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Old March 10th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #361
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Originally Posted by Pansori View Post

Of course there are exceptions but the general trend in the Western media is the following (ragarding the HSR development). Similar stance is taken regarding real estate or pretty much any other area of the economy:

- China's HSR boom is unsustainable, too expensive for 'ordinary people' (on the other hand they say tickets are too cheap to cover even operational costs... a bit of a contradiction)
- Safety standards are flawed (pointing to the Wenzhou accident for a millionth time in every single article since the accident took place)
- Fixed asset investment is bad and unsustainable
- bla bla bla.

At least this is what most of the articles wold argue for. And I do read pretty much everything on the subject in the UK and American media therefore I'm sure I'm not missing much.

The point is that the overall stance of the popular and respected media outlets is very biased, agenda-based and misinforming. The fact that there are some dangers in the Chinese real estate or other areas does not change that. There are dangers in real estate in pretty much every country in the world (with some exceptions... like Germany perhaps) and especially the US. The problem is that any of such potential dangers in China (where they are far from being the most dangerous compared to US or some other countries where economy is 'driven' by the means of 'quantitative easing' and similar fundamentally unsustainable measures) are completely blown out of proportion.

Many such articles 'argue' that China's real estate 'bubble' is very dangerous and may have consequences much harsher than the past bubbles in the US. Even using common sense and very fundamental logic one can identify that such claims are flawed in principle. This is because China's financial posituion and structure of the financial market as well as banking system and rules of buying property are in a different planet compared to the US or even EU countries. The conventional US style housing bubble is simply impossible in China. Not because some believe that China is somehow 'infallible' but simply because there are factors which make a conventional US bubble physically impossible in China.

There may be certain consequences and indicators in the housing market (and very likely they have been taking place for a while now) but there isn't and won't be a 'bubble' in a conventional (looking from the US and European perspective that is) form.
Not the same. I never implied that.

The problem in the US isn't about debt, nor about national spending but about wealth distribution, which is paralleled in China. This is where the similarities end for the most part.

Our problem is falling purchasing power (wealth is being concentrated more and more at the top), while China's problem is that purchasing power is not growing fast enough (income is rising quickly, but actual wealth - like home ownership - isn't keeping up).

China's issue isn't at the national level, it's at the local level. If land were to suddenly drop in value, it wouldn't be a crisis of demand (there are millions of households who will absorb that stock) but would be troubling for local governments because of the way they're forced to finance growth through it.

There is always some systemic problems in any given economy.

I don't know, maybe I just don't read as much mainstream media as I thought I did :-) but I've never felt it was overwhelmingly biased. Condescending, but not overtly biased.

I honestly just think you're over generalizing. There is bad reporting on China and there is good reporting. Most of it is in the middle, honestly.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't fault the "west" for over-simplyfiying and then over-simplify.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #362
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You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't fault the "west" for over-simplyfiying and then over-simplify.
But that's what pretty much happens most of the time. A report on 'ghost towns' and then an expected conclusion of a looming housing bubble. No analysis or data (such as proportion of unoccupied housing of the total). That is oversimplifying and that happens on an enormous scale in the Western media. Of course there are attempts to look deeper than that but for most part this is what happens - primitive and unprofessional reporting which is aimed to make a 'sensation' rather than provide us with some relevant information. The fact that I mention that doesn't mean I'm over-simplifying myself.

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Old March 10th, 2013, 09:01 PM   #363
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very nice business center....
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Old March 11th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #364
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But that's what pretty much happens most of the time. A report on 'ghost towns' and then an expected conclusion of a looming housing bubble. No analysis or data (such as proportion of unoccupied housing of the total). That is oversimplifying and that happens on an enormous scale in the Western media. Of course there are attempts to look deeper than that but for most part this is what happens - primitive and unprofessional reporting which is aimed to make a 'sensation' rather than provide us with some relevant information. The fact that I mention that doesn't mean I'm over-simplifying myself.
I didn't say you were over simplifying yourself. I said your over simplifying hundreds of organizations, publications, and individuals into one thing "western media" and I'm saying it's much more nuanced than that.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 05:55 AM   #365
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I didn't say you were over simplifying yourself. I said your over simplifying hundreds of organizations, publications, and individuals into one thing "western media" and I'm saying it's much more nuanced than that.
I mean mainstream western media such as BBC, CNN, WSJ, NYTimes, The Economist etc. I.e. media outlets that make up perhaps over 90% of English-language media in volume terms. Of course there are various media outlets that do not fall under 'mainstream media'.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 09:06 AM   #366
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Xiangluowan is definitely on the list of CBDs I'd like to pay a visit.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:45 PM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
Not the same. I never implied that.

