Category Archives: Indepth

Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou on China’s Achievements and Challenges

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

October 1 marks the 70th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. Upon this date, Xuefei Chen Axelsson had an exclusive interview with Ambassador Gui Congyou on Sept. 14, 2019.

Stockholm, Sept. 16(Greenpost) – Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou has said that Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, CPC, through unremitting efforts and hard work of the past 70 years, have experienced profound economic and social transformation from a poor and weak China to a relatively healthy wealthy society。This is a historic leap forward towards our goal of realizing the great rejuvenation  of China. 

Ambassador Gui made this remark during an exclusive interview with Xuefei Chen Axelsson, chief editor and founder of Green Post(www.greenpost.se) , a Swedish Chinese media aiming at promoting sustainable development in Sweden and building bridge between China and Sweden. 

“Over the past 70 years, especially over the past 40 years of development, over 1.3 billion people have all used mobile phones and internet in addition to having enough food and clothes.  China’s contribution to world economic development surpasses 30 percent.  China continues to be the second largest destination of foreign direct investment. China becomes more open minded and more confident than before. Such a China will create more opportunities for the world. ” said Gui. 

A series of figures show that Chinese people’s disposable per capita income has increased nearly 60 times more than that in 1949, 20 times more than that in 1978. China’s average life expectancy reaches  77 years old and over 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty. 

“China has been a good member in safeguarding the world peace, a good peace builder, development contributor and international order keeper.” 

Gui said that China has planned to completely eliminate absolute poverty by 2020 and realize modernization by 2035 and basically reach the middle developed countries level by 2050 and followed this road map to go forward step by step. 

He said during this process, China also initiated the Belt and Road initiative and helped those countries who like to join this initiative and shared Chinese technologies and innovations, for example the Beidou Navigation system. 

Talking about challenges ahead, Gui said the Chinese average GDP has not reached ten thousand dollars yet, which is less than 20 percent of the Swedish average GDP. Chinese development is not very balanced and western regions still need further development while eastern regions have developed much better. 

By the end of next year, China still needs to eradicate the absolute poverty by 10 million people(which is equivalent  almost the whole Swedish population). 

Gui said China still faces the challenge of enjoying a better environment in some areas in China. But Chinese people are determined to solve its problems and challenges while developing further with higher quality. Through 70 years of development experiences, Chinese people are confident that they will realize their development goal along with achieving the United Nations 2030 development goals. 

On Sino-Swedish relations,  Ambassador Gui spoke highly of bilateral relations. 

“About 260 years ago, Swedish Gothenburg Boat sailed to China and opened a marine route to China. Sweden became the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with China and signed technical cooperation agreements with China.”

During the new development era, China and Sweden have become the largest trade partners with each other between Nordic countries and Asia. 

So far there are 9000 Chinese students studying in Sweden and becoming the largest number of overseas students group.  In addition to Air China, Eastern Airline also opened direct flight between Stockholm and Shanghai coping with the increasing number of tourists.  China EU express also opened its maiden voyage with Swedish timber export to China last year. 

About his impression on Sweden, Ambassador Gui said that Swedish King Carl Gustav VXI told him to visit all over Sweden and have a good look when he met the King.  And he did visit up north to the countryside, down to the south and east and west of Sweden. He felt Sweden is really beautiful. 

He found Swedish people’s awareness of environmental protection and climate is high. And most of them are very friendly. 

“I think Sweden and China are mutually complementary in green tech cooperation and environmental protection. We can deepen the cooperation in this and other  fields. ” said Gui. 

About the question with media, Ambassador Gui said that media is a bridge between the two sides by expressing opinions and stances of the two sides. Only when he found some media facts were not correct, he would like to point out the facts which provide with true information.

“I found those incorrect information show that the writer has never been to China or get a full picture about China. China has really made great progress over the past years. With the rapid development of new technology, such as internet and high speed train,  China’s progress for the better also speeded up. Welcome Swedish media to visit China and have a good look. ” said Ambassador Gui. 

Full Chinese version please see the following link.

Video: Water Expert Josh Weinberg: Remarkable to provide clean drinking water for over one billion people in China

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 30(Greenpost) — China has made remarkable progress in fighting against water pollution and it is a great achievement to provide clean drinking water for over one billion people in China. Meanwhile, there are still a lot of challenges for China to face, says Josh Weinberg during an interview with Greenpost’s journalist Xuefei Chen Axelsson during the World Water Week held in Stockholm between Aug. 25-30.



Upon the National Day on October 1 in China, Weinberg wishes everyone a Happy National Day and continues to make progress in building a clean and beautiful country in China.

Video: Swedish Water Expert Jan Lindqvist: What China has done is extraordinary and unprecedented

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 30(Greenpost) — Jan Lindqvist, a senior expert working in Stockholm International Water Institute went to China in December 1979 for the first time. He has recalled his experience then and told us that China has made extraordinary and unprecedented progress since then. Greenpost’s chief editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson has interviewed him on the opening plenary session day during the World Water Week in Stockholm. Please watch the video.

Professor Jan Lindqvist said he actually studied Economics but he got a professor job in water department in Linköping University because water issue is not just about water itself, it needs engineers, biologists and economists and many others to solve the complicated water issues.

Professor Lindqvist led a project called from Field to Fork and called on people to stop wasting food and live a healthy lifestyle in modern times.

He said with the increase of population and the expansion of production and consumption, how to balance the individual needs with the limitation of natural resources on us is also an important issue for us to think about and choose the right and healthy way to live.

World Water Week opens with calls for action on water equality

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm,Aug. 26 (Greenpost) – Humanity can only tackle today’s major challenges if access to water is distributed more fairly. When World Water Week, the leading event on global water issues, opened on Monday, speakers called for a drastic shift in how water is shared and managed.

World Water Week opens with calls for action on water equality

World Water Week 2019 is held from the 25-30 August in Stockholm, Sweden, with this year’s theme being Water for Society: Including all. The conference is organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and has been running for 29 years.

In his welcoming address, SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren stressed the importance of using water to solve global challenges. “Many in our societies are not aware of the vital role that water plays in realizing prosperity, eradicating poverty and tackling the climate crisis. Together, we can change that perception and unlock the potential of water-related solutions,” Holmgren said.

Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation from the Government of Sweden also advocated for better water governance and warned that with current trends, 52 per cent of the world’s population and 40 per cent of global grain production could be put at risk by 2051, adding: “Poor and marginalized populations will be disproportionately affected, which will further worsen the rising inequalities.”

River champion Dr Jackie King, Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2019, found it encouraging that the rights of nature are increasingly recognized and noted that “We have the methods and the technology, but need the momentum to make them work.”

Access to open data is one of most important technological changes, said Ma Jun, Founder of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, China, whose pollution database plays an important role to protect water quality. He now pushes for more transparency.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, spoke about how ecosystems are more protected where the rights of indigenous peoples are respected. She asked the water community to condemn the growing violence against indigenous activists: “If those who try to protect the environment are killed, there is less of a chance for us all to protect the last biodiversity resources.”

More than 2000 delegates will attend the week long global water event.

37 Countries, Including Islamic States Support China’s Policies in Xinjiang

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, July 15(Greenpost) — 37 countries’ Ambassaders in Geneva signed a letter supporting China’s policies in Xinjiang.

Beijing says its policies in Xinjiang are a program to de-radicalize Uighurs and other minority Muslims, as part of a broader campaign against three ism– separatism, terrorism and extremism.

Among 37 countries, about one-third of the signatories of the letter praising China’s Xinjiang policies are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc customarily outspoken about actions it views as hostile towards Muslims. They include Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Syria, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, and Togo.

The other signatories are Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Angola, Belarus, Burma, North Korea, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe.

At least 11 of the signatories are currently members of the HRC.

The letter, essentially echoing Beijing’s talking points, says, “Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers.”

It says there has been no terror attack in Xinjiang for three years and that its inhabitants enjoy a happier and more secure existence. (True)

“We commend China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights by adhering to the people-centered development philosophy and protecting and promoting human rights through development,” it says.

