Why President Trump Could Never Go It Alone on North Korea
Charlie Campbell / Beijing
Apr 05, 2017 


North Korea’s nuclear program will be high on the agenda when President Donald Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida on Thursday. The U.S. President says Beijing has not done enough to bridle the regime’s aggressive behavior, and on Wednesday Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un gave a perfect illustration: firing another ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. In response, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released an extraordinary statement, saying, “The U.S. has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.” This came after Trump told the U.K.'s Financial Times last week that the U.S. would consider unilateral action against North Korea if China refused to help. 

bridle :怒りを抑える

“Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will,” he said. Asked whether the U.S. could tackle North Korea “one on one,” Trump was emphatic: “Totally.” During his visit to East Asia last month, Tillerson had already raised the temperature by insisting that military action remained “on the table.” In response, a Pyongyang spokesperson warned of “a preemptive nuclear attack ... if the U.S. shows even the slightest sign of a preemptive attack on the DPRK [North Korea].” 

one on one:一対一で

“Both sides are playing with fire,” says John Delury, an East Asia expert at Yonsei University in Seoul. “They are both talking about these preemptive, preemptive strikes. It’s almost silly, but it’s not silly as there are assets on hair-trigger alert. That’s a real danger if Trump makes it a permanent part of North Korea policy to threaten a surprise attack.” 



But while Trump prepares to up pressure on Xi at Mar-a-Lago, something arguably more significant for future North Korea containment strategy has unfolded 7,500 miles away in Seoul. On Monday, Moon Jae-in received the liberal Democratic Party of Korea's nomination for South Korea’s presidential election on May 9.

The 64-year-old former human-rights lawyer is currently 10 points clear in the polls. He is opposed to the policy of isolation and pressure employed by former President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached in December and now faces criminal charges for corruption. Instead, Moon advocates measured re-engagement with the Kim regime. He wants the joint Kaesong Industrial Zone reopened and renewed cultural exchanges across the DMZ. He has also suggested that deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile-defense system in South Korea should be put under review. 

“The return of liberals to Seoul undermines Trump’s apparent move to rely on pressure and sanctions,” says Delury. “It’s at odds with what Trump wants to do.” Moon is not an apologist for North Korea, but is acutely aware that the past decade of isolation and sanctions has not achieved its desired goal. For South Korea, a lower temperature on the peninsula makes the nation immediately safer, given they are already within reach of both North Korea's conventional and nuclear weapons. 

at odds:意見が合わないで
apologist :擁護する人
within reach:手の届く範囲に

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Saturday pushed for closer China-U.S. cooperation on dealing with North Korea's nuclear program in his first face-to-face talks with top Chinese diplomats. A review of THAAD would also release some of the economic pressure China has been putting on South Korea — reducing tourist numbers and closing Chinese branches of South Korean shops — at a time when the latter’s economy is struggling. (Beijing deems THAAD part of an American strategy of containment.) “China has the rare distinction of employing economic coercion on both North and South Korea,” says John Park, director of the Korea Working Group at the Harvard Kennedy School. 


The election of Moon would be a boon to Beijing, which has always favored dialogue and engagement with North Korea, and leave Washington diplomatically isolated. The Obama Administration had worked hard with former President Park to convince China that sanctions were the correct response to North Korea’s nuclear program, and Beijing even joined onto unprecedented U.N. sanctions in March last year. But North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests have continued nonetheless. 


“Even when you get China to do big things North Korea doesn’t fold,” says Delury. “They just keep developing their nuclear capabilities, if anything, with greater resolve.” 

if anything:むしろそれどころか

Democratic Party of Korea Names Moon Jae-In As Presidential Candidate

Beijing has always favored restarting the six-party denuclearization talks — comprising North and South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the U.S. — which ran from 2003 to 2009 before being nixed by Kim Jong Un’s father, Kim Jong Il. Russia is already re-engaging with the regime economically despite signing up to recent sanctions. 





