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Important News, Belangrijke nieuws, Nouvelles importantes, Wichtige News, Fontos hírek, Importanti novitŕ, Pomembne novice, Importante Notícias, Viktiga nyheter



Ing. Salih CAVKIC
orbus editor in chief

Belang van Limburg
De Morgen
De Standard
Het Laatste Nieuws
La Libre Belgique
Nieuwsblaad

VRT
VRTNieuws

N-TV.DE
Deutsche Welle
West-D. Zeitung


The man of the year

Guy Verhofstadt
Mr. Guy Verhofstadt

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar
2009


A proven Democrat, protector and fighter for justice and human rights in the World.

Een bewezen Democraat, beschermer en strijder voor rechtvaardigheid en mensenrechten in de Wereld.

Un prouvé démocrate, protecteur et combattant pour la justice et des droits de l'homme dans le Mond.

Eine bewährte Demokrat, Beschützer und Kämpfer für Gerechtigkeit und Menschenrechte in der Welt.

Dokazani demokrat,
 zaštitnik i borac za pravdu i ljudska prava u Svijetu.





Guarantee
Peace in the World


Mr. Barak Hossein Obama

Guarantee
peace in the world

Garantie
vrede in de wereld

Garantie
la paix dans le monde

Garantie des Friedens in der Welt

Zabezpečenie
mieru vo svete

Garancija
mira u svijetu





Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis



Perpetual Self conflict: Self awareness as a key to our ethical drive, personal mastery, and perception of entrepreneurial opportunities.
Murray Hunter




The Continuum of Psychotic Organisational Typologies
Murray Hunter




There is no such person as an entrepreneur, just a person who acts entrepreneurially
Murray Hunter




Groupthink may still be a hazard to your organization - Murray Hunter



Generational Attitudes and Behaviour - Murray Hunter



The environment as a multi-dimensional system: Taking off your rose coloured glasses - Murray Hunter



Imagination may be more important than knowledge: The eight types of imagination we use - Murray Hunter



Do we have a creative intelligence? - Murray Hunter



Not all opportunities are the same: A look at the four types of entrepreneurial opportunity - Murray Hunter



   The Evolution of Business Strategy - Murray Hunter



How motivation really works - Murray Hunter



Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities: What’s wrong with SWOT? - Murray Hunter



 The five types of thinking we use - Murray Hunter



Where do entrepreneurial opportunities come from? - Murray Hunter



  How we create new ideas - Murray Hunter



How emotions influence, how we see the world? - Murray Hunter



People tend to start businesses for the wrong reasons - Murray Hunter



One Man, Multiple Inventions: The lessons and legacies of Thomas Edison - Murray Hunte


   
Does Intrapreneurship exist in Asia? - Murray Hunter



 What’s with all the hype – a look at aspirational marketing - Murray Hunter



   Integrating the philosophy of Tawhid – an Islamic approach to organization - Murray Hunter



Samsara and the Organization - Murray Hunter



Do Confucian Principled Businesses Exist in Asia? - Murray Hunter



 Knowledge, Understanding and the God Paradigm - Murray Hunter



On Some of the Misconceptions about Entrepreneurship - Murray Hunter




How feudalism hinders community transformation and economic evolution: Isn’t equal opportunity a basic human right? - Murray Hunter



The Dominance of “Western” Management Theories in South-East Asian Business Schools: The occidental colonization of the mind. - Murray Hunter



Ethics, Sustainability and the New Realities - Murray Hunter



The Arrival of Petroleum, Rockefeller, and the Lessons He taught Us - Murray Hunter - University Malaysia Perlis



 Elite educators idolize the “ high flying entrepreneurs” while deluded about the realities of entrepreneurship for the masses: - Murray Hunter



Lessons from the Invention of the airplane and the Beginning of the Aviation Era - Murray Hunter



Missed Opportunities for ASEAN if the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) fails to start up in 2015 - Murray Hunter



From Europe, to the US, Japan, and onto China: The evolution of the automobile - Murray Hunter



ASEAN Nations need indigenous innovation to transform their economies but are doing little about it. - Murray Hunter







 



Australia in the "Asian Century" or is it Lost in Asia?

China and the US - The Australian dilemma.

Murray Hunter

The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard released a long awaited white paper Australia in the Asian Century yesterday, which has been "wowed" by the Australian media. The white paper basically affirms that Australia's future lies with Asia and consequently immense economic opportunities exist for Australia to grab.

The paper hinges the nation's strategy of becoming a competitive force within the region through skills development, innovation, infrastructure, the tax system, regulatory reform, and environmental sustainability. However before a nation can become a competitive force, it must have an accepted place in the region.