Chinese Charge D’Affair Li Song, speaking at the HRC on Friday, said the Chinese government warmly welcomed the support of the signatories of the letter, which “highly spoke of China’s progress in the field of human rights in Xinjiang, and the success in the field of fighting terrorism and extremism.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Li listed the principles China expects the HRC to uphold in its work – “objectivity, transparency, non-selectivity, constructiveness, non-confrontation, and non-politicization.”

He complained that some Western delegations “driven by a political agenda,” had written an open letter of their own several days earlier, “in which they distorted reality on the ground in Xinjiang and made unfounded allegations.”

The 22 signatories of that letter included Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and European nations.

Li said those countries should “discard their prejudices” and “stop politicizing human rights issues.”

Li said the existence of those vocational training centers was supported by “all the people of Xinjiang and the rest of China.

“Under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, all the ethnic groups in Xinjiang are moving proudly to the year 2020 when China will become a well-off society, and further towards a bright future.” said Li.

Why Did Sweden Set Free Qiao Jianjun first and then arrest him again?

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, July 4(Greenpost) — Recently when I heard Kina from a news watched by my husband, I was attracted to it and had a look at the news. Then I replayed it with his computer and got to know that Qiao Jianjun was arrested because America wanted him.

It is really interesting to see this news and think of Swedish Supreme Court and Police behaviour.

Earlier, I saw the picture that Qiao was arrested again and he said he got evidence and he denied all the accusations.

Who is Qiao Jianjun? Greenpost reported in early report that Qiao was suspected to be the No. 3 out of 100 wanted suspects by the Chinese Police. These 100 wanted suspects were accused of corruption crimes and huge amount of embezzlement or appropriation of public money. Most of them used to work in the State owned enterprises.

So far, 55 of them have gone back to China to surrender either willingly or being extradited and have experienced fair trial according to China’s judicial procedures.

Qiao was suspected to be the one who worked in Henan Branch of China’s Food Group, a key state owned corporation. He was accused to have taken 300 million yuan to escape to America in 2011. His ex wife Zhao Xiaolan divorced him in 2001 and later went to America and bought a lot of properties including a villa, a shop and others.

Qiao changed his name and married again and came to Sweden in 2011 according to reports. After long time investigation, Chinese police was almost certain that he was Qiao, the suspect they were looking for and informed Swedish police hoping that they would cooperate to crack down on crimes.

Swedish police arrested Qiao last year and kept him in detention. But on June 19th, the Supreme Court decided to set him free. According to reports from the Swedish and international media that the action had something to do with the Hong Kong situation where the students were against the revision of law to extradite suspects to the place where they had criminal actions.

It was reported that the revision of the law in Hong Kong was caused by a case between Hong Kong and Taiwan which saw the loopholes in the law. According to Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry briefing, the case refers to Mr. Chen from Hong Kong Killed his girlfriend in Taiwan. Taiwan side wanted Mr. Chen to be extradited to Taiwan, but the two sides had no agreement or treaty on this issue. Thus Hong Kong SAR decided to revise the law involving the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan so that they got an agreement.

Analysts guess that maybe because Hong Kong does have a lot of suspects who are wanted by the mainland, they are so afraid of this law being passed. Thus they especially are against the revision to send the suspect to China’s mainland. Otherwise why does the slogan only focuses on the part to extradite to the mainland?

It is also suspected that behind the students there are some forces who could be just those suspects or the suspects supporters. They provided students with money and one American man even encouraged the students to challenge the police with violence.

This man was dug out with internet information as a so called human rights teacher in the mainland and later was expelled out by the Chinese Authority. He mainly taught the students how to demonstrate and how to deal with the police and instigated violence.

No one knows who is exactly behind the scene, but openly one can read British Foreign Affairs Ministry’s statement indicating support or voicing sympathy with the students. It is also known that one of the leaders of the students is still the one who led the paraply movement a couple of years ago.

Swedish reporter Petersson also reported that the students demonstration in Hong Kong was more violent than before. It was not peaceful demonstration any more. It is more antagonism in the action which violated current law of disturbing the public order.

Ok, with such a background, Swedish Supreme Court decided to set Qiao Jianjun free. This was very strange. The second strange thing was that the Supreme Court hasn’t given a written verdict yet. But the person was just set free.

Then, on June 24th, SVT reported that Qiao was arrested again because America wanted him. Qiao was accused by American police that he was suspected to conduct money laundry for 100 million. Therefore he was wanted to be extradited to America.

Now it is even more strange that Swedish court and police refused to cooperate with Chinese police but obey the American police immediately.

Why? I don’t know why. But I guess that shows Swedish police listens more to America than to China. Similar to that British little brother must obey American big brother otherwise, America will cut off your milk supply(trade link).

After my Chinese version of article was published, one reader said either to China or to America, but just not stay in Sweden at large.

Analysts hold that Sweden shouldn’t behave as if she likes to harbor criminals. It is better to extradite Qiao back to China so that he could get a fair trial. If you admit the crime and sincerely regret your behaviour , compensate all the losses, there should be consideration of reducing the penalty.

As far as I know(I used to have a student who studied English with me and worked in China’s Supreme Procuratorate ), China has tried its best to restrict death penalty.


One example of a case in 2000, Erwei was killed by his neighbour with a knife. Erwei was just 25 years old. The neighbour was 60 years old. Both held a knife from the kitchen, the young was running out of the door and the older chased him. Then the young got stuck by a stick and he fell down on the ground. The older man cut him on the ankle of the foot. When he was sent to the hospital, Erwei died of over bleeding.

Such tragedy should have been avoided if our society was more civilised. But unfortunately it happened due to little chore(poverty). According to the criminal law, if you kill someone, you should be punished to be killed. This was believed by Erwei’s relatives too. But the court didn’t sentence the elder man to death penalty immediately, but to execute after two years. That usually means the man will be life imprisonment but not be killed.

Erwei’s mother was not satisfied with the sentence and shangfang or visited upper level of court for many years. Later, she got what she wanted. That was the school fees and living expenses for Erwei’s daughter till 18 years old. At that time the girl was just 5 years old.

This case reflected the situation in China that many people were still struggling with the food and clothes in 2000. Meanwhile, the court tried according to the facts and even with purposely killing crime, since Erwei held a knife too, the other was not sentenced to death.

My student said the court or procuraterate usually dealt with the case with humanitarian concerns. The dead has died, the most important thing is for those who live to have a better life. Therefore, they often try to get more compensation for the victim instead of just getting the other being sentenced to death(meaning not to die).

China used to have very severe punishment for criminal crimes. But after reform and opening up, more and more economic crimes appeared while the so called hooligan crime cases decreased because people were more open than before.

Chinese Ambassador Gui attends Swedish Almedalensweek in Gotland

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, July 3(Greenpost) — Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou attended the Swedish Almedalensweek or Politician Week in Visby, Gotland, the largest Island in Sweden.

Ambassador Gui attended the China Day organized by Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sweden on Wednesday and gave a keynote speech titled Improve Mutual Understanding, Promote Cooperation and Pursue shared development.

“With the develpment of China and  deepening exchanges between China and Sweden, the Swedish public is more interested to learn more about China. With a “China Day” event like this, the two sides can conduct dialogues and communication to increase objective mutual understanding. This is particularly important. To observe China, one cannot use binoculars or magnifying glasses, still less should one use colored glasses, rather one needs to see China with his or her own eyes and an open mind, and see a real, multifaceted and complete China. Today’s “China Day” event is to provide friends from all sectors in Sweden a window to know more about China, build greater common grounds and facilitate cooperation,” said Gui.

Gui further illustrated that China’s development is not just about economic growth, but an all-round social development of the country. The all-round development of China helped to lift nearly 800 million people out of poverty. The largest universal health care and social security systems in the world were built, and nine-year free education now covers every student. Per capita income grew at an average annual rate of 7.4%, creating the largest middle-income group in the world. We work to build socialist democracy, develop and improve consultative democracy, and fully protect the extensive and tangible rights and freedoms of the people.

