples of why this logic makes sense at this time in the Burma context.  First, we’ve seen, as many of you know, some progress that the government has made in establishing ceasefires with various ethnic groups -- not long-lasting solutions, but ceasefires that mean that fewer people are hurting day to day, and genuine progress.  However, we’ve also seen very disturbing violence in Rakhine state that -- between the events of June, and then the events that started in October and drifted into this month and are still really ongoing in terms of the crisis -- has resulted in hundreds of deaths and more than 32,000 displaced just in the most recent episode, and the Rohingya, of course, who are suffering the brunt of the violence in this instance.  But it is an incredibly tense, dangerous, and important issue for us to be engaging on at every level we can.  And the government has taken some responsible steps in trying to diffuse the violence, but there are long-term structural issues that need to be addressed in terms of the recognition to the Rohingya people and the welfare generally of all Buddhists and Muslims and others living in that Rakhine state.  Just an example, again -- a little bit of progress in the ethnic sort of area overall, but a very, very severe and important issue that we get an opportunity now to go and engage on at the ultimate level, at the highest possible level. Similarly, in the ethnic context of Kachin, where a ceasefire has not been possible, the importance of humanitarian access, the importance of moving to a ceasefire and then to addressing the long-term political grievances that of course fueled the conflict in the first place. A second example, we’ve heard a lot and Ben mentioned the progress on political prisoners -- hundreds have been released since this reform process began, including Aung San Suu Kyi, who now of course has taken a seat in the Parliament, and about whom President Thein Sein said he could imagine her being head of state someday.  I mean, remarkable progress but many, many political prisoners still behind bars and hearing less out there, but at least several hundred political prisoners we believe.  And as the Secretary of State has said, even one political prisoner is one too many.  So again, as long as there are political prisoners, it makes sense for the United States not to be simply heralding the release of those who -- some of whom the President will have a chance to interact with on the trip, some of those who spent 10, 15, 20 years in prison -- not just to herald that they are out of jail and able to be part of this political process, but push for more progress, and ensure that those who have been released no longer have the threat of re-apprehension hanging over their heads. So that’s just to give a couple of examples of the areas where we’ve seen a little bit of important progress in this journey, but where by virtue of the President taking this trip at this historic moment, we get a chance to try to really drive for further progress. And then there are a range of other issues, of course:  corruption; proliferation; trafficking; the freedom of NGOs that these groups get up and running now; media -- the censorship law has been lifted, but it’s -- the new regulations are honored in some cases, in some areas, very much in the breach; freedom of association -- very hard for groups to get permits to actually have political protests.  These are the kinds of issues that by virtue of a trip of this magnitude, we get a chance to really drive home the core messages about the next steps that need to be taken on the path to reform and the opportunities that exist by virtue of the space that’s opened up. The last point I’d make just about Burma is that beyond the engagement on these specific issues, the trip I think is also -- will also hopefully have the effect of reaching an audience broader than the government and broader than the elite.  And so far -- and we talk a lot about this internally here -- this has been a very unusual political journey, political transition in the sense that it’s very top down in terms of how the reforms are being dispensed; in many cases, edicts issued where political prisoners are free, or laws are changed, or announcements are made summarily, and often, again, very important and constructive announcements. But as the political space opens up, one of President Obama’s key messages, of course, is that there is a need not simply for government officials to talk to one another and the executive branch to talk to the Parliament, but for the youths, for legal professionals, for businesspeople, for soldiers in the rank and file of the military, for teachers, for the citizens of Burma to take ownership of this process now as it enters its next phase, and to build the checks and balances that are really the requirement in this country for these reforms to be sustainable and for this to become a true democracy over time. And then the last thing I’d say is just by taking this trip -- I think this is a very important point -- we are also, I think -- the President is sending a signal to other countries where reform either is not happening or repression is happening, we have a chance to say, if you take these steps -- he said it in the inaugural, but now we’re actually showing in a very concrete case -- we will meet you action for action.  And needless to say there are a lot of countries around the world where we would very much like other leaders to take this message and to take steps similar to those that have been taken in Burma in very expedited fashion, but again, only at the beginning of a long path. On Cambodia, just briefly, some of you may have already noticed that Hun Sen has actually, it looks like, sort of stepped up some of the infringements on civil society, and there’s been incidents of individuals who were making visual appeals to President Obama to do certain things with regard to calling for free and fair elections in the next election.  