On this key strategy the White paper does little more than make a "rally call" to Australians to come out and make it happen. The paper also reeks of Austro-centrism where most of the points made in the document are written with the expectation that Australia will win out of closer ties with Asia without necessarily giving much back in exchange - such as Australia having closer ties with Asian universities in order to attract students and skilled workers. Rather one-way to say the least.

The Australian China US relationships

Not surprisingly, the document still goes out to reaffirm Australia's loyalty to the United States. This could be seen as Premier Julia Gillard's metaphoric statement of "all the way with LBJ".

Historically the US is seen as a savior from invasion by the Japanese during WWII and consequently there has been a total commitment from successive Australian governments through the cold war until the present time for US foreign policy. The ANZUS Treaty that embodied these commitments has brought many foreign policy mistakes to Australia and probably cost Australia in South-East Asia its own persona of identity.

In addition, although Australia could be considered a rich multicultural society today, some people in Asia still have a negative impression because of the old white Australia policy, treatment of indigenous people, Pauline Hansen, and the latest policies on boat arrivals of asylum seekers.

In contrast, China is now so important to Australian trade, investment, and tourism, yet Australia is unconsciously niggling China with its staunch loyalty to the US. China saved Australia from a deep recession with demand for minerals whereas the US brought the Australian Government anguish over the involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, it appears the US had a different rule to Australia than other allies. The Australian Government has been expected to follow US foreign policy in an unquestionable manner. Each Australian Prime Minister since Curtin has kowtowed to the US, seeking a close presidential relationship in the belief that this was in the best domestic and foreign interests. Certainly a close personal relationship with the incumbent US president has been seen as something of importance. Conversely, Kevin Rudd's prowess at speaking Chinese was not good enough to develop the relationship with China, as the relationship is much more complex than mere small talk.

China would prefer to deal with an Australia with a mature and independent foreign policy rather than an enthusiastic supporter of US foreign policy. Precedent shows that China does not necessarily expect blind allegiance but would like to see Australian decisions more in line with its own realities rather than someone else's. However looking today at both major parties in Australian politics this is highly unlikely. In addition the punishment dished out by the US Government to the David Lange Government in New Zealand in the mid 1980s is a deep lesson about what happens to those disobedient to the US.

From the US perspective, Australia is a nice ally to have, one it can rely upon on the international stage, which will be important as Australia takes up a temporary security council seat at the UN. With the Obama visit to Canberra and Darwin last year and the stationing of troops in Australia, the country has some importance to the US until it can establish much more substantial bases closer to China.

China as an ally presents less of a dilemma than the US, as China has historically always allowed some deviation from the official Chinese foreign policy. For example China does allow Australia and other nations to have a separate relationship with Taiwan, and different approaches to regional issues without making these differences major issues. Maybe Australia can learn from the Indonesian approach of dynamic equilibrium, a doctrine where Washington and Beijing would agree to co-exist rather than compete for supremacy in the region.

Australia is also finding it difficult to accept that there are other views in the world other than the occidental position on detente and human rights that it expects within the region. For example, many Australians cannot understand why so many Chinese people so strongly support the position of the Chinese Government on many issues like Tibet, and how people can accept a communist system.

Australia's relationship with the Asian Region

After decades of successive government foreign and trade policy, Australia still does not have any embedded position within the Asian region. In fact Australia has been historically viewed as occasionally condescending and arrogant towards the region with attitudes towards human rights, where Australia's own practices in matters like the detention of boat people are seen by some as hypocritical.

The influence of Australian business and financial institutions in the region is minor, nowhere near the critical mass needed to become a competitive force in the region. Australia at this time has only a very low profile in the Asian banking and finance sector with no brands out there. The only exception is in the mining sector, which to all intents and purposes has made the Australian economy very dependent upon demand in Asia, particularly China.

Back in the 1990s the then Prime Minister Paul Keating stated that Australia is part of Asia and together with the then foreign minister Gareth Evans made a concerted effort to embed Australia within the region. This had some positive effect with Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, and East Timor with Australian policy working towards enhancing peace and prosperity within the region. But they had their setbacks over the recalcitrant remarks about Malaysia's former Premier Mahathir Mohamed which soured relations with that country for a number of years. However perceptively, all these gains were lost when John Howard came to power in 1996 reaffirming the Canberra-Washington link, earning the label for Australia as the US's deputy sheriff in the Asia.

The Australian relationship with the region is one where Australia needs the region more than the region needs Australia. The Australian market is small compared to other markets and of little interest to regional exporters who prefer to put their efforts into the larger markets of China, Japan, EU, and the US. Other hubs in the region are more conducive to becoming corporate HQ hubs than Sydney or Melbourne. The only real interest Australia has for Asian investors been in rent seeking activities like real estate. Australia is the gateway to nowhere, so cannot play the role as a hub like Singapore and Hong Kong have successfully done. However the concept of Darwin as a gateway to Asia has been formally recognized but it remains to be seen what will actually be done about it.