Gui said that China’s development is not just about national strength, but about peaceful development. Expansion is not in China’s DNA. China has never started a war or conflict, and never invaded one inch of territory of other countries. China’s development will not pose any threat to any country.

China’s development is not just the development of itself, but development together with the world. China’s economic growth has been contributing over 30% to global growth for many years in a row, making itself an anchor and engine for global growth and a key contributor to the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN. China has been actively pursuing the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative, with a central goal to strengthens interconnectivity, which mobilizes more resources, opens more market room and unleashed more dynamism for the development of countries along the route. The initiative is widely welcomed and supported by the international community.

The world is amid changes unseen in 100 years. Profound shifts are occurring in strengths of countries and economic development models, and another cycle of technological innovation gathers momentum. At the same time, surging unilateralism and protectionism erode the mutual trust and coordination among countries, and lead to greater risks and uncertainties in world economy. No one will win from a trade war. It severely damages the multilateral trading system, the confidence of global market and directly threatens world economic growth including that of Europe and Sweden. The Chinese side agreed to continue trade talks with the US side with sincerity, but such talks should be based on an equal footing and mutual respect, and with a purpose to address the legitimate concerns of each other. On issues concerning China’s sovereignty and dignity, China will resolutely safeguard its core interests. We are willing to follow the principle agreement reached by the two Presidents, work with the US to restart the trade consultations based on equality and mutual respect, manage differences and expand cooperation. We are ready to join hands with all countries that are committed to multilateral trade system and open development, to oppose protectionism, unilateralism and economic bullying, and stand up for fairness, justice and the fundamental interests of countries in the world, Ambassador Gui said.

What does a richer and stronger China mean for Sweden? The key words are opportunities and cooperation. China’s development will not pose any threat to Sweden, but will only bring bumper opportunities for cooperation. We are willing to develop friendly relations and cooperation with Sweden with good will, sincerity and friendship. The Chinese people often say that kindness needs to be returned tenfold, which means that when other countries treat China well, we will only treat them better.

Ambassador Gui said that China and Sweden enjoy traditional friendship. Without any historical baggage or conflicting interests, we have good conditions to develop our bilateral relations. China and Sweden share similar development philosophies. Our economies are highly complementary and there is great cooperation potential. China is working to implement the new development vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. Sweden, as the first country that proposed the concept of sustainable development, leads the world in green, innovative and sustainable development. We are each other’s largest trading partner in the Nordic region and in Asia. Last year, trade between China and Sweden reached USD 17.15 billion, hitting a new record. In the past two years, Sweden has maintained trade surplus with China, which we welcome. We are willing to further expand importation from Sweden, and we will not fight a trade war with Sweden. We need to continue to advance our traditional cooperation in trade. We also need to actively explore more common areas of ideas and interests, and explore new cooperation fields.

We welcome various sectors of Sweden to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthen dialogue and communication, synergize our respective strengths, explore cooperation that is bilateral, trilateral or even among more parties, and inject new momentum into China-Sweden practical cooperation. In November this year, China will host the second International Import Expo, and we welcome the participation of Swedish friends in the event, concluded Gui.

Almedalen Week is a week that politicians voice their policies and debate about their opinions.

This was the second year that Ambassador Gui attended the week. Last year he was interviewed by several Swedish mainstream media.

Many people said this Chinese Ambassador is different from the previous ones. It is true. Maybe the biggest difference is that this Ambassador works much harder and is willing to go to the Swedish public and talk with people. He likes to communicate with the media, the public and the entrepreneurs, whoever is interested in China.

He said his job here was just to represent a real China and to those who got the wrong facts, he also dared to speak up and correct. He represents a new generation of Chinese diplomats who were born during the 1960s and optimistic about the future and the world.

Photos from the Chinese Embassy.

Video: Interview with Dan Larhammar, President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, June. 13(Greenpost) — How to solve the problem of ocean plastics? The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is hosting a one and a half day seminar on this issue. Greenpost founder and chief editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson has interviewed Dan Larhammar, President of the Academy. Please watch the video.

In late afternoon the panel has good discussions as the following:

Video5: Professor Danilovic: China Fixes All-More Holistic

STOCKHOLM, May 29(Greenpost) — Professor Mike Danilovic from Halmstad University in Sweden said at the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Stockholm that China has been using a holistic way in doing business with Africa and providing assistance in African countries. He mainly talked about the BRI as a business opportunity for Swedish small and medium-size companies.

He vividly described how Chinese companies deal with development issues in Africa.

Jasmine Lihua Liu, Researcher, Halmstad University/Shanghai Dianji University gave a presentation on exploring Chinese Business Culture.

Suci Ariyanti, student of Halmstad University came from Malaysia and was sent to China to study for some time. She tells her experiences in China and Sweden.

The audience gave a lot of questions and the discussion was very good.

2019 Stockholm Forum connects crisis response to peacebuilding

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm 14 May(Greenpost) Over 400 high-level policymakers, researchers and practitioners gather in Stockholm for the sixth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development to be held between May 14 and 16th.

This year’s forum centres on the topic ‘From crisis response to peacebuilding: Achieving synergies’ and was opened by Ambassador Jan Eliasson, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. Ambassador Eliasson’s address touched on the broad range of actors and peacebuilders and emphasized the risks of actors working in silos.

The first day of discussion ended up with the closing remark by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Walstrom. She said that the good example of peace building was Columbia and it was so good that their President even won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

She said it is important to involve women in the process and that is exactly the Swedish foreign policy and building strong institutions is also very important.

HE Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden, provided introductory remarks and pointed out that the various efforts among the development community ‘do not always add up.’

Guest speaker for the opening session was Dr Sima Samar, Chair, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Council and member of the UN Secretary-General High-Level Panel on Mediation. Dr Samar shared her knowledge of Afghanistan—a country that has endured over 40 years of conflict. From her experiences, ‘when people’s human rights are violated; when their freedom is restricted; when there is discrimination against people; where there is no equality; and there is no access to justice for people—then conflict starts.’ She underlined the need for the meaningful inclusion of women and minorities at all stages of the peace process and during post-conflict reconstruction.

Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross gave a keynote speech on peace and development. On the need for the stronger connections between humanitarian aid; development cooperation; and peacebuilding, Maurer stressed that ‘humanitarian actors are not peacebuilders. Neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian action is distinct from political agendas and it must remain so. Yet, I would argue that while others make peace, humanitarian action helps make peace possible.’

The theme for the opening panel was ‘Crisis response and peacebuilding: How to create synergies’ and was moderated by Annika Ben David, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden.

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, highlighted the World Bank’s ‘Pathways to Peace’ report and how the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have laid out a vital roadmap for the future, but also for managing the risks of today.

HE Raya Haffar El Hassan, Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Lebanon, talked about the different agendas between donors and how better synthesis between donors could lead to a more sustainable peace.

Hafez Ghanem, Vice President for Africa, World Bank outlined the new role of the World Bank in investing in peace. Pointing to a number of key initiatives and ways of analyzing the Sahel; the Lake Chad Basin; and the Horn of Africa regions, he stated the need to focus on the drivers of fragility such as climate change and exclusion. He also stressed to support the local government to keep peace and development.

HE Hirut Zemene, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia, emphasized the role of youth development—a theme echoed by other panellists—and stressed the demographic challenge in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

General Dennis Gyllensporre, Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), called for better conflict analysis in the early stage of crises and the need to share in a combined body of knowledge. General Gyllenspore stated ‘we all have different blind spots depending on what lens we use.’ Sharing knowledge, he said, ‘will give us a sense of a common understanding of the conflict dynamics.’

Karin Wallensteen, State Secretary for International Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Sweden, spoke on collective outcomes. ‘I believe that if we have this nexus of humanitarian efforts; development efforts; and peace efforts we can give the relief and at the same time keep our focus on the SDGs.’

