Slow growth has an upside for power, March 19:
Lost in the doomy forecasts of what awaits China if it doesn’t maintain 8% growth is an understanding of how slower growth could be a blessing in disguise … Amid slowing power demand growth, China has a chance to reform its pricing structure. Despite power shortages in parts of the country caused by pockets of strong demand and poor supporting infrastructure, China is not generally lacking in generation capacity. Compared with liberalized markets like Ontario and California, where pricing reforms were introduced while power supplies were tight, China would be much less likely to experience sharp increases in prices. Furthermore, Beijing would not have to liberalize pricing structures all at once – it could, and most likely would, maintain some final say in power prices, while allowing considerably more flexibility.
Art nationalism, March 4:
The quashing of Chinese nationalists’ opposition to foreign colonialism was not a laudable episode in the history of Europe. Nor was it negligible. Where do we think all this “lunatic nationalism” comes from? Are we really supposed to feel sorry for the estate of Yves Saint Laurent and Christie’s auction house? On the other hand, the question of legal precedent is a thorny one … It is true that much of the world’s art currently residing in foreign collections and museums was taken at gunpoint, but how to restore it? Despite mainland historiography, history is a classroom, not a court. However, in this case there is little argument. These relics were stolen from the government of China, and nobody denies this … However, the CCP’s new position as patron and defender of traditional Chinese art is an awkward one. The Party was only recently Chinese preservationists’ greatest enemy. The colonialist looters were pikers compared to the Red Guards, who destroyed countless, priceless relics outright in the name of revolution.