Right now, there’s no sign that those elections will be free and fair. All I would say about our engagement with the Cambodians on a bilateral basis is that the thrust of the message -- and Danny can underscore this as well -- is on the importance of free and fair elections, the end of land seizures, the protection and promotion of human rights.  That's the core function of the engagement with Hun Sen.  He is the host, Cambodia is the host of these important summits and these diplomatic gatherings, but our message to him on a bilateral basis is very much about the human rights abuses that are being committed within Cambodia’s borders, and urging him once and for all to actually start to take these concerns seriously, rather than continuing to move in very worrying directions. And I will say, just the last point on process, the President is, of course, tied up in the summits in this very condensed trip, but his senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, and myself will do two roundtables on the Tuesday -- one with trafficking advocates and survivors, because trafficking of course is an issue there and we’ve sought to strengthen the Cambodian government’s efforts in that regard with prosecutions and also supporting victim services and so forth.  So we’re going to -- President Obama gave a big speech on trafficking back in September, and this is -- we’re going to have diplomatic follow-through throughout this trip with all the governments that we engage.  But there will be that roundtable.  And then the second roundtable will be a sort of human rights, political roundtable, women’s rights, and focusing on the election and the state of civil society, NGOs, and basically politics in Cambodia.  And so that’s an opportunity for one of the President’s top advisors to hear firsthand from Cambodians just what their concerns are, so that we may, again, inject those concerns at the highest levels of the bilateral relationship. MR. RHODES:  Great.  Thanks.  We’ll take your questions, then. Q    Hi guys.  Thanks very much for doing the call.  Two questions.  Ben, could you read out some of the bilaterals that the President will be doing at the summit?  And perhaps, Samantha or Danny, could you expand on what the President will say in Burma, both publicly and privately, about the Rohingya minority in that situation?  Thank you. MR. RHODES:  Thanks, Jeff.  In terms of the summit, the President has -- because he has the ASEAN meeting, the leaders dinner, and then the EAS most of the next day, we don’t anticipate a heavy schedule of formal bilats. Right now, the meetings that we are looking to on the margins of the summit are the ones I referenced:  China with Wen Jiabao, Japan with Prime Minister Noda, and getting together with the leaders of the TPP to assess progress in those negotiations.  We’ll keep you updated of course if there are additional meetings that come up on the margins. I’ll just say something about Burma and see if my colleagues have anything to add.  As Samantha mentioned, broadly speaking, we’ve seen progress in recognizing the need to resolve the ethnic challenges in the country.  Eleven out of twelve have reached ceasefires that open the door to more sustainable reconciliation.  And the government has shown that they understand that part of their reform effort has to be dealing with the ethnic uncertainty and ethnic violence.  As Samantha mentioned, the remaining ceasefire that we’re encouraging them to pursue is with the Kachin.  As it relates to the Rohingya, what we’ve seen is the continued violence, as Samantha mentioned.  And the government has sought to step in and help save lives in the situation in some instances.  But clearly, more needs to be done to foster an environment where tensions are reduced, where there's not incitement, and where those communities are able to address their differences peacefully rather than in the outbreaks of violence that we've seen. So I think the President will be addressing the broad context of ethnic reconciliation and national reconciliation within Burma.  Specifically, I think what we'd like to see is continued work to stabilize the situation, but also to bring down the temperature and reduce the tensions.  But I don’t know if you guys have anything to add to that. MS. POWER:  I'd just add that in terms of the messages and the President is still working on the speech, and so we'll see what happens there.  But in terms of the core messages that we're seeking to convey basically in every encounter, including those that Ambassador Mitchell is carrying out every day, the importance of independent humanitarian access to the area so that there's independent reporting on what is actually happening again in this very, very tense environment right now, and that humanitarian assistance can be provided.  And that's a major issue that remains outstanding. Second, the safety and security of individuals -- because before there can be any talks of the future of coexistence, the mob attacks and the violence and the provocations have to stop.  And that's where, as Ben said, the fact that the government has sent in kind of national troops into an area where local forces were involved in many of the abuses is an important step, but that we need to -- there has to be a sustainable security solution so that people aren't living in the kind of fear and really terror that they're living with today.  Thirdly, the government has come out and said it wants to hold the perpetrators accountable, which is important.  