In the afternoon, Somalian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Isse Awad said his country is in a better position now with 80 percent of the people have mobile phones, good infrastructure, schools and other conditions. But the governance of the government is still a challenge for them, thus he called on the donors to support his government to strengthen good governance.

Fatima Shehu Imam, Director of Civil Society Organizations in Borno State, Nigeria said great challenge ahead because they have about 500 thousand orphans in northern part of Nigeria. These people need more care from government and social organizations because they are isolated or even resentful, no one care about them.

Mohammed Ali Al Hakim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq said Iraq is on the right track and he promised to pay greater attention to gender issues. Right now they have about 30 women diplomats and he plans to increase more women Ambassadors in the future.

Annika Soder Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden summarized Swedish efforts in promoting feminist foreign policies even in the UN Security Council. She blamed some super power of implementing unilateral actions and not cooperative for some good ideas. But she stressed the feminist policies in the long run is more sustainable in peace keeping and development.

Peter Mauer said in the afternoon high level panel that things change a lot. For example they prepared a lot of medicine in disaster or conflict humanitarian aid, but found out that people need more electricity and telecommunication.

The moderator was Dan Smith, Executive Director of SIPRI.

When asking a delegate from Nigeria about China’s role in Africa, he said China can do more, for example building more water conservancy projects to secure safe drinking water and keep water clean.

The forum was jointly held by SIPRI, SIDA and Foreign Ministry of Sweden.

2019 Journey to Turpan Xinjiang (2)-Karez

Stockholm, May 7(Greenpost) — Last year when I exhibited my Xinjiang Photos which were mostly from northern part of Xinjiang, my Turkish colleague Gurgun asked me whether I have visited Karez. I said unfortunately not, but I will go there to have a look.

On March 17th, I went to the Fire Mountain first because I have seen the fairy tales Journey to the West hundreds of times and dreamed of going there to have a look.

After a long journey in the baren land, I and my friends were almost scorched. I felt very disappointing because in the film it was such a dramatic scene, but in reality, it was dull and boring. Some artificial constructions tell the story of Journey to the West with Sun Wukong holding his Golden Stick and the Iron Fan Princess holding the Iron Fan. But what I saw is just the baren mountain ranges which look like many explosive fires. I was tired and wanted to escape the ancient graveyard which I felt quite regretful later.

We hurried up to the Karez which was the most important part that I like to see. The scene along the road is simply the yellow land, sand and wind.

But when we arrived in Tuokesun Town where the Karez museum sits, it was quite nice. The lunch was babecued mutton. The sun was strong and it felt wonderful. The spring indeed began in mid march.

According to historical research, Turpan used to have over 1270 Karez, but due to the draught, some Karez become dried. Now there are about 1100 Karez reaching about 5000 kilometers. And the trend is that it is becoming fewer and fewer. The reason is that Karez is difficult to maintain and the cost for it is too high. Instead, nowadays people began to use machine pump for agricultural irrigation.

But Karez was a great method for the ancient people to survive and live a better life. There are many theories in who invented the Karez. Some say it was introduced from Iran or Soviet Union, some say it was from Han Dynasty from Shaanxi, some say it was a combination of local invention with improvement from communication with outside world.

Whatever, Karez was listed a sone of the three greatest projects in ancient China together with the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.

I also believe great civilization exhisted in Turpan because those dried corpse themselves have shown that. Next time I like to talk about that.

2019 Journey to Turpan Xinjiang (1)-Grape Valley

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, May 7(Greenpost) — Turpan sits south of Urumqi and takes about two hours to drive and one hour by fast train there. Last year I visited northern part of Xinjiang and this year, I like to have a look at southern part with my own initiative and on my own expenditure.

Turpan is completely different from northern part of Xinjiang. The color is very different. Turpan is rich in sand and yellow land and is very hot because it is a basin, lowest basin in China.

But on the highway to Turpan, it was very windy and dusty. The land was barren and the wind was strong. Thus the wind power farm boasts to be the second largest one only second to Denmark. Xinjiang is really large with 1.66 million square kilometers and 56 ethnic groups.

During this trip due to time limitation, I just visited the Grape Valley and the Kare undergroud canals in Turpan.

With the help of Yusupu the driver (who is also an acrobatic teacher) and guide Mouhamoud (who is also an editor), I had visited Grape Valley and seen the houses where the Uygurs live. Their houses are not built by wood such as in Northern part of Xinjiang, but by mud and sand soil. It looks very earthy. I just wonder if there is heavy rain, will these houses survive? But the problem is exactly that it is very dry here and there is no rain almost all year round. The sunshine time is the longest in the whole country. The temperature is also very high. Thus the vegetables and fruits are very good at growing in this land. Thanks to the snow mountains, they can use the snow water to water crops.

I was impressed by the happy faces of these children. Some of them are Han and some of them are Hui. Yusupu was born in this city. He said in fact, most people in these areas speak Uygur languages. Even Han people can speak Uygur language because more than 70 percent of the people here are Uygurs.

Turpan enjoys a long civilization and has long history and culture.

Photo news:2019 NPC Session Concludes with various reports passed

Stockholm, May 7th (Greenpost)– The annual National People’s Congress 2019 concluded on March 15th with the votes for various reports concerning the government’s work for this year.

The National People’s Congress is the supreme legislative body and represents all walks of life and all ethnic groups in China which has 56 ethnic groups.

The following are the results of the votes for various reports including government work report, budget, judicial report and Supreme Court report as well as financial report and Foreign Investment Law.

The NPC session started on March 5 and concluded on March 15th. After this meeting, local leaders and legislators will go back to their province, counties and cities, villages to implement what they have discussed and passed during the congress.

China’s success lies on this disciplined congress every year and the setting and implementation of their five year plans, and every year action plan. Since the founding of the new China and the founding of the NPC and CPPCC, China has been carrying out what they well planned in improving people’s living standards. During the cultural revolution, it was somewhat disturbed.

But after 1978 reform and opening up, China has been strictly implementing its five year plans and long term and mid term goals and targets. With such discipline, China has seen rapid development with clear goal oriented and released great productivity and vitality in the construction of China.

Now in Beijing, you still can see a lit bit of old Beijing in the very inner part, but outside the third ring road, almost all the buildings were built in recent 20 years. Chinese have been working hard and creating great wealth for themselves and for the world such as inexpensive clothes and many other products. Thus contribute greatly to the world development.

Photo and Text by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Members Assembly of Acupuncture Science Association Sweden 2019 and a Seminar on International Promotion of TCM on Triangle Needling Method in Sweden held in Stockholm

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, May 4 (Greenpost) — Members Assembly of Acupuncture Science Association Sweden 2019 and a Seminar on International Promotion of TCM on Triangle Needling Method in Sweden were held in Stockholm on May 4 on Saturday.

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Secretary General Zhang Dongqing presided over the member assembly which were attended by about 30 members.

Xu Tie, representative of Chen Qingquan Science and Innovation Center in Sweden attended the meeting on behalf of Academician Chen Qingquan who gave a video opening remark at the beginning of the meeting. He emphasised the theory of TCM with the concept of prevention, relief, treatment and rehabilitation.

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President of ASAS Yang Chungui summarized his association’s work last year.

He said that they organized a seminar on triangle needling treatment method successfully last year.

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They went to China to get training and exchange ideas in international triangle needling seminar.

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He and Vice President Zhang Dongqing and Li Jian also went to Rome in Italy to give a lecture on triangle needling method to cure pain on their own cost.

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Vice President Wang from China’s TCM Institute visited Swedish TCM Acupuncture Education Base last year.

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Swedish Legislator and his secretary visited TCM education base to listen to the legislation team’s report last year.

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2018 international Acupuncture Moxibustion practice examination was held in Stockholm.

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Academician Chen Qingquan visited the education base and promoted the medical revolution concept and pointed out that the best way is the combination between the western and eastern medicine.

The ASAS will go with time and continue to improve its medical treatment level.

