Arnaud Bertrand Profile picture
Entrepreneur. Previously HouseTrip (sold to TripAdvisor), now https://t.co/w0KmESIdXp, the website that explains Chinese Medicine. I've been known to write decent threads.
Luca M. Sergio Profile picture Postcards of the Hanging(s) Profile picture stephen shochat Profile picture Οὖτις 🇺🇸 God Bless America. I identify as Οὖτις Profile picture JanetBr Profile picture 71 added to My Authors
Jan 24 10 tweets 3 min read
Interesting read on Xiongan, the Chinese city of the future.

A 650 square miles, 3mio-inhabitant city built from the (under)ground up on which China already spent 400 billion yuan (and it's far from complete). China-scale 😲

A few interesting features 🧵
foreignpolicy.com/2023/01/22/chi… Xiongan is designed as “3 cities”:
1) Aboveground
2) Underground (utility corridors & automated logistics delivery)
3) The city in the cloud (for algorithm-driven management of traffic and other urban systems as well as better maintenance of infrastructure and technology systems)
Jan 16 4 tweets 2 min read
A lot of people comment that this is idiotic but there are health systems that exist where you don't go through a GP to go see a specialist and they're immensely more efficient... Which makes sense, you cut out one step.

So, not that stupid IMHO! Example, the Chinese healthcare system, which I experienced A LOT and is incredibly efficient. I made a thread about it a few months back 🔽

What would take you weeks or even months to do in the UK (or France) takes you a just few hours in China...
Jan 13 29 tweets 5 min read
Emmanuel Todd, one of the greatest French intellectuals today, claims that the "Third World War has started."

Small 🧵 translating the most important points in this fascinating interview.
lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/emma… He says "it's obvious that the conflict, started as a limited territorial war and escalating to a global economic confrontation, between the whole of the West on the one hand and Russia and China on the other hand, has become a world war."
Jan 12 5 tweets 2 min read
Articles by @stephenWalt are must-reads.

His brief to new members of congress:
- "US position in the world ain’t what it used to be", "multipolar world" now
- US can't "expect [countries] to simply fall into line" anymore, like during "unipolar moment"
foreignpolicy.com/2023/01/11/con… - "US is now trying to inflict decisive defeats on [both Russia and China] simultaneously", US doesn't do "restraint". Which is foolish because "the US tends to attract more support from others when it acts with restraint and forbearance than when it appears to be trigger-happy"
Jan 9 4 tweets 2 min read
Must-read statement by 182 leading economists - including Ghosh, Piketty and Varoufakis - on Sri Lanka's debt.

They accuse private creditors - mostly Western banks & hedge funds - who hold 40% of Sri Lanka's debt of effectively taking the country hostage
debtjustice.org.uk/press-release/… They also accuse the IMF and the World Bank of "not currently living up to [their] responsibilities" and of having "encouraged the very policies of more open capital accounts and deregulation that have led to the current crisis".
Jan 7 13 tweets 3 min read
We're now in Kuala Lumpur where we just travelled from France.

One thing I am always struck by when I move from the "West" to Asia with my daughters is how much warmer and caring people generally are towards children. Not sure why that is.

A small 🧵 In France in everyday life - except from close family of course - no-one cares about your children.

No-one gives them a second look and it's not uncommon to receive a nasty remark if someone judges their behavior disagreeable to them.
Jan 1 16 tweets 3 min read
This article about Europe's "alternative to China's BRI" is a fantastic illustration of Europe's total fecklessness.

Instead of doing something that could help, what it does is entirely senseless and undermines its interests. What's new... 😢

A small 🧵
scmp.com/news/china/dip… First part, the funding.

In Dec 2021, Ursula von der Leyen stood on a Brussels podium and confidently announced that the EU would mobilize €300 billion by 2027 for "Global Gateway", the name of the initiative.
Jan 1 5 tweets 1 min read
Did you know Chinese electric vehicles already have a 18.7% market share in Europe?

And even though this market share ranks second only to Germany, they're just getting started.

We're actually on the eve of a massive expansion of Chinese car firms in Europe. For instance NIO recently announced that it will start to provide "full system" service in many European markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.
Dec 29, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
Fun story: a 4th tier city in Sichuan called Zigong put together a light show that went hugely viral in China last year.

They now exhibit it in Paris's "jardin des plantes", I'm here right now ⬇️

It's incredibly beautiful but sadly they don't even mention it's from China 🙄 Really quite magical!
Dec 26, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
“The United States has abandoned any pretense of acting as a principled arbiter committed to preserving the status quo and allowing the two sides to come to their own peaceful settlement.”

Yes, we noticed...
foreignaffairs.com/china/taiwan-l… Interesting point made in the piece, which I hadn't really considered: "By hyping threat of a Chinese invasion, US analysts/officials are [...] sending signals to global firms/investors that operating in and around Taiwan brings a high risk of being caught in a military conflict"
Dec 25, 2022 14 tweets 3 min read
Like I have always said, getting out of Zero Covid will be a hard Band-Aid to rip.