And that's something they're going to have to follow through on.  It will be very challenging, given again the degree of community support for some of what went on.  But that's something that we will reaffirm their commitment in that space, because that's critical. And then, the ultimate -- ultimately, the legal status of the Rohingya of course in this country as well as in the region needs to be resolved.  And so that is something that we will engage them on I'm sure certainly privately and in some form publicly. Q    Hi.  I have two questions, also.  One is, last year on the Asia trip, there was a lot of talk about the U.S. engaging more in the region and some actions on that trip.  I'm wondering if you could fill in any concrete progress that has been made in terms of the U.S. presence and engagement since then.  And secondly, regarding the Burma trip, to what extent is the decision to go there a way of, in fact, asserting the U.S. presence in the region, especially vis-à-vis China? MR. RHODES:  I'd just say a couple of things.  First of all, in terms of filling in our presence and our engagement in the region, a number of the initiatives that we launched on the last trip have essentially been coming on line.  So just to give you a few examples, the announcement that the President made in Darwin, Australia about the rotational deployment of U.S. Marines and the U.S. military in Australia is coming on line and is helping us deepen our partnership not just with Australia, but across the region.  On the military side, we've also seen continued focus on deepening our partnerships through joint exercises, port visits and continued cooperation with regional military.  Thailand is an ally and a key part of that effort as well.  So this focus on the U.S. having a presence not just in North Asia but in south -- in the South Pacific and in building our partnerships with Australia and other allies is something that we pursued coming out of the last trip. On the economic side, we’ve seen a lot of our export growth in this region.  That trajectory has continued upward since the President’s trip.  The TPP agreement is something that we’re continuing to pursue through negotiations.  It’s grown since the President’s trip in that you’ve had Canada and Mexico join negotiations, but also expressions of interest in joining from other Asian countries.  So we’re pursuing those negotiations on the economic side. I think Burma is in many respects one of the clearest manifestations of increased engagement.  Since the President’s last trip, we have lifted a substantial amount of U.S. sanctions.  And so what that’s going to allow is U.S. investment; U.S. companies beginning to get into the mix in Burma, which we think is good for our own economy, but also is also going to be good for the development of a private sector within Burma that can create a broader base of prosperity in a country where the government controlled so much of the economy in the past. Similarly we have an ambassador on the ground; have sent our Secretary of State to Burma.  We’ve begun the process of military-to-military engagement with the Burmese, which had been frozen.  That dialogue has been focused on things like the professionalism of the Burmese military, human rights.  And so we’re engaging in Burma across a range of areas:  economically, militarily, and politically.  All of those have significantly ramped up since the President made his announcement in Bali that we were going to pursue this opening, and this visit really completes the realization of that process.  We've also, of course, seen the South Korea free trade agreement that we completed come into force. So a lot of these initiatives that we've launched have come on line, and similarly we'll be looking to put forward new markers on this trip as to how we can continue to push into areas like energy cooperation and continued security cooperation going forward. On the trip to Burma -- I think it's -- it falls into two categories.  I mean, first of all, this is one of the most significant developments related to Democratic values that have taken place in the last decade, in that you have this dramatic opening of a country that had been so closed for so long.  So this is very much a values-driven trip, in that we want to promote a complete transition to democracy going forward.  However, Burma is also an incredibly important country.  It sits at the crossroads of South Asia and East Asia; it borders the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean; it has tremendous natural resources; its people are incredibly talented. So we see Burma as an important potential partner for the United States going forward if they continue down this path of reform.  We also see the importance of Burma being fully integrated with ASEAN, which is an incredibly important block of emerging economies.  And if Burma can duplicate the type of Democratic development that we've seen by so many ASEAN countries, it could be an extraordinary boost to the economy of the region and to the global economy. So we do believe that, in addition to wanting to support the democratic agenda and the human rights agenda that we've been promoting in Burma, we also see a very positive future for Burma as a partner within Southeast Asia and within the region for the United States.  In that context, we'll obviously continue to be engaged with the Chinese; they have a leadership transition that is underway.  And we've always made it clear that we don’t see our engagement as coming at the expense of another country; it's based on the fact that the United States has important interest in this region.  And as it relates to China, we're going to continue to work cooperatively with the Chinese where we have common interests and where we have differences, particularly as it relates to making sure that China is living up to the rules of the road.  