President Yang said the WHO has put the TCM into the 11th edition of the Global Medical Guidelines for the first time in 2019. TCM acupuncture is a sustainable medicine with low cost, no side effect and easy to get. It also makes the medical services more complete in addition to the strict biological medical model paying attention to individual diseases. By distinguishing individual symptoms and treat it with Chinese medicine, Chinese medicine has entered the modern era with the guidance of the big data and the medical treatment following the symptoms of the patients.

“Our Chinese doctor colleagues have formed a big family. We should continue to improve our diagnosis and treatment standards in order to give good and effective services to the Swedish patients. Academician Chen’s advanced rehabilitation concept combining prevention and treatment will promote the good cooperation between Chinese and western medicine. They will complement each other which will lead to a new medical revolution.

A new leading group in the association has been selected:

President: Yang Chungui,

Vice President and Secretory General: Zhang Dongqing

Vice President: Li Jian

Vice President: Lin Youji,

Deputy Secretary: Yukio Danisman

Member of the Council: Lin Defeng

Member of the Council: Yang Xi

Member of the Council: Chen Tiejun

Suppliant member : Nader

Suppliant member: Martin

Suppliant member: Wei Wei

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 Secretary General Zhang also introduced the competent teachers in the Swedish Acupuncture Education Base. Their supervisors are all the first class TCM experts in China.

Guiding professors are Liu Baoyan, Shi Xuemin, Tang Zuxuan, Liao Fulong, Wu Hanqing and Yang Guang.

The lecturers are Yang Chungui, Zhang Dongqing, Li Jian, Liao Rong, Lin Defeng, Reijo Pöyhöne, Yang Xi, Zhang Hongxia, Wei Wei and Lin Youji.

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 Lawyer Bengt talked about the progress made in legislation of TCM acupuncture in Sweden. Sweden has admitted TCM acupuncture in 1983. But so far many patients still cannot use medical care system to see Chinese doctors. They have to pay themselves. Bengt explained that parliamentarian Kjell Asplund has put the TCM acupuncture legislation requirement into his book which he will present to the parliament. Meanwhile, he stressed that TCM still needs to further improve itself and provide more scientific evidence.

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Yukio Danisman reported on finance balance and new member management system. He said that due to the increase of new members, the financial situation in the association is quite good. They will pay more attention to communication work in the future.

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Vice President Lin Youji reported on the compilation work in preparing for setting up standards of TCM acupuncture. The compilation personnel will include:

Honorary Chief Editor: Liu Baoyan

Proof reading editors: Shi Xuemin, Wu Hanqing, Reijo Pöyhöne
Chief Editor: Yang Chungui. Editor: Wei Wei, Yang Xi, Yukio Danisman, Lin Youji, Chen Tiejun, Nader. Proof reading: Zhang Dongqing, Li Jian, Ma Xuehong, Liao Rong, Lin Defeng. Editor in Charge: Lin Youji. It is expected that the needling standards will be issued in August and the acupuncture Safety Regulations will be issued in December this year.

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Eight members got their proficiency certificates as internationally registered acupuncture doctor.

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The assembly also gave a seminar on international promotion of the triangle needling method in Sweden.

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President Yang Chungui gave a lecture on the taboo acupuncture points in the body so that they will avoid mistakes. He also taught how to properly use the acupuncture needles. Based on his family inherited experience in acupuncture, he doesn’t suggest use of too long needles. Most of the time he uses 2.5 CM needles for acupuncture.

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Vice President Li Jian spoke Swedish to give a lecture on how to use acupuncture needles in treating the abdomen pain.
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Vice President and Secretary Zhang Dongqing gave a lecture on clinic application of the triangle needling method to treat pain in the waist.

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Doctor Lin Youji talked about the functions of the ear in connection with the acupuncture points.

The free treatment during the conference attracted about 20 patients to have a test of the TCM. They all expressed that the acupuncture and massage can substantially alleviate the pain especially in the neck.

During today's annual meeting, all our members have actively contributed to the successful holding of the meeting, the academic atmosphere was rich, commented Zhang Dongqing, Vice President of ASAS. He has talked in Swedish both in presiding over the meeting and giving academic lecture which is very impressive. 
Academician Chen Qingquan was known for his sustainable development concept, but he was also impressed by his idea on traditional Chinese Medicine. President Yang said Chen has pointed out the direction for TCM. 
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"I feel very excited to have obtained the proficiency certificate for international registered acupuncture doctor which I have dreamed of. I will continue to learn from all of you, especially President Yang, Vice President Zhang and Li who haved helped me. This will inspire me to continue to do a good job in providing good service to Swedish patients and promote traditional Chinese Medicine. I feel very happy to be in this association and like to make joint efforts to make our association better and better. "
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During today's seminar, the last part was about the acupuncture points in the ear. It turned out that there are links between the ear and the other organs in the body which help diagnosis for diseases. 

Photo and Text Xuefei Chen Axelsson

ÄR KINAS NYA SIDENVÄG EN SKULDFÄLLA? Dags att skilja fakta från fantasi!

Av   Hussein Askary *

STOCKHOLM, Feb.9(Greenpost)–Under 2018 riktades en störtflod av kritik mot Kinas Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), den stora satsningen på ”nya sidenvägar” som ska underlätta förbindelserna inom och mellan Eurasien och Afrika med hjälp av modern infrastruktur, som järnvägar, motorvägar, hamnar, flygplatser, kraftverk, dammar, kanaler och telekommunikationsnätverk. BRI har redan omskapat de internationella ekonomiska förbindelserna i synnerhet i den s.k. utvecklingssektorn och sätter fart på den ekonomiska utvecklingen och fattigdomsbekämpningen i många länder runt om världen med en kraft som inte går att hejda.

Misstänksamhet och kritik mot Kina från nyhetsmedier och politiska krafter i väst är inget nytt, men nu kläs den i andra ord. BRI framställs som ett sätt att lura utvecklingsländer att skuldsätta sig genom stora infrastrukturprojekt för att Kina ska kunna dra politiska och strategiska fördelar, framför allt när dessa länder sedan inte kan betala tillbaka lånen de fått från Kina.

Detta låter ju inte alltför långsökt, med tanke på den skurkroll som kineser, ryssar och andra icke-europeiska regelmässigt tilldelas i väst, inte bara i James Bond-filmer. Vi förväntas inte heller granska ”fakta” som vi blir serverade av etablerade experter och nyhetsmedier, som inte sällan på ett eller annat sätt är kopplade till eller till och med avlönade av staten.

Och varifrån kommer kritiken? Den kommer oftast inte från experter på ekonomi i USA eller Europa, utan från säkerhetsexperter och geopolitiska analytiker som har liten eller ingen kunskap om ekonomi.

Debtbook Diplomacy, ”skuldfälla-diplomati”[1], lanserades som begrepp i en rapport beställd av USA:s utrikesdepartement, som kom ut i maj 2018. Den rapporten användes sedan av amerikanska UD för att ringa i alla varningsklockor i hela världen om vilka konsekvenser Kinas BRI kunde få. Etablerade nyhetsmedier rapporterade vad rapporten hade ”kommit fram till” som om det var fakta. Men rapportförfattaren, en ung akademiker vid namn Sam Parker, som samma år hade avlagt sin magisterexamen på Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs vid Harvard Kennedy School, saknade kända ekonomiska meriter och hade inte heller publicerat någonting om ekonomin vare sig i Kina eller något annat land. Han kom i stället till Harvard efter att ha tjänstgjort flera år på USA:s departement för inrikes säkerhet![2]

Sri Lanka: Inget ”paradexempel”

Experterna och medierna har aldrig presenterat några egentliga belägg för vad de påstår är Kinas strategiska ”avsikter”. Det som de beskyller Kina för är snarare en projektion på Kina av de europeiska ländernas eget koloniala förflutna, som egentligen inte har någonting med Kinas faktiska historia eller utrikespolitik att göra.