The problem in the US isn't about debt, nor about national spending but about wealth distribution, which is paralleled in China. This is where the similarities end for the most part.

Our problem is falling purchasing power (wealth is being concentrated more and more at the top), while China's problem is that purchasing power is not growing fast enough (income is rising quickly, but actual wealth - like home ownership - isn't keeping up).

China's issue isn't at the national level, it's at the local level. If land were to suddenly drop in value, it wouldn't be a crisis of demand (there are millions of households who will absorb that stock) but would be troubling for local governments because of the way they're forced to finance growth through it.

There is always some systemic problems in any given economy.

I don't know, maybe I just don't read as much mainstream media as I thought I did :-) but I've never felt it was overwhelmingly biased. Condescending, but not overtly biased.

I honestly just think you're over generalizing. There is bad reporting on China and there is good reporting. Most of it is in the middle, honestly.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't fault the "west" for over-simplifying and then over-simplify.

The 'distribution of wealth of the two economic powerhouse is parallel' is a very good idea indeed. However, you need to proceed on what the economic precautions or social interference to prevent a bubble. Somewhat the interference was tackle before by the Chinese. Somewhat it prevents it from bursting and even deflated it.

The Chinese precautionary measures to tackle the inflation is somewhat working well. Both individual spending and savings are generating such a good factor to the social life of the Chinese. The Chinese Government are doing well to provide the economic measures to accommodate the needs of the Chinese society.

However, the Chinese needs to take a precaution on the leadership side of the Chinese government. The leadership is currently tackling corruptions. It is a good enforcement to the system of wealth distribution that tackles such complicated 'manner'.

However, the one thing they have to fundamentally look at is the qualities and characteristics of the leadership. They need to watch which one is 'for the the people' and which one is for the 'large corporations'. They need to make the leadership realize that greed and corruption is a 'poison' and an 'addiction' that cannot just be tackled easily. It is a precaution that requires discipline and philosophy. It requires a new system of 'idealism' and not just a confucius philosophy, communism, marxism or even democracy. The most similar system is the 'Lee Kuan Yew' system but I am very sure the Government is already aware and that system is the one being implemented currently (not Keynesian).

However, money is 'hard not to absorb.' It does not keep people from thinking clearly and it always lead them to a disastrous decisions that leads a disastrous cause and the effect will always lead to calamity. We are humans after all and not animals. We need to keep thinking that way for animals don't think.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 09:07 PM   #368
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I mean mainstream western media such as BBC, CNN, WSJ, NYTimes, The Economist etc. I.e. media outlets that make up perhaps over 90% of English-language media in volume terms. Of course there are various media outlets that do not fall under 'mainstream media'.
Overall I agree with you. There is a sport going on among the mainstream western media, that is 'China Bashing'. They all try to win a gold medal.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:40 AM   #369
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To avoid dragging this on, I've just removed the comment.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, I guess.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 06:11 PM   #370
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What kind of hotels will be in this area? Anything like Hilton's, Sheraton's, Shangri-La....etc(world class hotels).
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Old March 12th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #371
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China it's playing simcity with cheat codes
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 04:36 PM   #372
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Pansori is right, I agree with him totally not because what I think, but because I know.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 10:56 PM   #373
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And yet they ignore missalocation of capital back at their home countries. As if it makes sense to bail-out bankrupt banks yet ignore the fact that transport infrastructure has been starved of investment for decades now (UK is a rather extreme example of that. US is probably not doing too well there either).

The point is that China's economy fundamentals are strong. Perhaps as strong as they possibly could be in the current global context. The very same countries whose press is identifying 'misallocations' of resources in China are in a much, MUCH more serious danger of economic difficulties if not outright decline. I mean primarily UK and, to a lesser extent, the US.

Therefore it looks a bit suspicious once they blatantly ignore very deep-rooted and fundamental problems of their own countries (or worse, explicitly portray it as a non-issue) yet make a big deal out of something that happens in China that they have no clue and knowledge of and in some cases distort the information to make it look something else from what it actually is.