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イギリスにさようなら 我が元Bagehotのコラムニストがイギリスの過去現在、将来について熟考する(3)

It is hard to tell precisely when and whether this cycle of belligerence will be broken. Mrs May’s Article 50 letter was more conciliatory than many had feared. Perhaps this heralds a pivot: having talked up her Europhobe credentials ever since she replaced David Cameron, could the new prime minister be turning towards the continent? Might she be about to march her troops back down the hill? Probably not. The post-imperial pride and insecurity that motivated the Brexit vote is not hers to deploy or withdraw at will. She has merely ridden it to clinch the fleeting favours of the tabloids and some of her own MPs. 


Two main scenarios mark the realistic limits of Britain’s prospects. The first, best one is that Britain reaches a position distinctly worse than membership, but not disastrously so. It ends up as a loyal rule-taker, paying into EU programmes and budgets, shadowing EU regulations and granting plentiful work permits to EU nationals. Some businesses leave but most stay in Britain for its competitive strengths; it remains pragmatically close to the European political, legal and regulatory eco-systems in whose orbit it remains bound by history, culture and geography. Over the following decade the politics changes, a referendum is called and in, say, 2032 Britain opts to become the oldest new member of the EU. Brexit comes to be seen as an historical interlude, not a tangent; a momentary pause for breath as the country consolidates its rapid globalisation to date before proceeding forth. 


The other extreme is grim. Not as bad as some Remainers prognosticate (neither societal meltdown nor economic collapse are really on the cards). But still it could get seriously ugly: talks fall apart; Scotland quits the union; the Troubles return to Northern Ireland; the growth of the gap between London, better hedged against Brexit, and the rest of the country accelerates markedly; trade takes a severe hit and unemployment ticks up; public services splutter even more; debt, taxes and prices rise; living standards slide; the civic fabric ages and frays. Old and new populist forces thrive. The country declines not with a bang but with a whimper: the Italy-fication of Britain. 


What, then, will happen? Having started this farewell post with some predictions, I will end it with some. I think the country will get a deal, but a poor one. Contrary to what some in Britain reckon, most other EU members want not to punish it as such, but to ensure membership of the club does not become the second-worst option on offer. “Access” to the single market and “equivalence” with its protocols will turn out to mean much less than membership; if the country avoids an economic shock it will be thanks only to strong global growth. There will be cheering stories of firms and sectors creatively reorganising themselves to deal with new realities—albeit typically in places like London that did not vote for Brexit in the first place. 


Most of all, I predict disappointment. The sort of absolute sovereignty marketed by Brexiteers last June does not exist in the modern world: the more interconnected we are, the worse the exchange rate of institutional autonomy for real power becomes. For example, it is very unlikely any realistic reduction in immigration will be felt or appreciated, unlike its economic downside. Leaving the world’s biggest internal market will not make life in Sunderland, Stoke or Blackpool, or any other working-class Brexit stronghold, any nicer. Higher prices will not feel like “taking control” to most. A government strained by the biggest logistical task since world war two will have much less capacity and capital with which to attend to bread-and-butter imperatives. 

absolute sovereignty:絶対的な国家主権

Britain today has no opposition capable of forcing it to do so (the case for some new centrist party or alliance rescuing moderate Labourism remains attention-worthy.) But although David Cameron was wrong to call the referendum—there was no clamour for it outside his party and his own long years of EU-bashing were always going to make his last-minute, born-again Europeanism unconvincing—the wider grievances it exposed are real, if not always accurately directed. You do not have to like Mrs May’s economic and social illiberalism to take it seriously; it is popular, and for reasons liberals must examine closely (I still think moving the capital from London to Manchester and confronting, really confronting, the housing crisis would help). No one who wants the best for Britain should treat their probable persistence under Brexit as a cue for triumphalism. 


If, all things considered, this has been a demoralising period in which to cover British politics it has also been a captivating one. A more cohesive, untroubled, assured, uncomplicated Britain would have been a much less interesting one to travel around and write about. My stint has taken in the first coalition government in decades, a Scottish independence referendum, a nail-biting general election, an EU referendum and the novelistic, at times Shakespearean, drama of its fallout. 