We'll be clear about those as well. One thing -- Danny wanted to add one thing. MR. RUSSEL:  Thank you, Ben.  Yes, I'd like to reinforce the point that you made because I think there is a certain amount of misapprehension on this issue.  First of all, we -- the U.S. has made clear at every level, including by Secretary Clinton when she was in Burma last December, that the improvement in the relationship between Burma and the United States doesn’t come at the expense of China and that we consider Burma’s relationship with China to be important.  But the key point I believe is that U.S. policy in Asia is about U.S. interests.  It’s not about China.  We have important bilateral relationships -- important in their own right -- and we have important work to do with regional institutions such as ASEAN and the East Asia Summit.  Now, China is a full participant in the East Asia Summit, and the fact is that the U.S. and China have extensive areas of cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and in the EAS agenda itself, and that’s something that the region values and wants to see.  But as Ben pointed out, we have areas of competition and we have areas of difference of view.  And we have, in every context made clear to Beijing, that there’s a cost to coercive behavior, problematic conduct, whether that’s on the economic front or on the security front.  Our objective is to shape the environment in the Asia Pacific region in which the peaceful rise of important countries, including China, contributes to the common good, is fundamentally stabilizing and not destabilizing, and in which every party can contribute to the work at hand. Q    Hi, thanks again for doing the call.  Real quickly, I just wanted to nail down -- it sounds like you’re not setting the stage for major deliverables or major progress on the South China Sea, but just continued dialogue on these fronts.  I just want you to confirm that.  And second of all, we’ve gotten some background this afternoon about discussions related to Israel and Gaza, but I’m wondering if you could put on the record for us conversations that the President personally or other top staff have had with Israel or what you’re asking Israel to do, what you’re asking through others Hamas to do in the context of the violence.  Thanks very much. MR. RHODES:  On the South China Sea, what I’d say is we don’t resolve territorial disputes through ASEAN and the EAS.  These wouldn’t be venues to adjudicate competing territorial claims.  So in that sense you’re not going to see a resolution of the issues related to the South China Sea.  However, what we do want to insist upon is that there is an understanding about how maritime security is viewed and how disputes should be resolved going forward.  And again, our belief is that there needs to be a process to resolve them consistent with international law; that we support the de-escalation of incidents that could lead to conflict; and that we’re supporting ASEAN as they pursue a code of conduct in the region. So by putting this on the agenda in this type of forum -- the issue of maritime security -- we want to lift up the principles that we believe will be critical to resolving disputes in places like the South China Sea.  And so they’re critical venues, again, to lift up those principles and to express those views even as we know that resolution will have to take place consistent with international law in other forums.  Dan, you may want to add to that. But on Israel -- the President spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday; Vice President Biden also spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu.  The President also spoke to President Morsi.  Our view, as you’ve seen expressed in the readouts of those calls and in Jay’s comments today, is that the continued threat posed by rocket fire from Gaza against the Israeli people is unacceptable; that Israel has the right to defend itself against that outrageous threat that continues; that the United States has supported Israel in having defensive capabilities to deal with rocket fire, for instance in funding the Iron Dome system, but also understands that Israel must have a right to self-defense when its citizens are faced with these types of attacks.  We've encouraged that, of course, all steps be taken to avoid civilian casualties, and we deeply regret the loss of life on the Israeli and Palestinian side.  Ultimately, the onus is on Hamas here to de-escalate and to stop these rocket attacks so that peace can prevail in the region. As it relates to today, we continue to be in close contact with the Israelis to have an understanding of their plans going forward.  We’ve also urged those who have a degree of influence with Hamas -- such as Turkey and Egypt and some of our European partners -- to use that influence to urge Hamas to de-escalate.  Because our concern is obviously that Israel must be secure from these types of attacks; and that also, as this situation continues to unfold, it’s only going to pose a greater threat to civilians and risk continued conflict in the region.  So again, our focus is on communicating with the Israelis, and also communicating with those like Turkey, Egypt, and some European countries to make it clear to Hamas that they need to de-escalate. At the United Nations, where this is being discussed, we’ve sought to keep the focus where it should be, which is on Hamas’ rocket fire as the precipitating cause here in posing such a grave threat to the Israeli people, and to oppose efforts to single out Israel for the actions that they’ve taken in response to that rocket fire.  So that’s kind of where we are.  