Just take China's HSR development as an example. Even if it's not a real-estate topic it suits the case rather well. Almost every single article posted by the likes of The Economist, WSJ and many other popular mainstream and 'respectable' Western media outlets (not talking of some niche and professional industry media, that's a different story) were publishing dozens of articles many of which without going much into details, without any exaggeration, amounted to utter and complete nonsense.
I don't buy the "biased Western media" at all. Not because it isn't often true, though as often it is lazy Western media, but because the underlying concerns are real. There is a considerable literature on booms, busts, and bubbles. There is no agreement on what causes business cycles, but "irrational exuberance" and misallocations is on the list, for one school it is the reason. There is no nation that has advanced from developing nation to developed nation without having at least one severe crash. Of course they survived it, after some rough years, otherwise they wouldn't have become developed nations.

Some believe that it is the transition itself that cause them. If they are right, and China is like Japan and South Korea, the guesstimate is that the Bad One will happen 5-10 years from now. That will of course have negative effects on the world economy. According to one model Germany would be particularly affected (in which case we should hope for 10 years so that Europe could get out of the current crisis before plunging into the next one).

Anyway, Big One aside, "first we build it, then they come" is far from economic ortodoxy, and it is not "China-bashing" to point that out. Apart from the risk of misallocations (with crisis-like potential), it is bad investment strategy to invest in what we will need in the future, and it is bad investment strategy to invest in what we should have had in the past, ideally we should invest just at the right time. If we need something in 5 years time, invest in something with a good return now, and then use that return on investment 5 years hence.

This should be tempered of course with the current need to keep unemployment low, and invest when the prices are low. I consider Xiangluowan risky. It may succeed, it may fail, and we won't know for several years. Given the size the stakes are quite high.

WSJ tend to be overly negative, but then they belong to that school of economics that is particularly sceptical of this kind of investment. The Economist I find fair. I don't believe they are wrong about China more often than they are wrong about any other economy. They have been wrong pretty often, on the other hand they have been good at catching things other mass media often miss. BBC in China is disappointing, they have too many fly-bys that haven't read up even to the basics.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 02:28 AM   #374
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I don't buy the "biased Western media" at all. Not because it isn't often true, though as often it is lazy Western media, but because the underlying concerns are real. There is a considerable literature on booms, busts, and bubbles. There is no agreement on what causes business cycles, but "irrational exuberance" and misallocations is on the list, for one school it is the reason. There is no nation that has advanced from developing nation to developed nation without having at least one severe crash. Of course they survived it, after some rough years, otherwise they wouldn't have become developed nations.

Some believe that it is the transition itself that cause them. If they are right, and China is like Japan and South Korea, the guesstimate is that the Bad One will happen 5-10 years from now. That will of course have negative effects on the world economy. According to one model Germany would be particularly affected (in which case we should hope for 10 years so that Europe could get out of the current crisis before plunging into the next one).

Anyway, Big One aside, "first we build it, then they come" is far from economic ortodoxy, and it is not "China-bashing" to point that out. Apart from the risk of misallocations (with crisis-like potential), it is bad investment strategy to invest in what we will need in the future, and it is bad investment strategy to invest in what we should have had in the past, ideally we should invest just at the right time. If we need something in 5 years time, invest in something with a good return now, and then use that return on investment 5 years hence.

This should be tempered of course with the current need to keep unemployment low, and invest when the prices are low. I consider Xiangluowan risky. It may succeed, it may fail, and we won't know for several years. Given the size the stakes are quite high.

WSJ tend to be overly negative, but then they belong to that school of economics that is particularly sceptical of this kind of investment. The Economist I find fair. I don't believe they are wrong about China more often than they are wrong about any other economy. They have been wrong pretty often, on the other hand they have been good at catching things other mass media often miss. BBC in China is disappointing, they have too many fly-bys that haven't read up even to the basics.

Bias is obviously there. I mean you must be completely blind not to see it. Part of it is probably due to the 'they are different, hence they must be wrong' and part is simply due to the lack of knowledge.

I understand that some topics might be out of the reach in terms of knowledge for some journalists but look at the 'ghost towns' or the HSR topics in China. What we've been witnessing was a rather aggressive, consistent and constant flow of articles pretty much all of which were nothing short of absolute nonsense and something that a 10 year old would write. Whether you call it bias or something else perhaps isn't that important.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 11:34 AM   #375
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There is poor reporting about China, and there is plenty biased reporting in the world that could be called "China-bashing". But it is not like this forum isn't biased either, we are for construction and for infrastructure. This forum wouldn't complain about ghost cities or underused infrastructure, because return on investment isn't really what it is about.