China's strategy seems to be to rip it as fast as possible which, as far as Band-Aids are concerned, is probably the least painful way to rip it.

A couple of thoughts 🧵
ft.com/content/1fb604… First, the fact that 100s of million people caught Covid in just 3 weeks demonstrates the incredible feat that 0 Covid was.

Managing to effectively contain such an incredibly contagious virus during 3 years has to rank as one of the greatest achievements of man vs nature, ever
Dec 24, 2022 14 tweets 3 min read
Puzzling interview of Lee Shin-wha, a South-Korean professor who's been a member for 20 years of the very secretive and influential Trilateral Commission.

She explains why she thinks NATO should expand to Asia (a position I obviously disagree with).

🧵
asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks… Her take is that both China and the US pursue "distorted multilateralism" in their own way.

To her, the US isn't about a "rules-based order" anymore but is instead pursuing "minilateralism with like-minded countries". In short, trying to divide the world into blocs.
Dec 22, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Western media: "Much of China's population is unvaccinated"

China's vaccination rate ⬇️ "Yes but the problem is with the elderly who are disproportionately unvaccinated"

The share of those aged 60+ who are fully vaccinated is 86.6%, so almost the same as the general population.

Only the 80+ lag a bit behind but they're still 66.4% fully vaxxed (and rising fast).
Dec 14, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Wow, the CEO of ASML - a leading Dutch semiconductor equipment firm - essentially accuses the U.S. of using the semiconductor sanctions on China as a pretext to steal market share from European firms like his.

Here is what he says 🧵
ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/dutch-chi… He says that "following US pressure, [we were] already restricted from exporting [our] most advanced lithography machines to China since 2019, something [which] has benefited US companies selling alternative technology"
Dec 7, 2022 21 tweets 4 min read
Ok, looks like John Mearsheimer got wind of this thread ⬇️ and was keen to reply.

However he doesn't have a Twitter account so he sent me his reply by way of a mutual friend.

I'll post it as a thread, since it's only fair to give him a right of response!

So here you go 🧵 "Several people – including Mr. Bertrand – have been struck by the fact that I think differently about US policy toward Ukraine/Russia than Taiwan/China.
 
I thought it might make sense to lay out my thinking on this important matter.
Dec 7, 2022 13 tweets 4 min read
This is beyond fascinating (and depressing!): the best set of charts you'll ever see on the extent to which US capital now dominates the planet.

I extracted them from this ⬇️ talk by Sean Kenji Starrs, a scholar at King's College London

A small 🧵
To start with, these numbers are mind-blowing. It shows what % of the global profits of select industries end up in American pockets:
- Aerospace and defense: 92%
- Media: 81%
- Pharmaceuticals: 50%
- Hardware and software: 77%
- Electronics: 46%
- Financial services: 67%
Dec 6, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Birds of a feather flock together... Drew is of course infamous in Australia for his incontrovertibly racist stunts, systematically targeting and trying to provoke Chinese people in Australia ⬇️
Dec 4, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
The John Mearsheimer paradox.

1) He believes the US caused the Ukraine war, that it was a huge mistake that can escalate to nuclear war
2) He believes the US is trying to do the same thing wrt China and Taiwan
3) Yet he supports the latter while strongly condemning the former His explanation: "China is a peer competitor for the US" so it needs not only be contained but be "rolled back".

Whilst Russia is not powerful enough to threaten the US so it makes no sense to get into a proxy war against it. In fact, the US should ally with Russia against China
Dec 3, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Someone should tell this virtue-signaling French politician that the "A4 revolution" is already over because China's "regime" listened its people...

More than anything, the lecturing will be the West's undoing. Politicians don't appreciate how much it's despised outside the West What's most depressing is that Autain is a key member of Mélenchon's party and part of its next generation of leaders.

Bodes very badly for the future...

Mélenchon is the last remaining politician in France who understands how to build relations with the Global South.
Dec 2, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Tesla sued a news website for defamation in China and won.

This 🧵 explains that Tesla probably wouldn't have won the same lawsuit in the US because it's not illegal there to report news without fact checking it (just illegal to do so with "malice", which plaintiff has to prove) Incidentally there's some irony for "free speech absolutist" Elon Musk to sue news media, especially in China where the press is already operating under bigger constraints (such as the legal obligation to fact check what they write 😏) than in the US...
Dec 2, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
"The US is turning 'TSMC' 台积电 (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) into 'ASMC' 美积电 (American Semiconductor Manufacturing Company)," said Joyce Huang, a Taiwanese TV host, adding that no political leaders in Taiwan dare to say no to the US.
gingerriver.com/p/will-taiwans… Also, screenshots are being circulated on PTT (large online forum in Taiwan) complaining that TSMC engineers who migrated to the U.S. discovered they were reduced to "second-class citizens" once they started working there (fewer vacation days, more workload, lower salaries).