And it has taken in many encouraging stories and trends along the way: Britain’s world-beating universities; its chilled-out knack for integrating newcomers; its temperamental economic openness (Brexit honouring this rule in the breach); its noble role (despite short-sighted and damaging cuts) as a supplier of international security; its relatively creative and dynamic mass media; its often plucky and defiant pro-Europeans; its overwhelmingly decent, public-spirited and uncrooked politicians; its halting progress towards a more modern politics and a post-imperial identity and economy. Thanks for reading this blog these past couple of years—and for the frequently thought-provoking, well-informed comments and reaction below the line and on social media. For those interested, I will henceforth be writing a new The Economist blog on the German-speaking world, to be launched shortly. Until then. 

damaging cut:損害を与える切り傷
Until then:じゃあ、また今度




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イギリスにさようなら 我が元Bagehotのコラムニストがイギリスの過去現在、将来について熟考する(2)

Not all of my forecasts were wrong (here I beg your indulgence). In 2014 I put the chances of Theresa May becoming the next prime minister at 75%. Tim Montgomerie’s bottle of red wine said I was wrong; the Tory commentator is, I would enjoy confirming two years later, a man of his word. In March 2015 I concluded on a visit to south-west England that the Liberal Democrats would be wiped out there, when the conventional wisdom said the party was fairly well dug-in. It went on to lose all 15 of its seats in the region. My immediate impression that summer that Jeremy Corbyn would be a disaster for the Labour Party and would advance no radical ideas about Britain’s future has more than withstood events. I also take pride in having declared ahead of time that Sadiq Khan would become London’s next mayor and that Jim McMahon (then a mere councillor, now an MP spoken of as a future leader) would emerge as a Labour star. 

man of his word:信頼できる人
conventional wisdom:世間一般の通念

Tim Montgomery:ティム・モンゴメリ( 1975年1月28日 - )は、アメリカの陸上短距離選手。ジュニア時代から頭角を現し、1994年に100mで9秒96のジュニア世界新をマークするが、その後に行われた距離測定での結果が99.96mと、4cm足りなかったため記録は認められず、幻のジュニア世界新となった。1997年、世界選手権100mで銅メダルを獲得。2005年12月に米国反ドーピング機関から薬物違反を指摘され、スポーツ仲裁裁判所で争われたが、ドーピング違反であるとの裁定が出た。この結果、2001年3月31日以降の成績は無効となり、2001年世界選手権100m銀メダルや、2002年9月14日にIAAFグランプリファイナル100mでマークした「9秒78」、2002年度ジェシー・オーエンス賞などの記録、成績が抹消されることとなった。またこの裁定の後、2005年6月から2年間の出場停止処分となるが、裁定から数日後に引退を表明。パートナーだったマリオン・ジョーンズと離婚したことも明らかにした。2006年4月28日、数百万ドルに及ぶ巨額詐欺と資金洗浄に関与していたとして逮捕される。さらに2008年5月1日には、ヘロインの取引に関わったとして逮捕された。裁判では有罪・5年の懲役刑が科せられた。

Most of all I am pleased to have predicted, also back in 2014, that the divide between open- and closed-Britain, Remainia and Brexitland, would increasingly define the country’s politics at the expense of the traditional left-versus-right cleavage. The referendum campaign and its aftermath have borne this out and then some. I only hope the demographic analysis that underpinned my call also proves correct about Britain’s long-term future, and that this will indeed belong to the cosmopolitans. The question is whether a “cosmopolitan populism” (as I put it in a follow-up to my 2015 paper on “Britain’s Cosmopolitan Future”) can be forged to bridge the gap between different parts of the country. 

Most of all:とりわけ
then some:とそれ以上にもっと多く

Turning to the more immediate future, what will Brexit mean for Britain? As the talks start, the country has a poor hand. The Article 50 process was explicitly designed to make an example of the departing member. The time period it allows for the fiendishly complicated talks is utterly ungenerous. All the other countries need to do is work out the price they wish to extract from Britain for the things it wants; and which of those things it can simply forget. 

poor hand:下手

You can tell Britain’s starting position is grim because the Brexiteers keep availing themselves of different reasons for why it is not. First they said German carmakers would lean on Angela Merkel to give Britain a jammy deal. German carmakers demurred. Then a new negotiating chip was invoked: if Europe did not play ball Britain would lure firms out of the EU by becoming a tax haven. This was transparently non-credible. Then, for a bit, the government threatened to flounce out of talks, until it wisely stopped doing that. Most recently it hinted at using Britain’s substantial defence commitments as a bargaining chip, before realising the seemingly threatening tone was counter-productive and shutting up about it. Now, farcically, newspapers evoke the image of Britain “negotiating” Gibraltar’s rights through the sights of a gunship. 

for a bit:すこし
substantial defence:かなりの自己防衛
through the sights:視界



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イギリスにさようなら 我が元Bagehotのコラムニストがイギリスの過去現在、将来について熟考する

A farewell to Britain
Our former Bagehot columnist reflects on Britain’s past, present and future
Apr 4th 2017by J.C. | BERLIN


LO, BREXIT is under way. And I have effected my own exit: having penned my last Bagehot column I now turn to Germany and its neighbourhood as The Economist’s new bureau chief in Berlin. That outgoing column conveys some thoughts about Britain’s troubled present. So now, in my final post on this blog before passing it to the new Bagehot, I want to look beyond the country’s current condition and cast my gaze first backwards and then forwards, taking stock of my five years writing about Britain and of what awaits it now. 

lo:lò and behóld ⦅おどけて⦆(そして)何と驚くべきことに; ⦅皮肉で⦆それ見たことか

There were two big misses. The first was the 2015 election campaign. I believed the Conservatives were too divided and that the work of modernising the party was too incomplete for them to win a majority. If this lot could not beat Gordon Brown in the midst of economic crisis in 2010, I reasoned, they would not do significantly better after five years of austerity. In retrospect such judgments clouded and over-complicated what remains an essentially reliable formula: a party with either the most trusted leader or a lead in polls of economic competence stands a good chance of winning a British general election; one with both, like the Tories under David Cameron, is by definition the front-runner. (To Labour under its current leadership and on its current economic numbers: good luck.) 

by definition:当然のこととして

My second big miss was the European Union referendum. Here, to be fair, I was less sure. I warned that youth and expat turnout needed to be high for Remain to be safe—it would transpire neither group was sufficiently registered or engaged. But I generally expected Britain to reject Brexit. A land as tea-sippingly cautious as this, I decided as I toured Remain and Leave events in places that would all go on to vote Out, would surely not do something so rash as to quit the EU. My call was wrong for two main reasons. First, I overlooked the sort of fiery, anti-authority streak that dwells mostly but not entirely dormant in the English id. Second, I overlooked the reality that for many older voters leaving the EU was not a leap into the unknown but a conservative, cautious reversion to the pre-1973 status quo; witness the current delight in the right-wing press at the prospect of Britons getting blue (non-EU) passports “back”. 

tea-sippingly :お茶をすするように

At a number of Brexiteer rallies I heard something to the effect of “we managed without the Europeans before and we’ll manage without them again.” I did not sufficiently factor this into my expectations. I take one main lesson from these experiences. Most political pundits work on a two-dimensional grid when they make sweeping predictions: salience of subject on the X axis, gut feeling plus poll numbers on the Y axis. The received wisdom says the political class made its big mistakes on the latter one. Yet in fact polls in both 2015 and 2016 were closer to the mark than we tend to remember. And the hunches—the assumptions about the British character—underpinning our predictions of a hung parliament in the general election and a Remain vote in the referendum were and are basically right. 


The trouble was and remains on the X axis, overlooked and much harder to quantify. What really moves voters? What do they most care about and how much? These things are not easily captured in polls, at partisan campaign events or in casual conversations with voters. Well-run, accurately selected focus groups, however, are better guides. That is why political parties use them so keenly. (The Tories may owe their current majority to one in north-east England in late 2014, when a participant daintily opined that “Alex Salmond will take Ed Miliband right up the arse”—this apercu went on to inform the party’s incessant talk of the dangers of a Labour-SNP alliance, possibly the decisive pillar of its 2015 campaign.) Media organisations should follow suit and find new, different ways of taking the country’s temperature. 





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China land: losing the plot FT
JULY 5, 2016 by: Lucy Hornby

losing the plot:混乱してどうしたらいのかわからなくなる


Among Communist China’s holy pilgrimage sites, Xiaogang village stands out. The tiny place is a living shrine to villagers who defied the party to dismantle disastrous communal farms that left more than 30m dead from hunger during Mao Zedong’s reign. 


Almost 40 years on, the tiny community is again in the spotlight, acting as a Petri dish for competing visions of China’s agricultural future. 


A concrete gate rising from orchards and wheat fields proclaims “China’s No. 1 Rural Reform Village” as a straight, perfectly paved road sweeps towards what was once one of the poorest places on earth. Tour groups pose behind giant Communist party flags outside a museum dedicated to the dangers of communal land ownership. 


When President Xi Jinping visited the village this spring, his message was telling. He endorsed the transfer of rural land to create modern state farms but he also upheld collective ownership of land, a remnant from Mao’s era. The apparent contradiction goes to the heart of China’s fraught land policy. 


The countryside today is at a crossroads. Communal farming ended three decades ago but land is still owned by the state. Some 700m Chinese have traded subsistence farming for the cities, leaving behind ageing parents tilling millions of tiny plots — often by hand. 

subsistence farming:自給農業

China needs fewer but younger farmers and fewer but bigger farms to feed a modern economy of 1.3bn people. It also needs to support tens of millions of rural elderly. Xiaogang village is home to dramatically different models of how to achieve those goals. “In 20 or 30 years, who is going to farm?” says Zheng Fengtian, a professor of agricultural economics at Renmin University. “In another decade, no one will.” 

The party and some older migrants view access to land as a financial cushion should city jobs sour, but that idea is already outdated. Farmers have no protection against land seizures by cash-strapped local governments seeking to resell to property developers, factory owners or even agribusiness. After China’s rapid industrial revolution up to 120m migrants have no land to return to. Most migrants under 35 have never farmed. 


“Without the land an old peasant’s heart has nowhere to rest,” says one former farmer. “But my son is a totally different story. He doesn’t even know which crops grow where.” 

Even as the Communist party lauds Xiaogang villagers for dividing their fields, it has refused to legalise rural land ownership. Farmers can neither buy nor sell at will. Some argue the restrictions are in place because too many farmers would sell if they could, potentially unleashing millions of rootless people upon the cities. 

legalise :合法化する

“It is not an economic question, it is political,” Mr Zheng says. “The Chinese Communist party came to power in large part because during the civil war [1927-49], large tracts of land were sold and landless peasants had nothing to fall back on.” 

fall back on:最後の拠り所にする

Planting rebels
Xiaogang’s fabled past survives behind a beaming smile: Yan Jinchang, proud owner of a tourist restaurant, was one of 18 men who in 1978 secretly divided up communal land — risking imprisonment or worse — to farm it themselves. 


For more than three decades the 73-year old Mr Yan has told his story to visiting dignitaries. He was a teenager when Mao’s decision to force peasants into communal farms and jump-start rapid industrialisation caused the national famine. In Xiaogang, a third of the 170 villagers died. Mr Yan “ate his own harvest” during a brief political relaxation in the 1960s, but then the Cultural Revolution hit. 


By 1978 drought had wiped out the meagre harvest. Mr Yan had five children and no food. Desperate villagers signed a secret pact to divide the land by lots. They pledged to raise each other’s children if any of them were jailed or killed. 


“We had no choice but to rescue ourselves,” Mr Yan recalls. “What peasant doesn’t know how to grow food? So we knew it was a political problem.” 

The scheme was soon revealed and commune leaders tried to starve out the rebels by cutting off their supply of seed. But with reformers gaining the upper hand nationally the county chief turned a blind eye. 

upper hand:優勢になる

Deng Xiaoping, the architect of economic reform in the country, ultimately endorsed the Xiaogang experiment, allowing millions of peasants to farm their own plots. Factory and construction jobs in booming cities lured away young adults, while Mr Yan’s land — along with that of many other farmers — disappeared under various projects. 

In 2014 the Xiaogang villagers nearly set off a second revolution in Chinese land rights when they decided to rebuild a shrine — destroyed by Communists in the 1950s — to the earth god. The few square metres the shrine had occupied were on one farmer’s land, so they tried to buy it from him. It would have been the first outright purchase of rural land in 67 years. Instead, someone reported the plan and the villagers were fined. 

“It demonstrated that buying and selling land is [still] not allowed,” says Mr Yan waving his hand and laughing. “We liberated labour from communal farming. But the status of the land didn’t change. There’s no way.” 

Business minded
Yang Yubing was one of those who moved away from Xiaogang to work in factories along the coast. After six years he “got tired of it” and moved back. He embodies one model for China’s future land consolidation.


Rural land is legally owned by the village collective, except for large swaths of reclaimed “wasteland” belonging to enormous state farms. The collective land is contracted to households. They get 30-year rights to an average 6-10 mu (1-1.5 acres) of land, usually divided into five or more separate plots. 


Mr Yang grows grain on 28 acres via a deal to pay his neighbours to transfer their rights to him, a process Beijing legalised in 2008. Nearly half the land in Anhui province is “rented” this way, but Mr Yang says more acreage is needed to support mechanisation. “In the future, land needs to be consolidated in a few hands,” he says. 


Reformers who favour land ownership believe farmers like Mr Yang will gradually scale up as their neighbours became too old to work. Just five per cent of farmers look after 20 per cent of land nationally, according to estimates by Huang Jikun, a rural expert from the Chinese Academy of Science. 

But there is a catch. To farm more than 33 acres Mr Yang believes he would need to hire labourers and equipment, but his grip on the land is tenuous. His neighbours might rent their rights to someone else, or land might be redivided when the 30-year rights expire. 


Transferred rights only cost about $92/acre each year, so the system allows Mr Yang and his neighbours to consolidate larger farms with less capital than if they bought the land. 

That’s good, because they don’t have much capital. In principle farmers can borrow through rural co-operatives. A recent reform allows banks to lend against aggregated land rights. In practice, the small scale and a lack of formal business experience make banks reluctant to lend. 

In principle:原則的には 

Zi Qingshun is a member of a new breed of Chinese farmer: the capitalist entrepreneur. His idea for building larger farms in China is the preferred route for impatient officials. 


Mr Zi arrived in Xiaogang village in 2012. A former property developer, he contracted 167 acres of nearby collective land for $727/acre (half the price of land in his native Shandong province) and negotiated a government subsidy to cover more than half his rental cost. His company Shunten controls about 2,000 acres across three provinces, and hopes to reach 16,600 acres, an unprecedented scale for labour-intensive fruit farming in China. 

He has invested Rmb200m ($30m) in greenhouses, peach trees and temperature-controlled rooms to grow hydroponic blueberry seedlings near Xiaogang. He hired about 20 full-time staff and offered locals Rmb60 daily wages at peak harvest times. For good measure he added a field of lavender with a fake windmill and Liberace-style white piano. 

For good measure:さらにその上
fake windmill:おもちゃの風車

“Farmers need to be slowly driven out and become a source of labour,” says Mr Zi, explaining the case for businessmen like him in modernising Chinese agriculture. Instead of the elderly locals he leases from, he prefers “roving harvest teams” of rural labourers who cost extra per day, but often prove more skilled. 


“China’s agricultural development has just started. It needs to be driven by companies, not by the state,” he says. “America’s yesterday or today is China’s tomorrow in terms of scale and planning.” 

Socialist countryside 
The “new socialist countryside” where capitalist entrepreneurs farm collective land meets the state’s goals of larger farms while providing a small but steady income for elderly villagers too frail to work. 


Rental income, light work and the idea that “the land is still ours” won over Zhang Lichang, a Shunten employee whose deeply traditional parents happily signed over their land for Mr Zi’s blueberry farms. “It was an easy decision,” he recalls. “If it were about losing the land, it would be another question. It would be unthinkable.” 


For now, entrepreneurs like Mr Zi can reach scale by negotiating multiyear contracts on larger tracts directly with the village collective. But in the longer term they are constrained by the inability to secure direct land rights, and the obligation to keep paying rent on thousands of tiny plots. Mr Zi says his peach trees are a 50-year investment, well beyond the 30-year expiration of the land rights he has contracted. “It makes me anxious,” he says. 

tracts :土地の広がり

He is not the only one. The brightly painted village of Luoxinzhuang in Huaiyuan county — just 100km from Xiaogang village — shows that the trend of contracting land away from villagers can still go wrong. 

As in Xiaogang, the government contracted villagers’ rights to collective land to a Huaiyuan businessman who wanted to grow kale for export. He promised $909/acre for each of the first three years plus daily wages of Rmb60 for work in the fields — about the same as villagers earned farming themselves. 

kale :ケール・キャベツの変種

The first year, villagers were surprised when three-storey concrete dormitories arrived to house migrant workers from Guizhou, China’s poorest province. The people they called “tribesmen” toiled all day in the flat sunny fields. Elderly village women pitied them even as their own wages dwindled. 


In the second year, land use payments arrived late amid rumours that the entrepreneur had to borrow money. By year three, the Guizhou workers were promised wages only after they returned from their new year holidays. But the payments dried up altogether and the “tribesmen” fled home. 


When the FT visited Luoxinzhuang in June, the yellow dormitories were empty. The kale had gone to seed in the untended fields. Payments for the land had not arrived and villagers without children in the cities were drawing on savings to buy food. 


“We don’t know if we can get our land back,” says one older farmer with calloused hands. “That’s the big question.” 


Additional reporting by Luna Lin
Co-operation – Xi backs rural co-ops despite financial scandals The Chinese countryside is awash with ideas for consolidating into larger scale farms without violating the Communist taboo against land ownership. One of the favoured initiatives of the past few years has been the “rural co-operative”.


About one-third of Chinese farmers belong to at least one of the 1.4m registered co-operatives, which were legalised in 2007. Many serve as a bridge between China’s 120,000 larger agricultural corporations and the millions of farmers trying to source seed, fertiliser, vaccines or other agricultural inputs, says Kong Xiangzhi, president of the China Co-operative Academy at Renmin University in Beijing. Others assist farmers with the marketing of produce and livestock.


Co-operatives received a boost this spring when President Xi Jinping visited one in the north-east, where farm sizes tend to be bigger than in the rest of the country. He hailed it as “promoting the development of modern agriculture.”


“It’s a necessary evolution,” says Zheng Fengtian, agricultural policy expert at Renmin University. Still, many of the co-operatives are too small to wield real market power, he says. Mr Kong estimates only about one-third function well. 


In some cases, co-operatives are also able to raise capital. That is where things can get messy, since they often combine little collateral with tight ties to local officials and minimal oversight. The banking regulator’s 2014 report on illegal fundraising recorded a 117 per cent rise in cases involving rural co-ops. Sandi, a co-operative in Hebei province, was one such case. The founder claimed to have enlisted 135,000 farmers to grow selenium-rich wheat, and enticed locals to invest in return for discounted deliveries of wheat and other dry goods. Local farmers as well as investors from nearby cities were wiped out in an alleged pyramid scheme. Additional reporting by Luna Lin and Anna Hsieh 

selenium:セレン 人間に必要な微量栄養素
wiped :拭い去る


政府はその方向性はアメリカの大農場を真似ていきたいのだろうが、そうするためには数多くの阻害要因がある。経済の発展と同じことをこの農業で何十年か掛けて推進していくのだろう。このテーマは3月に取り上げた海野塾のChina Disiparityのときに話をした内容なので、塾生はきちんと復習すること。農業問題は中国の今後の大きな課題だ。

水曜日。ブログが長いが、この記事は海野塾のChina Democracyの講義の復習でアップしているので、塾生用だ。今日は塾の準備だ。ではまた明日。

swingby_blog at 09:11コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


Theresa Mayは総選挙をもとめている。 イギリスはその政府がギリギリの過半数の賛成をもっと増やそうとして、6月8日に投票を行うだろう。

Theresa May seeks a snap election
Britons will go to the polls on June 8th, as the government aims to extend its slim majority
Apr 18th 2017

Theresa Mayは総選挙をもとめている。

slim majority:ギリギリの過半数

IT IS less than two years since Britain’s last general election, ten months since the Brexit referendum and nine months since Theresa May entered 10 Downing Street, replacing David Cameron. Yet today the prime minister announced that the country would soon face more upheaval: a snap general election on June 8th. Polls suggest that her Conservative Party will win comfortably. But Britain’s negotiations with the European Union will make the election a more complicated contest than Britain has seen in many years.


Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011, Mrs May needs the backing of two-thirds of the House of Commons to call an election. (Oddly, her own MPs will have to vote in favour of a motion of no confidence in the government in order to bring the election about.) But this will be a formality: the leaders of the main opposition parties have already said they are in favour.

House of Commons:下院
confidence :不信任決議

They could hardly be seen to turn down a chance to eject the government. But the truth is that for many in the Labour Party, the official opposition, the election is uncomfortably timed. Labour trails the Tories in the polls by more than 20 percentage points (see chart below), thanks mainly to the unpopularity of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, an uncharismatic far-leftist who was chosen with enthusiasm by the party’s members in 2015, and again in 2016, but who fails to appeal to voters more widely. Bookmakers are giving odds as long as ten to one of Labour winning more seats than the Conservatives.

turn down:拒む

More likely is that Mrs May will be able to extend her working majority, currently just 17, which will give her a freer hand both in her EU negotiations and in setting an agenda at home, where she has so far proposed very little. She also has in mind her lack of a direct mandate: she has never won a general election, having succeeded Mr Cameron as prime minister only via a Tory party leadership contest.


In her statement announcing her intention to seek an election she went further, implying that it was a chance to heal divisions over Brexit. “The country is coming together, but Westminster is not,” she said. In fact, something like the reverse is true: whereas polls and street marches show that a large minority remain bitterly against Brexit, in February MPs dutifully backed the legislation allowing her to trigger it by 492 votes to 122. Nonetheless, winning a general election would allow Mrs May to claim popular backing for her “hard” approach to Brexit—including taking Britain out of the EU’s single market—something that the referendum did not specify.


Going to the country carries risks for the prime minister. One penalty for doing so is giving up nearly two months of the government’s time and energy, when it has just two years to negotiate its exit terms with the EU. That was already a narrow window; the government’s agenda now looks more hurried still. Mrs May might calculate that not much is going to happen until after the German elections in September, so there is little to lose.

country carries:国をそのように持っていくこと 選挙をすること

Another complicating factor is the unstable situation in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Only recently Mrs May turned down a request by Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, for an independence referendum in Scotland, on the basis that it would be irresponsible to hold such a vote when the terms of Brexit were not yet clear. It is hard to see why the same cannot be said of holding a general election now in Britain. In Northern Ireland, meanwhile, the power-sharing government is currently suspended, and there is the prospect of a fresh election to its devolved assembly.


Perhaps the biggest complication at home, however, is that division over Brexit has unpredictable consequences for how people will cast their vote. The populist UK Independence Party was jubilant after achieving its defining ambition of Brexit last summer, and was billed by some as a future rival to Labour in many parts of England; but it has since flopped in by-elections. The leftish Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, have defined themselves as the opponents of Brexit, a strategy which has seen them picking up seats in council and parliamentary contests since the referendum. Some senior Tories worry that the Lib Dems will deprive them of victory in many parts of London and the south-west. These factors meant that the decision to go to the country was harder than it might have looked for a prime minister with a near-record lead in the polls. Last year Mrs May ruled out an election before 2020. In performing a U-turn she seems to have decided that the gamble is worth it.



結果がどうなるかはわからないが、他党を比較すると保守党に投票せざるをえないのが、一体どうなるのだろうか。Brexitに反対する人たちは棄権するのだろうか。Jeremy Corbynの労働党には投票はしないだろう。結果を待つしかないようだ。


swingby_blog at 18:54コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



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