We’ll have additional -- the State Department has been in touch with a variety of actors; so have a number of U.S. officials here in the White House.  And we’ll keep you updated if the President has any engagement going forward. Anything -- Danny might have one more comment on South China Sea. MR. RUSSEL:  I think what you can expect the President to reinforce and to underscore in the meetings in Phnom Penh is that the economic growth and importance of the Asia Pacific region is too vital to the interests of not only the U.S. but of all the countries there and their people to allow these long-standing disputes over boundaries, over territory, over sovereignty, to jeopardize the stability that’s necessary for continued growth. And so the President would surely reiterate the principles that he has consistently articulated on the need for a peaceful resolution, for a diplomatic process that is collaborative and consensual, on the rejection of threats or use of force or the use of coercion, the importance of freedom of navigation, and of course on the unimpeded lawful conduct.  So while, as Ben said, the EAS is not a forum in which countries will adjudicate or prosecute their particular claims, it is a forum in which they can discuss these principles and give encouragement to the ongoing diplomatic process between ASEAN and China that seeks to establish rules under a code of conduct that would govern behavior and prevent 24:13. Q    Hi.  Two questions.  One, on Burma -- the U.S. still refers to Myanmar as Burma.  Is that something that will continue to go on?  Do you expect Myanmar to change its name back to Burma?  And then on the Middle East again -- is the U.S. fearful about Israeli ground forces entering Gaza?  Is that something the U.S. would support? MR. RHODES:  First of all, I would note that on your first question, it is the continued U.S. policy that we refer to Burma.  We recognize and understand that Myanmar is the name that is used by many within the country and around the world as well, although there are some who also continue to use the traditional name of Burma.  So, again, we’ll continue to refer to Burma, but we certainly understand that this is something that different countries take different views on, and as a matter of courtesy, we understand that in our engagements in Burma, Myanmar may be what officials -- government officials use in referring to their country.  So that’s how we approach that issue. On your second point, again, our view is that the Israelis have the right to self-defense when their citizens are faced with the threat of indiscriminate rocket fire from within Gaza.  Ultimately, it’s up to the Israeli government to make determinations about how they’re going to carry out their military objectives. What we’ve also said is that the best course of action would be for there to be a general de-escalation of the violence, but that the onus is on Hamas and those with influence over Hamas to help bring about that de-escalation so that we don’t see a widening conflict.  So we certainly want to see a de-escalation.  We certainly want to see a broader conflict avoided.  And, again, though, we want to make clear that Israel has the right to self-defense, so it’s going to be incumbent on Hamas and those who are in contact with Hamas to encourage them to take those types of de-escalatory steps. Okay, thanks, everybody, for getting on the call here.  We’ll be able to continue to take your queries going forward. END 3:59 P.M. EST

14 ноября 2012, 20:28

Barry Lando: It's the Sex, Stupid

After an interminable presidential campaign, in which many of the basic questions facing the U.S. were ignored or glossed over, there's nothing like a smarmy sex scandal to get Americans to finally zero in on fundamental issues. Like, should one of America's most vaunted military leaders, General David Petraeus, have resigned because of an adulterous liaison with Paula Broadwell, his sometimes jogging partner and biographer? Or, how exactly was Petraeus able to arrange for Mrs. Broadwell to be in Afghanistan at the same time that he was? Or, who was the FBI agent who sent bare-chested pictures of himself to Jill Kelley, a Florida housewife, also, somehow, involved in the affair? Or why exactly did General John Allen, the head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, become such an active email buddy of the attractive Mrs. Kelley? It goes without saying that talk shows hosts and news editors are much more interested in tempting their public with the red meat of what could be mistaken for a new hit cable TV series than focusing instead on the fact that General Petraeus' strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan were not, in the long term, a stunning success. Those directing our media might also consider the remarkable fact that General Allen is the fifth -- that's right, the fifth -- American general to be running that war, which is heading into its eleventh year, yet was one of those subjects--along with climate change -- never seriously debated -- in the presidential campaign. Instead of clucking over the thousands of emailed pages that General Allen sent to Mrs. Kelley, they might highlight the fact that 68,000 American soldiers are among the 100,000 Nato troops still fighting in Afghanistan and that, despite the U.S. having spent 400 billion dollars on the Afghan war effort, the Taliban are still firmly entrenched. And further, even as President Obama warns it may be necessary to bite the bullet and cut back on vital domestic programs, the U.S.is still pouring two billion dollars a week into an Afghan conflict that no one feels is winnable. As remarkable as a catfight between two women over an American general is the fact that U.S. military planners are still talking about leaving a "follow-on