Det enda exemplet på vad man hävdar är den kinesiska modellen, som man hela tiden återkommer till, är hamnen i Hambantota i Sri Lanka. Parker menar att Kinas övertagande av hamnen i Hambantota ska lyftas fram i alla sammanhang som ett ”paradexempel” på hur Kina tänker behandla andra länder. Vilken betydelse denna hamn har för Sri Lankas nu aktuella och framtida utvecklingsplaner bryr man sig inte om. Det enda man säger är att chansen att hamnen skulle generera intäkter ända från början var lika med noll, och att Kina pumpade in pengar i hamnen med den enda avsikten att sedan kunna lägga beslag på den.

Projektet, till en kostnad av sammanlagt 1,1 miljarder dollar, var inte en kinesisk idé, utan en del av den lankesiska regeringens plan för att avlasta den enda större hamnen i landet, Colombo Harbor Port, genom att anlägga en ny hamn och bygga ett industriområde i dess närhet. Den planen gick tillbaka till 2002, långt innan BRI var påtänkt. Att bygga kraftverk och anlägga nya industriområden var ett led i satsningen ”Regaining Sri Lanka”, med tonvikt på att stimulera den ekonomiska aktiviteten i landets södra del.

Arbetet med att anlägga hamnen i Hambantota påbörjades 2008 av China Harbour Engineering Company och Sinohydro Corporation. Projektet finansierades till 85 procent genom ett lån från China Export-Import Bank. Hamnen öppnades formellt för kommersiell trafik 2010, men godshanteringen blev inte den förväntade. De låga intäkterna och betydande finansieringskostnaderna gjorde att hamnmyndigheten i Sri Lanka 2016 tecknade ett avtal med innebörden att det statliga kinesiska holdingbolaget China Merchants Port skulle få leasa 70 procent av hamnen i 99 år och få en 85-procentig ägarandel i hamnen och industriområdet, mot att man förband sig att fortsätta investera i en uppgradering av faciliteterna där. Det kinesiska bolaget skulle investera ytterligare 700-800 miljoner dollar i utvecklingen av hamnområdet. Syftet med avtalet var att lätta på skuldbördan för Sri Lanka.

Kritikerna utgår från att Sri Lanka alltid kommer att förbli ett fattigt land utan industri, modernt jordbruk eller annan modern ekonomisk verksamhet som skulle ställa krav på en modern infrastruktur, som denna hamn. Dessutom nämns det nästan aldrig att merparten av den kommersiella sjöfarten mellan Ostasien och Europa passerar förbi bara 6-9 sjömil söder om Sri Lankas sydkust, och att den lankesiska ekonomin uppenbarligen skulle kunna dra fördel på olika sätt av de enorma handelsvolymer som färdas genom dessa vatten. Hamnanläggningen i Hambantota har alla möjligheter att kunna erbjuda sjöfartsrelaterade tjänster såsom skeppsklarering, omlastning av gods med mera samt har ett utmärkt läge för industrier som kan dra fördel av den direkta tillgängligheten till världsmarknaden.

Ena stunden beskrivs Hambantota som ett meningslöst och dyrt projekt, andra stunden som en betydande strategisk tillgång för det expanderande Kina.

 

Sjöfartsvägar förbi Sri Lanka. När hamnen i Hambantota rycks ur sitt sammanhang får man intrycket att Kina har byggt en hamn på en öde strandremsa mitt ute i ingenstans. Men Hambantota ligger bara 6-9 sjömil från en av de livligast trafikerade kommersiella handelsrutterna i världen.

 

Gav Kina lån till Sri Lanka till ett projekt som var dömt att bli ett affärsmässigt fiasko, bara för att sedan kunna ta hamnen i beslag när lånet förföll till betalning? Absolut inte. Men det är det som Parker vill få oss att tro.

Finns det någon annan rimlig förklaring? I den mån som just detta specifika exempel skulle vara utslag av en allmän trend, så är det att det visar att de internationella finansinstitutionerna och deras allierade ställer sig helt kallsinniga till utvecklingsländers önskan om att ta sig ur fattigdom och ekonomisk underutveckling. Parker skriver själv att Sri Lanka, efter ett förödande, decennielångt inbördeskrig, ”vände sig till Japan, Indien, IMF, Världsbanken och Asiatiska utvecklingsbanken med en förfrågan om finansiering för att anlägga en betydande hamn i det outvecklade Hambantotaområdet, men nekades finansiering på grund av frågetecken kring mänskliga rättigheter och affärsmässig bärkraft.” Kina sa inte nej till Sri Lanka, utan hjälpte till att göra verklighet av ett mål som landet självt hade satt upp.

En viktig ekonomisk poäng som vår tids journalister och ”experter” inte tar hänsyn till, är att infrastrukturens värde inte främst ligger i dess förmåga att generera finansiell avkastning; den avgörande betydelse som infrastruktur har för varje lands utveckling till en modern ekonomi ligger i att den höjer produktiviteten i hela den nationella ekonomin. ”Avkastningen på investeringen” är inte avgifterna som kan tas ut från dem som brukar infrastrukturen ifråga, utan intäkterna som flyter in till de produktiva industri- och jordbruksföretag som drar nytta av denna infrastruktur. Vi ska återkomma till detta.

Fakta i målet

Afrika. Den ”bild” som målas upp i den anti-kinesiska rapporteringen motsägs av fakta. Till exempel framgår det av den väldokumenterade forskning som gjorts av China Africa Research Initiative vid Johns Hopkins-universitetets School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-CARI)[3], att merparten av de afrikanska skulderna inte är till Kina, utan till västländer och västligt dominerade institutioner som IMF och Världsbanken.

I sin vitbok om mötet i Peking i september 2018 med Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) skriver SAIS-CARI: ”Vi konstaterar att kinesiska lån för närvarande inte är en betydande orsak till skuldsvårigheter i Afrika. Många länder har ändå tagit stora lån från Kina och andra. Nya FOCAC-låneutfästelser kommer sannolikt att ta med Afrikas växande skuldbörda i beräkningen.” Kina lånade enligt vitboken ut 133 miljarder dollar till Afrika under perioden 2000-2016, med ett mycket stort belopp på 30 miljarder dollar 2016, efter FOCAC-mötet i Johannesburg 2015. Många afrikanska länder har fått lån från Kina, men i bara tre fall – Djibouti, Kongo-Kinshasa och Zambia – är Kina den största långivaren. I Kamerun, på fjärde plats vad gäller andelen kinesiska lån i förhållande till den totala utlandsskulden, är andelen kinesiska lån mindre än en tredjedel.

Pakistan. Pakistan är ett land som har suttit fast i en skuldfälla i många år, men det är inte Kina som är fordringsägare utan stater och finansinstitutioner i väst. Och, som vi ska visa nedan, om det är någonting som ska kunna hjälpa Pakistan att ta sig ur denna fälla, så är det samarbetet med Kina om att bygga den kinesisk-pakistanska ekonomiska korridoren, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

I sin Debtbook Diplomacy-rapport, under rubriken ”USA:s intressen på spel”, låter Sam Parker den imperialistiska undertonen i rapporten träda i dagen. Som ”punkt 1” slår Parker fast att ”Kinas expanderande regionala inflytande och tillgång till hamnar i Sydasien och Stilla havet på sikt kan ändra den regionala maktbalansen bort från USA:s effektiva dominans till sjöss”. Värre blir det i punkt 2: ”Kinas lån underminerar USA:s möjligheter att använda sitt eget ekonomiska bistånd till att gynna USA:s säkerhetspolitiska målsättningar. Detta bistånd har gett USA ett kraftfullt medel att främja sina intressen i Pakistan rörande kärnvapensäkerhet och terrorismbekämpning.”

Parker, liksom de flesta i väst med en kritisk inställning till Kina, beskyller Kina för att underminera västvärldens strategiska grepp över världen, genom att försvåra för västvärlden att använda ekonomiskt bistånd och lån för att kontrollera andra länder för strategiska syften. Ett märkligt argument!

