China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

In one sector after another, the US is falling behind. The US isn’t losing its global leadership, its walking away.

We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China. The new U.S. administration has said it will abandon climate action, gut clean energy funding, and embrace coal and oil — the dirty energy sources of the past that experts say can’t create a large number of sustainable new jobs. At the same time, China is slashing coal use and betting heavily on clean energy, which is clearly going to be the biggest new source of permanent hig

Source: China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

NEXT Architects design a swooping “Mobius strip” bridge for Changsha, China | News | Archinect

Credit: NEXT architects

The Dutch-Chinese firm NEXT Architects has a well-deserved reputation for designing eye-catching bridges. Their latest project, a bright red, Mobius strip-like pedestrian bridge for the Chinese city of Changsha, is set to become another jewel in their portfolio.

185 metres long and 24 metres tall, the “Lucky Knot” bridge will span the Dragon King Harbour River in Changsha’s ‘New Lake District’ development. The bridge will offer views of the nearby Meixi Lake and the mountain range that surrounds the city.

Source: NEXT Architects design a swooping “Mobius strip” bridge for Changsha, China | News | Archinect

Dressing Up in a Panda Suit Can Really Make a Difference – Bloomberg

Combo of cute pictures and admiration for dedicated personnel. Who could ask for more.

This month, the giant panda, the black and white icon of the world’s threatened species since the WWF adopted it as a logo in 1960, has finally managed to crawl off the endangered list. Thanks to a network of more than 60 nature reserves in the mountains of China’s Sichuan province, a successful captive breeding program and a clampdown on poaching, the numbers of the big lovable bears have been rising. The monochrome mammals are still listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. So China’s latest step to conserve its national mascot is to release captive-born bears back into the wild. And for that, you have to look like a panda… Photographs by Adam Dean/Panos Pictures

Source: Dressing Up in a Panda Suit Can Really Make a Difference – Bloomberg

Mapped: China’s Skyrocketing Housing Prices | Foreign Policy

realestate

 

Rapid housing price growth raises concerns about a housing bubble in China’s largest cities. Over the past year, residential real estate prices in 10 Chinese…

Source: Mapped: China’s Skyrocketing Housing Prices | Foreign Policy

In Democrats’ Eyes, Republicans Are Helping Foster Chinese Power – Real Time Economics – WSJ

Are Republicans aiding Chinese efforts to undercut America’s global economic sway?

That’s the case some Democrats are making, complaining that GOP lawmakers are eroding U.S. soft-power overseas by refusing to back the key international institutions where the U.S. has long exercised intellectual, political and economic leverage.

via In Democrats’ Eyes, Republicans Are Helping Foster Chinese Power – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em?

While Obama is at least attempting to deal with the end of U.S. hegemony, Republicans will promote rhetoric over reality and further weaken the U.S.’s global influence.

Now that Australia, New Zealand, India, and Indonesia are also considering joining the bank, the United States is clearly tempering its opposition. In fact, Washington ultimately may be left out since the Republican-dominated Congress is unlikely to allow the United States to join the new bank.

via If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em? | Foreign Policy.

NYC Recaptures Top Global Investment Market in Foreign Investor Survey – CoStar Group

The U.S. overwhelmingly remains the most popular place in the world among foreign commercial real estate investors to place capital, according to the 23rd annual survey among members of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE).

New York City returned to its accustomed spot as the top global market for foreign investment in real estate after being briefly displaced in 2014 by London. With the exception of last year, New York has held the top rank both globally and among U.S. cities since 2010.

NYC Recaptures Top Global Investment Market in Foreign Investor Survey – CoStar Group.

Anne Stevenson-Yang: Why Xi Jinping’s Troubles, and China’s, Could Get Worse – Barron’s

Prominent expert on Chinese economy warns of depression and possible crash:

China, for all its talk about economic reform, is in big trouble. The old model of relying on export growth and heavy investment to power the economy isn’t working anymore…

… starting in 2008, China sought to counter global recession with huge amounts of ill-advised investment in redundant industrial capacity and vanity infrastructure projects—you know, airports with no commercial flights, highways to nowhere, and stadiums with no teams…

People are crazy if they believe any government statistics, which, of course, are largely fabricated…actual Chinese GDP is probably a third lower than is officially reported…

Property sales are in decline, steel production is falling, commercial long-and short-haul vehicle sales are continuing to implode, and much of the growth in GDP is coming from huge rises in inventories across the economy. We track the 400 Chinese consumer companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, and in the third quarter, their gross revenues fell 4% from a year ago. This is hardly a vibrant economy…

Rampant capital flight could turn into a rout given the ridiculous concentration of wealth in China, cutting the seemingly impregnable foreign reserves dramatically…

China is riding an involuntary credit treadmill where much new money has to be hosed into the economy just to sustain ever-mounting bad-debt totals. Capital efficiency, or the amount of capital it takes to generate a unit of GDP growth, has soared as a result…

The Chinese home real estate market, mostly units in high-rise buildings, is truly bizarre. Many Chinese regard apartments as capital-gains machines rather than sources of shelter. In fact, there are 50 million units in China that are owned but vacant. The owners won’t rent them because used apartments suffer an immediate haircut in value.

It’s as if the government created a new asset class that no one lives in. This fact gives lie to the commonly held myth that the buildout of all these empty towers and ghost cities is a Chinese urbanization play. The only city folk who don’t own housing are the millions of migrant laborers continuously flocking to Chinese cities. Yet, they can’t afford the new housing…

Families have more than half of their wealth in housing, including the less affluent in recent years who have taken to buying fractional shares in luxury apartments and town houses. Local governments, which rely on land sales to developers and real estate transfer taxes for something like 35% of their revenue, would be in a bad way in a housing-price bust…

Interestingly, liquidity seems to be a growing problem in China. Chinese corporations have taken on $1.5 trillion in foreign debt in the past year or so, where previously they had none. A lot of it is short term. If defaults start to cascade through the economy, it will be more difficult for China to hide its debt problems now that foreign investors are involved. It’s here that a credit crisis could start…

December 5, 2014

Anne Stevenson-Yang: Why Xi Jinping’s Troubles, and China’s, Could Get Worse – Barron’s.