force" of some 15-20,000 American troops in Afghanistan -- even after 2014! This in a land where corruption is rampant, billions in U.S. funds have simply disappeared, and the security forces that the U.S. has already worked so hard to build are as a much a threat to their American trainers as is the Taliban. As for the huge sums in aid that the U.S. has spent so far to get Afghanistan back on its feet, a recent Congressional Research Service report concluded that, "Even if these economic efforts succeed, Afghanistan will likely remain dependent on billions in U.S. foreign aid indefinitely." Rather than salivating over other recent tales of adulterous military commanders, the media might instead look at the underlying premises of American Exceptionalism driving its foreign policy. Those, in the end, are what continue to fuel the endless War against Terror, justify the more than 1,000 military bases the U.S. has abroad, and create the need for American soldiers to be absent from their mates for so long and so often Instead of seeing who can be the first to get THE interview with Petraeus or Broadwell, network TV star reporters might assign some of their staff to prepare a report on the outrageous phenomenon that while , over the past ten years, the U.S. has spent literally trillions of dollars supposedly to safeguard America's strategic interests and trade routes in the Middle East and Central Asia, the Chinese, without trying to overthrow any regimes, dispatch any boots on the ground, or Predators in the air, continue to make huge commercial inroads throughout those same regions. Now we have a new Whac-A-Mole situation: As U.S. forces finally withdraw from Afghanistan, many of them may be transferred to the Pacific to meet a supposed Chinese threat -- the Chinese are already poised to fill the vacuum in Afghanistan, not with their military, but with huge new contracts in that mineral rich country. As the U.S. leaves, "the Chinese", according to one recent report, "will become the dominant power in Afghanistan." In fact, if they weren't so besotted with sexy new terms like "The Bathsheba Syndrome," (go ahead, check the link) our talk show hosts might consider whether President Obama's new buildup in the Pacific, rather than convincing the Chinese to back off their own military spending and claims to mineral resources in the South China Sea, might actually trigger a totally opposite response: a potentially disastrous arms race between the globes two major powers. America's opinion and law makers might take a breather from the Petraeus sex caper to focus on such vital issues... but don't hold your breath.

14 ноября 2012, 17:52

Brazil's Amazon rangers battle farmers' burning business logic

Evandro Carlos Selva is one of 1,400 hi-tech environmental cops who use eyes in space and feet on the ground to patrol a deadly borderAs his helicopter descends through the smoke towards an Amazonian inferno, Evandro Carlos Selva checks the co-ordinates via a global positioning satellite and radios back to base a witness testimony to deforestation.Flames lick up from below the canopy, smoke billows across the horizon, while down below, the carbon that has been stored in the forest for hundreds of years is released into the atmosphere.Skeletal trees are charred grey, others burnt black. Nearby, what was once forest is reduced to an expanse of ash, dust and embers. Trudging through the debris, Carlos Selva points to a nearby soy farm: "They've been paid to do this. Forty per cent of next year's harvest on this land has already been bought."The clearance is illegal and Carlos Selva – a ranger with Brazil's environmental protection agency, Ibama – sets in motion the process of levying fines, business embargoes and other penalties that have helped to slow the pace of deforestation by almost 80% in the past eight years. This represents impressive progress, but it is at risk. The pressure to convert more Amazonian forest is growing stronger due to drought in the US, rising world food prices and a weakening of Brazilian laws.Carlos Selva works in Mato Grosso, the frontline of efforts to find a balance between protecting the climate and feeding a growing world population. Next year, Brazil is expected to overtake the US as the world's biggest soy producer. Most of that crop will be grown in Mato Grosso – where the Amazon forest meets the Cerrado savannah – and both are being engulfed by farm fields.Global priorities are etched on to the land here with geometric precision. Far from most people's image of a vast, unbroken Amazon, the forest has been sliced and diced into polygons that divide the world's most productive soy fields from the world's greatest land carbon sinks.The borders between the two ought to be determined by whether humanity places more value on our lungs or our bellies. In reality, it has become a contest between economics and the law.Carlos Selva is responsible for patrolling and maintaining this restless boundary. It may well be the ultimate 21st-century job: analyst, accountant, climate regulator and eco-cop rolled into one dangerous and important role that is constantly being transformed by satellite data, global warming, world hunger and international commodity prices.He gets deforestation warnings from space and death threats from his neighbours – all the hi-tech support available in the 21st century, with the same risks faced by a wild west sheriff 200 years ago. He is equipped with a GPS system, camera, tablet and a gun.Monitoring ownership and land change is no easy task. In the state of Mato Grosso alone, there are 110,000 properties. Most are extremely remote. Many owners have invested their lives here and do not take kindly to being told they cannot use the land as they want.Carlos Selva