Idag är det enskilda stater organiserade i den s.k. Parisklubben (nästan uteslutande västländer) och multilaterala långivare med IMF och internationella storbanker i spetsen som är Pakistans största långivare, inte Kina, enligt Pakistans officiella statistik[4]. 2018 uppgick Pakistans utlandsskuld till drygt 95 miljarder dollar, och skuldåterbetalningar (ränta och amorteringar) beräknas 2022-2023 belöpa sig till 31 miljarder dollar. Under innevarande budgetår kommer Pakistan att betala 4,2 miljarder dollar till dessa huvudsakligen västliga långivare. Skuldtjänsten på lånen till CPEC inleddes 2018, men utgörs av knappt 80 miljoner dollar i amorteringar, enligt uppgifter i den pakistanska dagstidningen The Dawn.

Mot den bakgrunden är det rätt ironiskt att den amerikanske utrikesministern Mike Pompeo, som basar över det departement som beställde Parkers rapport, i juli 2018 varnade IMF angående en förfrågan från den pakistanska regeringen om ett nödlån på 12 miljarder dollar. ”Förstå mig rätt. Vi håller ögonen på IMF”, sa Pompeo i en intervju på CNBC. ”Det finns ingen anledning att IMF-dollar, förknippade med de USA-dollar som är en del av IMF:s långivning, ska gå till att lösa ut kinesiska obligationsinnehavare eller Kina direkt”, sa Pompeo.

IMF, och därmed de västliga långivarna i Parisklubben, har aktivt blandat sig i Pakistans ekonomiska politik och suveränitet genom olika omförhandlingar av skulderna och de lånevillkor som alla IMF-lån är förenade med, med hjälp av mekanismer som Extended Fund Facility. Den senaste faciliteten i Pakistans fall var ett lån 2016 på 6,4 miljarder dollar. Ett villkor var att budgetunderskottet inte fick överstiga 4,2 procent, något som i princip omöjliggör statligt finansierade investeringar i infrastruktur. Ett annat var en nedskalning av Pakistans egna utvecklingsplaner med ca 1,6 miljarder dollar. Följden blir, som överallt annars där IMF och Världsbanken går in med sina s.k. räddningspaket, att skulden växer sig ännu större och ekonomin backar ännu mer, eftersom landet ifråga inte tillåts bygga upp en bas för framtida tillväxt. När nya lån går till att betala gamla skulder så spär det bara på den totala skuldsättningen.

Pakistans växande utlandsskuld är en direkt följd av landets enorma handelsunderskott. Varje år de senaste fem åren har underskottet varit minst 23 miljarder dollar, och det ökar dramatiskt. De viktigaste exportvarorna är textilier och livsmedel (huvudsakligen ris). Pakistan har också haft en fordonsindustri. Livsmedel är känsliga för prisfluktuationer, och textil- och fordonssektorerna är inte längre konkurrenskraftiga på grund av den dåliga energiförsörjningen i landet. Pakistans största importvaror (och orsaken till den negativa handelsbalansen och därav utlandsskulden) är olja, naturgas och raffinerade oljeprodukter (bränsle). Det är där Kinas insats genom CPEC kommer att spela den största rollen eftersom det förutom transportkorridorerna är just på energisidan som Kina koncentrerar sina investeringar, när man bygger den kinesisk-pakistanska ekonomiska korridoren[5].

 

Det står helt klart att om Pakistan, som varje år importerar olja och gas för 13-14 miljarder dollar, ska ha en chans att ta sig ur den ekonomiska krisen och skapa förutsättningar för en framtida blomstrande industrisektor, så är det absolut nödvändigt att man satsar stort på att öka den egna kraftproduktionen. Och det är det som Kina nu hjälper till med. Följande investeringar på energisidan är antingen färdigställda, under byggnad eller under förhandling: kolkraftverk (8.580 MW), vattenkraft (2.700 MW), andra värmekraftverk, däribland gaseldade (825 MW), solkraft (900 MW), vindkraftsparker (350 MW). Den förväntade nya kraftproduktionskapaciteten uppgår till sammanlagt 13.355 MW, att jämföra med Pakistans nuvarande installerade kapacitet på 25.000 MW.

Den sammanlagda kostnaden för denna nya kraftproduktion (inklusive kolutvinning och kraftnät) beräknas till 23-30 miljarder dollar, vilket motsvarar ungefär två års import av olja och gas, och mindre än hälften av det årliga handelsunderskottet.

Men i internationella medier fortsätter man att peka ut Kina som problemet, och det händer att rena falsarier kastas in i medieelden som om de var fakta.

Den pakistanska tidningen The News International basunerade till exempel ut i en rubrik den 29 september 2017, att ”Pakistan ska betala tillbaka 100 mdr dollar till Kina till 2024”.[6] Utan att ge någon förklaring till denna absurda siffra påstod man: ”Till 2024 måste Pakistan betala tillbaka 100 miljarder dollar till Kina, av en total investering på 18,5 miljarder dollar, som Kina i form av banklån har investerat i 19 snabbavkastande projekt huvudsakligen på energiområdet inom ramarna för China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). ”Artikeln återkommer aldrig till detta hårresande påstående och ger ingen förklaring till siffrorna.

I Dagens Industri den 20 augusti 2018 påstod Johan Nylander[7] att: ”Under de tre senaste åren har Pakistan lagt på sig skulder till Kina på runt 270 miljarder dollar.” Nylander hänvisar till ”analyshuset IHS Markit” som sin källa, men där hittar vi inga sådana siffror[8]. Siffran 270 miljarder dollar står heller ingenstans att finna eftersom Pakistans samlade skuld till hela världen är mindre än 100 miljarder dollar. Men läsaren av DI förväntas bara svälja dessa uppgifter eftersom de kommer från en av de etablerade nyhetsmedierna.

Produktiva krediter kontra skulder

Sambandet mellan satsningar på avancerad infrastruktur och höjd produktivitet i hela ekonomin har påvisats allra tydligast av studier som gjorts på USA:s egen ekonomi.

I alla frågor som rör långivning är den viktigaste frågan som måste ställas inte hur lånevillkoren ser ut (räntesatser, betalningsfria perioder eller löptider) utan vad lånet ska användas till. Det handlar om skillnaden mellan ”pengar” och ”krediter”. Skillnaden ligger i vad som är ändamålet med utgivningen av nya pengar resp. krediter. Man ser det tydligt i den nu rådande, katastrofala penning- och finanspolitiken i det trans-atlantiska området.

Centralbankerna i USA, EU och Japan, ”the big three”, har sedan slutet av 2008 skapat i runda slängar 13-14 biljoner dollar i nya pengar (genom det som kallas ”kvantitativa lättnader”), och har därutöver pumpat in likviditet i bankerna i form av tillfälliga lån motsvarande ytterligare många biljoner dollar. Men ingenting av dessa pengar – varken pengar i omlopp eller i elektronisk form – har getts ut för något ekonomiskt syfte, inte heller för handel. De har getts ut enkom för ett finansiellt syfte: att förse dessa länders storbanker med tillräckligt mycket kapital och likviditet för att de ska kunna hålla näsan ovanför vattenytan trots massiva förluster och osäkra fordringar.

Krediter däremot, som ges ut av stater, är en skuld som staten ifråga tar på sig, och som ”betalas tillbaka” med ”ränta” genom den generellt höjda produktivitet som den kommande generationen kommer att åtnjuta. Kort sagt, det är den höjda framtida produktiviteten som är säkerheten för den utgivna krediten.