It would be China-bashing if it were wrong if China did it and right if some other country did. The economies of China and the US are not directly comparable (one has greater growth and poorer infrastructure, the other has a richer economy), but would there be voices criticising US developers/funders if there were ghost cities, in the US that would be ghost suburbs, or over-ambitious infrastructure? Yes, there were. Not many enough, and we got that housing crash, but there were many articles criticising it before the crash, including The Economy (that's the first place I heard of it, in early 2007 I believe).

There is mixed press on HSR, many see early infrastructure as a boon, others early capital expenditure as the opposite, and there are those who push for alternative infrastructure (roads, airports, low-fare low-speed rail, suburban commute rail). There are engineering reason for going slow as well, easier to control quality and (if not too slow) cost, better and usually cheaper technology, and learning from experience. Clever analysts weigh it all up without preconceived notions. I am not that clever so I believe HSR can be good, primarily because it can scale up in a manner air, cars, and buses can't, but not all HSR projects are good. The (in)famous WSJ article concluded that all HSR projects are bad, not only in China, but also Japan, Europe and (maybe crucially) in the US.

I think "ghost cities" are bad investments. Not because they won't get filled eventually, most will, but because investing ahead of demand is almost always sub-optimal, sometimes disastrously so. If you can afford it investing on HSR can be worth it. Sim City-like greenfield operations have no such benefit. Yes, you need to zone and plan for growth, including infrastructure, but you implement it on demand. That way you don't commit resources before they are ready, you are less likely to misallocate when they don't come, and you can adapt to new situations, and you can use newer technologies and experiences when you do implement the plan.

We have experience with planned cities, to which Tanggu/Binhai belong. Basically they fill up, but they don't perform better than cities with organic growth, even when that growth is rapid and chaotic. This place is strategically placed, but it will have too much of some and too little of other because it was built ahead of demand, not at demand.
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 03:54 PM   #376
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Lotta progress on the park:

http://www.gaoloumi.com/viewthread.p...extra=page%3D1 (Click for latest construction update)

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Old April 3rd, 2013, 11:20 PM   #377
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I think "ghost cities" are bad investments. Not because they won't get filled eventually, most will, but because investing ahead of demand is almost always sub-optimal, sometimes disastrously so. If you can afford it investing on HSR can be worth it. Sim City-like greenfield operations have no such benefit. Yes, you need to zone and plan for growth, including infrastructure, but you implement it on demand. That way you don't commit resources before they are ready, you are less likely to misallocate when they don't come, and you can adapt to new situations, and you can use newer technologies and experiences when you do implement the plan.

We have experience with planned cities, to which Tanggu/Binhai belong. Basically they fill up, but they don't perform better than cities with organic growth, even when that growth is rapid and chaotic. This place is strategically placed, but it will have too much of some and too little of other because it was built ahead of demand, not at demand.
By 'ghost cities' I didn't mean that they're good. Empty houses are not good per say. What I mean was the very same reporting of the very same 'ghost cities' again and again and again. I.e. a complete distortion of the picture without any concrete data. Just some 'scary' visuals and even scarier talks by the reporter. I.e. a bubble blown out of pretty much nothing.


Quote:
This place is strategically placed, but it will have too much of some and too little of other because it was built ahead of demand, not at demand.
Says who?
That's the kind of policy that has been practiced in Singapore. Perhaps not to such an extent (Singapore is a small place after all) but strategic urban planning with looking into the future is not a bad idea in a developing country where hundreds of millions of poeple are still going to move to the cities.

How do you imagine a demand-based approach in China? I think we have one 'good' example of that: India. Thanks not.

The fact that such planning ideology has never been practiced in the West doesn't mean it's bad. It has worked in Singapore, Hong Kong, even the Soviet Union. It does work in China. I don't think China has time to waste when hundreds of millions of rural residents are moving into new urban areas.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 02:56 AM   #378
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didn`t know about the park areas. definitely my favorite aspect of the entire development.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 03:06 AM   #379
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One thing I've learned is to never read any article about Asia, especially China, from any Western newspaper/site. The amount of ignorance is through the roof.
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Old April 4th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #380
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Really nice progress on the park. I kind of wish they would just build all skyscrapers and place a central park like in New York. Having the park along the edge of the river is a different idea and might actually work better, we'll see.
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