received death threats in June, while the world was debating the pros and cons of sustainability at the Rio +20 Earth summit. He has been held hostage by landowners. They have punctured the tyres on his four-wheel drive. Corrupt local politicians are not on his side. After his most successful operation – a sting that exposed widespread forgery of forest documentation – he and the police chief he worked with were transferred to out-of-the way districts. It could be worse. Other rangers have had their homes shot at. Many environmental campaigners have been killed trying to protect the Amazon.It is hard to overestimate what is at stake. The two sides in the debate put it in stark terms. Save the forest and you fight climate change. Clear the forest and you ease global hunger. Agribusinesses see the Amazon as one of the last great areas for expansion.The rangers are caught in the middle, but this is not a simple either-or choice. There are alarming signs that the Amazon is caught in a vicious circle and the more this great climate regulator is cleared, the less predictable global weather systems will become. That increases the risk of droughts and floods, ruining crops across the world. This in turn, adds to the pressure to clear the forest.Twenty-five million people make their home in the Brazilian Amazon, which covers 2m square miles. Already, 17% has been stripped by cattle ranchers, loggers and soy farmers. At the recent peak of clearance in 2004, an area of 10,723 square miles was deforested in a year, equivalent to the size of Albania, Haiti or Belgium.Since then, deforestation has slowed dramatically thanks to a system that combines eyes in the sky, boots on the ground and a growing collection of carrots and sticks to persuade farmers and ranchers that they are better off leaving the forest intact.It is primarily based on two sets of satellite data: Prodes, which is an annual forest audit down to the level of 6.25 hectares (currently using a UK satellite), and Deter, which provides almost real-time information to rangers in the field such as Carlos Selva, who can reach the affected areas rapidly in helicopters and trucks. Individual violators can be fined, jailed, have machinery confiscated and be barred from access to bank loans.The environment institute said it seized 650 trucks, 60 bulldozers and 200 chainsaws in 2011. Municipalities where more than 30 square miles are illegally stripped are put on a blacklist, which means companies in the area are blocked from cheap financing and firms that trade with them also face restrictions.Francisco de Oliveira Filho, the director of deforestation combat policies in the environment ministry, says the scheme has helped Brazil to move more than half the way towards its Copenhagen commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2020."In 2004, people said it was impossible to stop the deforestation of the Amazon, but we have proved it can be reduced," he said.The hard work is still to come, however, because the polygons of deforestation are getting smaller and more scattered. Farmers have learned the limits of satellite observation and the financial incentive to break the law increases with the rise in soy prices. "We are reviewing the system now. We know we're getting to the limits of monitoring and control," said De Oliveira Filho. "Until now, we have made good progress by focusing on big land owners and large deforestation polygons. But we have reached the point where, if we are to meet our goals, we need to target holdings of less than 25 hectares. That is why we need higher resolution satellites."The environment ministry focuses its attention on an arc of deforestation from the north-east to the south-west. This is the frontline where farmers are eating into the forest. By far the worst-hit states are Pará, Mato Grosso and Rondonia. With abundant water resources and flat, fertile land on the border of the Amazon and the Cerrado, Mato Grosso is considered some of the best agricultural territory in Brazil, which has made its forests the hardest to protect.Soy fields have expanded by 10% in the past year. Locals say this is mostly due to the conversion of cattle pastures into cropland. But there is clearly also pressure on the forest. In September, Mato Grosso was the only state where land clearance continued to accelerate – a hefty increase of 158% compared with the same period last year.One of the worst areas is Feliz Natal (Happy Christmas). Numerous farmers here have already been penalised but there appears to be no sign that pressure on the forest is letting up.There are plumes of smoke every few hundred metres across a broad expanse of forest. The haze stretches across the sky, but this is far from the worst burn-off. Satellite images of previous blazes show smoke stretching 100 miles.The process of deforestation is simple. Its various stages – carried out over a period of two to 10 years – can all be seen on a one-hour helicopter ride above Mato Grosso.First, there is the cutting. Small secret trails are pierced through the undergrowth by illegal loggers who covertly fell and sell the most valuable hardwood logs to sawmills.Then comes the burning as fires are set every few hundred metres under the canopy, filling the skies with a haze and reducing the tall green forest to low grey ash.Next is the clearing. Bulldozers push the ash into heaps and mechanised claws rip what is left of the roots from the soil so that it can be planted with a monoculture – usually soy, cotton or corn. Elsewhere, most deforestation is for cattle pasture.Some of this is approved by the government, but farmers are supposed to protect 80% of the forest on their Amazonian land and 50% on the Cerrado. To enforce this, the rangers receive printouts of satellite