The pictures of the tragedy that is revealed after a massive earthquake cannot have failed to move us all. What has impressed me , despite the fact that much TV footage is state controlled, is the response of the emergency services, armed forces and ordinary people to get stuck into the rescue and relief programme that has unfolded in the past few days in China.
If you really want to know why petrol prices have soared, metal prices now cause felons to tear lead off our churches and why food prices are soaring, you need to look at the massive changes going on in China. Is their 'long march' to the good-life we have had in the West, really sustainable? (the picture above is of a motorway interchange in Shanghai).
Some interesting snippets on China have caught my attention. Firstly, food!
There is a proposal before The Chinese State Council to extend the business strategy known as 'go-out policy' to farmland. The Chinese have ony 8% of the world's tillable farmland yet 20% of its population and feeding its population is of greater concern than it is of The British Government or TDC in respect of ensuring future food supplies for the UK. The Chinese solution appears to be buying up land in Africa and South America with farming companies sending out workers to grow crops for sale on the world market but most importantly for 'import' back home to China.
Secondly, China's economy. We are entering the Global slump of 2008/9. Some pundits think China has 'hit the buffers' economically. Inflation is 8.5% and rising which could lead to political instability. It may have repeated Japan's mistake in the 1980s of building too many factories shipping too many goods abroad at very narrow profit margins into what is now a tottering export market. Lehman Brothers China expert, Sun Mingchun, believes China's economy will 'trip over' this year because it has so much latent overcapacity. He is predicting an export-led slowdown which could trigger, in the worst case, a chain reaction which would threaten China's financial and political stability.
Why is Thanetstrife suddenly interested in China? Well, it has to be The 'Gateway Scheme' to make the directors of CGP a great deal richer and the East Kent Opportunities LLP formed by TDC and KCC make some money as well. They intend a nice 'cosy' realtionship to build all industrial warehousing at Manston on our water supply and thus 'free-up' Eurokent site for Leisure, Retail and Housing development despite the fact that it was earmarked for industrial use. All of this will be done in the name of 'creating jobs in Thanet' . For whom in Thanet? We have upto 500 jobs being created over at Thanet Earth and will Gateway attract the pool of unemployable in Thanet? Do pigs have wings?
I would rather have the Chinese , 'agro- businesses' buying up land to produce food than our own bunch of home grown greedy developers , aided and abetted by some Councillors 'playing at being a business', stitching Thanet up with the huge 'China Gateway'.
What value to Ken Wills and Ezekiel will the memorandum of understanding with Chinamex be when China's economy stalls? You and I will have farming land covered in concrete; our aquifer getting less water into it and in the worst case , a poisoned and unusable underground water reservoir. Great!
I am off to learn how to write the phrase, " Please come and grow China's food in Thanet' in Mandarin so I can e-mail China's State Council.