Total faktorproduktivitet

Det finns ett starkt samband mellan kreditgivning till nya infrastrukturprojekt och den så kallade totala faktorproduktiviteten. Den senare parametern är ett försök att mäta den andel av den ekonomiska tillväxten som beror på tekniska framsteg. Den högsta årliga produktivitetstillväxten i USA inföll, med detta mått mätt, under de perioder då man gjorde de största investeringarna i infrastruktur som byggde på ny teknik – ny transportteknik för vägbyggen, kanaler, järnvägar och så småningom rymdfärder, kraftproduktionsteknik, vattenbyggnadsteknik, kommunikationsteknik. Allra snabbast ökade den totala faktorproduktiviteten under 1930-talet, med 3,3 procent årligen, tack vare president Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal och Four Corners-programmet, med sina stora infrastruktursatsningar. Detta enligt en rapport från U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research från 2013. Stapeldiagrammet visar total faktorproduktivitet i USA-ekonomin (årlig tillväxt per decennium)

Ett i tiden mera närliggande exempel på detta nära samband är Kinas makalösa ekonomiska tillväxt de senaste 20 åren. En utomordentligt hög investeringstakt i vattenregleringar, kärnkraftsutbyggnad och på andra tekniskt avancerade infrastrukturområden – att Kina efter en tioårig satsning plötsligt hade fler kilometer höghastighets- och magnetsvävarräls än resten av världens länder tillsammans är ett i mängden av hyllade exempel – har gett mycket höga tillväxttakter i total faktorproduktivitet och i ekonomisk tillväxt och framåtskridande över huvud taget. Sedan 2008 har Kinas största statliga banker också skapat krediter motsvarande ca 12-13 biljoner dollar, lika mycket som de ovan nämnda västerländska bankerna. Skillnaden är att Kina förvandlade dessa krediter till realekonomiska värden och en högre produktivitet och välfärd för sin befolkning.

Hur Kina har hanterat det egna landets ekonomiska utveckling smittar av sig på landets förbindelser med andra länder.

Bryter med västländernas koloniala attityd

Det är påfallande hur vanligt det är att politiker, akademiker och skribenter i Europa och USA talar till och om utvecklingsländerna och deras representanter i en nedlåtande ton, som om de var barn som inte kan tala för sig själva. Det skvallrar om hur djupt rotad den koloniala attityden, ”den vite mannens börda”, alltjämt är i västvärlden. Afrikaner framställs underförstått, och ibland helt ogenerat, som mindre vetande krakar, som de förslagna kineserna lätt kan lura skjortan av.

I en intervju nyligen på China-Africa Podcast[9] förklarade W. Gyude Moore, tidigare minister för offentliga arbeten i Liberia och andre stabschef åt det landets president, den afrikanska synen på kinesisk hjälp med finansiering, utifrån sin egen erfarenhet av att ha förhandlat med Kina om många infrastrukturprojekt. Han sa:

”När Kina framställs som den här stora, stygga aktören, som är bakslug och överhopar länder med skulder, så tänker man bort nästan all medverkan från ländernas egen sida. Det är nästan som om de afrikanska länderna är naiva och inte begriper vad som händer och Kina slår blå dunster i ögonen på dem. Man nästan infantiliserar afrikaner och afrikanska ledare. … På grund av den begränsade mängd pengar som kommer från internationella finansinstitutioner måste länder som Liberia söka sig åt ett annat håll. … Ett av de få länder som faktiskt är berett att tala med ett land som Liberia, som kanske inte har det bästa kreditryktet, efter att just ha fått lån för nästan 5 miljarder dollar uppsagda, är Kina. … För ett land som Liberia är det helt omöjligt att förlita sig enbart på Världsbanken eller Afrikanska utvecklingsbanken för finansiering av infrastruktur – det går bara inte.”

Som ett förtydligande av skillnaden mellan skuldsättning och investeringar i framtiden, tillade Moore: ”Om länderna ska kunna betala tillbaka sina skulder måste deras ekonomier ha kommit dithän att de faktiskt genererar intäkter, och utan infrastruktur går det inte. Det är som med hönan och ägget.”

Moore bemötte användningen av hamnen i Hambantota som exempel på kinesisk finansieringspolitik: ”Alla hänvisar till hamnen i Sri Lanka, men Kina har lånat ut miljardtals med dollar. Att hamnen i Sri Lanka är det enda exemplet som folk kan dra upp, det tycker jag visar att detta Sri Lanka-exempel, detta enstaka fall, inte kan tas för hela sanningen om hur Kina vinner sina partner.”

Industrialiseringstrappan: Vart går USA och Europa?

De farhågor som många känner inför BRI och det nya paradigm som det håller på att skapa i de internationella förbindelserna är obefogade. Det är felaktiga föreställningar om ekonomi och maktförhållanden mellan länder som driver USA och många länder i EU till att inta denna negativa hållning till BRI.

Man kan likna industrialiseringsprocessen vid en smal trappa. Kina och många utvecklingsländer klättrar uppåt i trappan, medan USA och EU är på väg nedåt, mot avindustrialisering. Båda parter kommer till en punkt där de möts öga mot öga mitt i trappan, och spärrar vägen för varandra. Det är här som spänningarna stiger. Det är här som den ena sidan måste bestämma sig för att gå samman med den andra och röra sig åt samma håll, vilket skulle underlätta för båda att röra sig fritt.

Dessutom skulle båda parter vinna på att bredda trappan så att alla får plats, eller, som president Xi säger när han beskriver Kinas utvecklingspolitik, ”göra kakan större”, så att alla kan få sin rättmätiga del, i stället för att kivas om en krympande kaka.

 

* Hussein Askary är styrelseledamot i Belt and Road Executive Group for Sweden (BRIX), www.brixsweden.com

Paul Gallagher och Jason Ross bidrog med material till denna artikel.

Översättning till svenska: Astrid Sandmark

[1] Debtbook Diplomacy, Sam Parker, Gabrielle Chefitz, maj, 2018 https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/debtbook-diplomacy

[2] Om Sam Parker: https://www.belfercenter.org/person/sam-parker

 

[3] China Africa Research Initiative, The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-CARI), Johns Hopkins University, augusti 2018: http://www.sais-cari.org/s/Briefing-Paper-1-August-2018-Final.pdf

[4] Den pakistanska centralbankens egen statistik för finansåret 2017-2018: http://www.sbp.org.pk/ecodata/pakdebt.pdf

 

[5] Budgetåret 2017-2018 uppgick Pakistans import till 60,86 miljarder dollar, vilket var 2,6 gånger mer än exporten, som inbringade 23,22 miljarder dollar, med ett rekordstort handelsunderskott på 37,64 miljarder dollar som följd. Importen dominerades återigen av energi (olja och gas), till ett belopp av 14,43 miljarder dollar. Pakistan har lånat från bland annat västerländska banker för att finansiera sina köp av petroleumprodukter på den internationella marknaden. Den 3 augusti 2018 uppgav den pakistanska tidningen Express Tribune att den brittiska Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) skulle ge ett affärslån till Pakistan på 200 miljoner dollar till 4,2 procents ränta för att finansiera import av flytande naturgas. SCB är en av Pakistans största långivare, som enbart 2016-2017 lånade 1,1 miljarder dollar till landet. För att förstå hur viktigt det är för Pakistan att utveckla en egen kraftproduktion, kan man se på följande siffror: Den totala installerade kapaciteten för produktion av elkraft är 25.000 MW (2017) med en genomsnittlig förbrukning på 19.000 MW. Energislagen är: 1. Olja och gas: 14.635 MW (64,2 procent). 2. Vattenkraft: 6.611 MW (29 procent). 3. Kärnkraft: 1.322 MW (5,8 procent).

[6] The News International, 29 september, 2017, “Pakistan to pay back $100 bn to China by 2024”  (https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/233333-Pakistan-to-pay-back-100-bn-to-China-by-2024 ).

[7] “Nya Sidenvägen hotar bli skuldfälla”, Johan Nylander, Dagens Industri, Aug 20, 2018. https://www.di.se/nyheter/nya-sidenvagen-hotar-bli-skuldfalla/

[8]  En av IHS Markits rapporter från 2018 finns här: https://ihsmarkit.com/research-analysis/a-difficult-year-ahead-for-pakistan.html

[9] https://chinaafrica-podcast.com/an-insiders-view-of-the-china-africa-debt-trap-debate