images that show bright red areas where deforestation has taken place.We land in an area where the trees have been dragged down. Rather than burn the forest, farmers run two powerful tractors in parallel with a thick chain between them that pushes over even the biggest trees in its path. Carlos Selva calculates that 500 hectares have been cleared without permission and initiates a process of punishment and restoration.There are limits on the authorities' vision and powers of enforcement. It takes about two days for satellite information to be processed and sent to agents in the field. After an upgrade next year, this will be accelerated and rangers will also receive data about forest degradation, which should increase their chances of catching violations at an earlier stage.The operation will be helped by two new satellites – one Japanese, one Brazilian-Chinese. The Japanese Alos 2 satellite will provide radar monitoring, which will allow the space and environment agencies to observe the forest even during the cloudy season from November to March. The Brazilian-Chinese satellite Cbers 3 will provide higher resolution and more frequent data."The landowners know what we can see. So if they deforest an area of less than 25 hectares, we cannot currently spot it from a satellite. But with the new system next year, we'll get higher definition. It's like a game of cat and mouse. As the technology improves, they find new strategies," says De Oliveira Filho. In the best cases, farmers return the cleared land to forest. More often, however, they lodge appeals that can take more than a decade to resolve."Only 2% of the fines are collected," said a local police officer, who asked to remain nameless. "The rest end up being wrangled over in endless legal challenges. That's Brazil."Dealing with the change in global commodity prices is likely to prove tougher still. Some believe slower deforestation in recent years is partly due to the world economic downturn, but, with soy hitting a record high this year after drought cut the harvest in the US, the temptation to clear more land in the Amazon increases."It's driven by market forces. Of course, there'll be more pressure. That's why we have to be in the field all the time," says De Oliveira Filho. Last month, the environment minister announced a strategy to put teams of military, police and environment rangers in the field for 365 days a year.Farmers say the economic incentives outweigh the legal risks. "The ones who follow the rules like me are considered idiots. The ones who break the rules make the money," said a landowner, Milton Luiz Molfensteiner.The next soy crop planting is under way. With good weather, Brazil's harvest early next year is forecast to yield about 85m tonnes. Almost a third of that will be from Mato Grosso, which would then account for about one in every 13 soy beans produced on the planet.The local agricultural association says this is a golden era. The price of soy has risen 33% – from 60 to 70 reals (£21.50) a sack – in the past 12 months because of the US drought and rising demand from China, which accounts for 60% of exports. "This is a good time for us in agriculture, especially in soy, especially in Mato Grosso. This is now the global centre for soy," said Silvésio de Oliveira, director of the state's Soy and Maize Association. He is asking the government to reduce the proportion of protected forest on farmers' land from 80% to 35%.Antônio Galvan, head of the Agricultural Association of Sinop, says greater land clearance is essential if the world is to feed a global population due to grow by 2 billion people and to offset the loss of agricultural production caused by climate change. "If the US drought continues, someone will have to feed humanity. People might die of hunger. Rural producers don't deforest an area for fun, they do it because of the demand for food," he says."A big part of the world depends on Mato Grosso. Deforestation is an international concern, but we also have to make a living and the world has to worry about food."Conservationists says such arguments are exaggerated and used as an excuse, not only to clear forest, but also to drive indigenous people off their land.But the Ruralista agricultural lobby is growing in influence. Brazilian legislators are revising the forest code to loosen Amazon protection measures. President Dilma Rousseff vetoed several of the most controversial amendments last month, but conservation groups say the bill is still a disastrous step backwards.Whatever the outcome, enforcement will be left to the country's 1,400 environmental rangers, who must monitor an area that is more than half the size of the US. Carlos Selva says they will be reinforced with extra personnel and better equipment.But with market forces and the climate both swinging against them, the risks are also likely to increase. It is a great deal of responsibility for a monthly salary of £2,600.After a day spent chasing deforesters, the ranger sips a cold beer and weighs up the pros and cons of his job."I'm not an ecologist or a greenie. This is just work," he says. "I've never liked people who tell others 'don't do this, don't do that', but I've started to understand why it is necessary. This is not idealism, I just like to see things done right."He can understand why his wife wants him to quit the job. The satellites can only do so much to protect the forest and then it is down to what happens on the ground."The good side of being here for several years is that I know the territory. The bad side is that people know where I live."Additional reporting by Carolina MassoteAmazon rainforestFoodDeforestationBrazilTrees and forestsWildlifeConservationAmericasJonathan Wattsguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds