Tag Archives: China

The Illusion of Donald Trump and Protectionist Policies. The weakening of the USA.

Historically the USA has been a balancing force in the world however is that about to change? Donald Trump has managed to create problems with most of America’s continental neighbors and Global allies. Although there may be genuine grievances held by the United States however badly thought out aggressive solutions causing alienation can only weaken the USA in the long run causing such large economies as Canada and Mexico to look elsewhere for trading partners and there is elsewhere.

While the West squabbles China is quietly getting on with the job. China is probably the world’s greatest trading nation and has been for 1000s of years. They understand they need all of us to become the world leader that they aspire to through trade and economic power.
During the early middle ages China had a larger maritime fleet than all the European combined fleets.
Zheng He 1371-1433 a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, fleet admiral, and enslaved court eunuch during China’s early Ming dynasty. He was originally born as Ma He in a Muslim family, later adopted the conferred surname Zheng from Emperor Yongle.
Admiral and diplomat who helped extend the maritime and commercial influence of China throughout the regions bordering the Indian Ocean. He commanded seven naval expeditions almost a century before the Portuguese reached India by sailing around the southern tip of Africa.
He first set sail in 1405, commanding 62 ships and 27,800 men. The fleet visited Champa (now in southern Vietnam), Siam (Thailand), Malacca (Melaka), and the island of Java and then through the Indian Ocean to Calicut (Kozhikode) on the Malabar Coast of India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Zheng He, returned to China in 1407.
Zheng did 7 voyages including to the upper reaches of the Persian Gulf. My point these voyages although militarily strong where fundamentally trading expeditions on a scale far greater than anything Europe and the rest of the world could mount. Though a nuclear power China has for millennia understood economic power is far more important than contemporary nuclear power.

Today we have The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road is a development strategy proposed by the Chinese government which focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road (MSR). Until 2016 the initiative was known in English as the One Belt and One Road Initiative(OBOR) but the Chinese came to consider the emphasis on the word “one” as misleading.
The Belt and Road Initiative addresses an “infrastructure gap” and thus has potential to accelerate economic growth across the Asia Pacific area and Central and Eastern Europe: a report from the World Pensions Council (WPC) estimates that Asia, excluding China, requires up to US$900 billion of infrastructure investments per year over the next decade, mostly in debt instruments, 50% above current infrastructure spending rates. The gaping need for long term capital explains why many Asian and Eastern European heads of state “gladly expressed their interest to join this new international financial institution focusing solely on ‘real assets’ and infrastructure-driven economic growth”.
China has by far the largest foreign currency reserves with over two and half times more than the second largest reserve holder, Japan. When China and Hong Kong reserves are considered together, the total is $3.6 trillion.5 Apr 2018

Even if only part of this dream is realised it has the potential to combine nearly 3 billion people in a trading partnership more if you add what China is doing in South America and Africa. It will be far more important for Canada and Mexico to find a way into this monolith rather than dealing with 380 million Americans. Remember Russia also skirts the Silk Road. China also has a relatively under-developed enormous home market that more and more emphasis is being placed on. China has been expanding shopping malls and ecommerce (ecommerce reaching $1.2Billion 2017) at a rapid rate shopping mall revenue growing at 8.1% to 2017 there is an expected fall to around 5% (mainly due to mergers) followed by a pickup.
China now has the finest high-speed rail infrastructure in the world. Beijing has just opened a new rail link to Tehran how difficult will that make it for the US to pressure the Iranian regime. The intention is to have fast rail links right into Gare du nord. It is the USA in the long run that will have to negotiate tariffs with a powerful China

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There are Huge long-term dangers in trade protectionist policies and too much dependence on military power war has never been a solution the Chinese understand this issue. USA may find it has to negotiate its long-term way back into the club on a weakened basis. Donald Trump’s incredible deal making skills which we are yet to see may not be enough to even guarantee US future employment figures. Logic dictates that the US needs to stay a global participant totally contrarian to the Trump myopic naïve approach to world affairs. Unfortunately, the Trump philosophy is aimed at the home market and a large proportion of US citizens are detrimentally naïve when it comes to international affairs and geography. US Americans especially those in power are short term thinkers the Chinese have 3000 years of understanding the value of long term planning behind them and foremost is economic power. Economic power enables you to address poverty issues reducing the propensity to rebellion.

Figures confirmation: –

IBIS World

Britannica

 

 

 

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The power of the photograph and for the love of photography

In an age where we have the development of the mobile phone camera and the selfie much photography is seen as a family snapping affair most people see it as a personal statement record of their and their familie’s lives.In away I guess this selfie culture really reflects the world that we live in. . Few  really look into an image trying to understand what the photograph is really depicting.A photograph is a photograph nice shot of me and friends or tourist icon with me.  Yet even with the advent and  sophistication of the new technology it still takes a good eye and  technical knowledge to achieve consistency in high artistic quality work.  A good photograph can be as interesting as viewing a film or DVD. The great single image states an awful lot remember the image of the skyscraper construction workers sitting on the steel girder hundred of feet above New York. A staged image but still tells us about the heights and the the working environment of workers in the early days of the great skyscraper the image screams period. Untitled-2 The great and iconic photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Untitled-3especially the skirt blowing up in the updraft and the man in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square and all the images that have depicted life changing events.

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Tiananmen Square Protests 1989
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Lyndon Johnson swearing-in after the death of Kennedy
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Caravaggio the Beheading of John the Baptist a painting but also photo like and exercise in light and drama.

The art of the great photographer is depicting the story in the most dramatic format possible just like the old masters Rembrandt, Caravaggio with their use of light to make the most powerful statement along with the professional’s ability to spot the moment and be quick enough to catch it.The word “photography” is a combination of the Greek root words “photo-,” meaning “light,” and “-graphia,” meaning “writing” or “drawing.” Thus, “photography” literally means “writing or drawing with light.” . The moment can also be subtle and not totally dramatic requiring an interested eye to gain understanding. The professional photographer uses light composition clarity diffusion all to gain maximum impact, post shoot development can be as important as the shoot. Professional work can take many hours in the post shoot period in order to achieve the desired result whether for a wedding, artistic image, journalistic, fashion or magazine shoot. With all the innovation there is still no click and produce method that will give a planned result.In fact in professional photography Photoshop is one of the most un-user friendly programmes, however it is also one of the most powerful.  Photoshop is designed to allow the professional to develop his or her own templates and techniques for developing the  right image for the right moment. It is now necessary that the professional understands a raft of powerful programmes  all designed to help achieve the required result.  Even simple photographic shoots are time consuming, images need to be checked in there hundreds usually at 100% in size bad images need to be eliminated, the files need to be reduced to an acceptable quality and number.  Quite often this means the professional eye spending days on the exercise of selection and correction.

Point and shoot camera compact and phone are built around  small sensors  with many pixels too small to take in enough light to give images the definition achieved by bigger professional cameras. Pixels can be a red herring as the bigger the pixel the more light it attracts and the better clarity of image. A camera with a large full frame sensor or bigger  and not so high number of pixels can sometimes give a clearer image than a high number of pixels as the larger pixels attract more light.

Understanding the camera is  vital for having the control to achieve the result and consistency of work. Today the digital camera is an incredibly complex piece of machinery. I have great respect for the photographers of the past working blind relying on their mathematical knowledge to gain results although there was a period where image composition could be checked using  polaroid. Today working blind has been taken away  from the photographer however  the modern era has seen the  development of a raft of sophisticated technical settings giving the photographer the potential for great control over the resulting image.  We live in a world where focus and understanding seem to be considered less important unless there is personal relevance. The world of the professional photographer is understanding the mass of technical developments, lenses, fundamentals of camera development,  lighting, composition, printing papers, studio working, Software development and printing, mathematical ability is still useful, in fact today’s professional photography is as complex as the days of film and in some ways possibly even more complex in order to eliminate random.  The camera gives us some of the greatest understanding of ourselves and the professional photographer can take this understanding to even greater levels – Knowledge is and should only be the road to understanding. The camera is the tool or paintbrush allowing us greater levels of understanding.

Images of London a vibrant City capturing the sole of a Capital City

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Image Shane Aurousseau

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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Winter-in-London
Image Shane Aurousseau
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Image Shane Aurousseau
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Photographer Shane Aurousseau

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Growlerythought

Web: http://www.kiamafoto.com

Blog: http://www.shaneasite.com

Australian Outback Towns – the Australian Photographer Shane Aurousseau

Australia Molong 'Time Warp' town
Australia Molong ‘Time Warp’ town
Australia NSW Wellington  Lion of Waterloo Pub 1840
Australia NSW Wellington Lion of Waterloo Pub 1840
Australia Clunes Victoria nr Ballarat
Australia Clunes Victoria near Ballarat
Australia Condobolin NSW Indian Pacific Railway
Australia Condobolin NSW Indian Pacific Railway

Most people know Australia by the traditional icons, Sydney harbour Bridge, Opera House, Uluru/Ayers Rock, long beaches with surfers, the Barrier Reef. There is another Australia that I grew up in travelling west inland from the east coast and northern Victoria. This region is where Australia began as people moved inland from Sydney and Melbourne in order to work and mine the land and  is where much of the current exciting development is today.

When I first left Australia it was a country of 8 to 9 million people, today it is a nation of 23 million. A country rich in commodities, gold, tin, copper, bauxite, sheep, cattle (beef and dairy) and fine wines. I found large numbers of prosperous small towns, looking like something out of the wild west with their typical awning and veranda architecture stuck in a ‘time warp’ from the 1800s to 1950s, towns with young populations. Driving into a town full of period history and finding a delicatessen selling food products from all over the world and a coffee shop promoting panini with Mediterranean vegetables and of course the inevitable Chinese restaurant. Small towns with massive Cole’s or Woolworth’s supermarkets servicing the outlying sheep stations, farms, mines and now vineyards spread out over 1000s of kilometers from South Australia across NSW and into Queensland. Towns full of young people working in the the lucrative world of physical commodities. Australia is a country of growing importance and influence in Asia, a country that has become of great importance to the development of China.

The Chinese the greatest of trading people have seen the importance of this commodity rich country and have in great numbers began to call it home. While sitting in Condobolin a small sheep and mining town inland NSW, I was asked by a cousin what we should do tonight, “do you want a Chinese” he asked. Of course three shops in town, coffee shop, supermarket and Chinese restaurant. i should add there is always a pub selling great old and new beer. Most pubs in this region have a history dating from the 1800s. The Chinese are bringing real wealth to the country and are living alongside the Australians and easily integrating. Australia is a country in transition a country that is creating a new race of people who are developing and promoting its exciting commodity wealth. Sales of Merino wool are on the increase again. Merino wool the world’s finest  wool in the past too expensive for the Chines market, however many sheep stations have lowered the micron quality and can now put this fine wool into a cost bracket that suits the Chinese market, allowing them to still brand products Merino.

Australia NSW Condobolin Merino wool
Australia NSW Condobolin Merino wool
Australia NSW Condobolin Merino Sheep
Australia NSW Condobolin Merino Sheep

There is so much life in the Australian outback its commodity wealth and its vast beauty from red ochre laced dust to the never ending cobalt blue skies. The wealth of this region is now attracting the young.  I have added a quote I found on the the front of a pub in an outback town.

Australia NSW pub poem
Australia NSW pub poem

I currently live in London for business reasons, working as a photographer, am an Australian citizen and proud to call myself an Australian.

Shane Aurousseau : http://www.kiamafoto.com