With the rapidly changing nature of the region and the shifting balance between the US and China within Asia, the Austro-centric view of the region needs urgent revamping. The Australian economy in the short and medium term is dependent upon China, and Australia perceives itself rightly or wrongly to be dependent upon the US for security. Australia's acceptance of the wide array of Asian views within the region that Australia can one day become an equal partner in the region.

Though Australia has some deeply historical links with many parts of the region due to some heroic actions of troops during the Second World War and the Malayan Emergency after that, tragically these opportunities to further develop relationships were not capitalized upon, due to Australian mesmerization with Washington. White papers aside, it will be action and not words that are important and China and the region will be surprised to see any real change, although the intention and realization of the need is present within the foreign policy Australian agenda. However with Australia, old habits die hard. And just as Julia Gillard had an unfortunate fall the other week in India in front of the media, Australia also has a track record of falling over itself in Asia.

It will take much more than a massive investment in skills and education to be able to engage the Asian region, let alone be "competitive". One of the paramount barriers Australia has to overcome is the deep set belief that its own cultural values are not necessarily universally accepted across the region. It's not about learning Asian languages but about understanding different points of view, approaches, and 'mindsets'. Austro-centrism must take a back seat in relationships around the region for Australia to be seriously considered a member of the region. Currently it's not.

The white paper is still haunted by Australia's past. Maybe it's time for Australia to release the US security blanket a little and become a mature and independent nation within the Asian region. However one fears with the promise of a rise in real incomes from the "Asian Century" initiative, that the whole thing is just a pander to the domestic electorate. As the report itself aspires, Asia is seen only as a means for Australian incomes to become one of the top 10 per-capita ones in the world.

Rather, Ken Henry the principal author of the white paper appears to have placated the Australian Government's wishful thinking for a positivist instrument that can be sold to the electorate, which he may have done well. The White paper has turned it into a promissory note for a better future within Australia based upon the misconception that internal capacity building will make Australia more competitive in Asia, being too "fuzzy" about developing a real strategy to engage the region. Building up capacities are only building capabilities. They are not strategies within themselves.

On initial reading of the 312 page report there appears to be little new in it, and one could argue that existing ALP policy was used as a template. If this is correct then it will be difficult for this white paper to garner bipartisan support, and maybe fated to become another relic of a former government tossed out of office.

Presence and accommodation of Asia to what Australia really has to offer is the vital key. This implies showing the region that an independent Australia is truly willing to put its lot in with Asia and not with the US.

Asian suspicion may arise to the issue Ms Gillard herself talked about Australia being a winner in Asia, and this implies there must be losers.

Its highly doubtful if anybody in the region is looking at Australia with any more interest today.

Murray Hunter is an associate professor at University Malaysia Perlis, and the author of a number of books on agriculture, economics, and entrepreneurship.


29.10.2012



Surprise, surprise: An Islam economy can be innovative

The Islamic business revolution in Southern Thailand

Murray Hunter

There is a revolution going on in Southern Thailand and I'm not talking about the insurgency. Cities like the notorious Hat Yai, a sexual playground for Malaysian tourists are being transformed into vibrant Islamic business centres. This rapid transformation has been spurred on by the migration of Muslims from the three troubled provinces of Pettani, Yala, and Narathiwat to Songkhla Province, in order to get away from the trouble. One of the results of this is a growing cluster of young Thai Malay entrepreneurs who are finding innovative ways to develop new business models based upon Islamic principles.

This avant-garde young business group has seen the potential of integrating their beliefs into what they do businesswise. And this is paying off as the Thailand Muslim population is in excess of 6 million people, many cashed up from bumper rubber prices over the last few years. In addition the appeal of these products and services produced by these businesses are not just restricted to the Muslim population.

If one travels around the South of Thailand today there are Halal restaurants, boutiques, travel agents, tour companies, insurance, and consumer products all produced and operated by companies that aspire to comply with Islamic principles. Some larger projects like Halal hotels and condominiums for Muslim retirees from Malaysia and Singapore are being currently constructed. What one can feel talking to these entrepreneurs and seeing the results of their work is an aire of excitement, innovation and expectation that this strategy will lead to growth and success.

This is in stark contrast to south of the border in Malaysia where over the last 50 years an institutionalized mindset of dependence upon government contracts, favours, and grants has severely inhibited innovation. Symbolically, this can be seen through the individualized Islamic fashion worn by Southern Thai Muslim women verses the stereotyped fashion worn by Malaysian Malay women. Even the night markets in Southern Thailand are full of innovative Halal foods like dim sum and sushi with stalls decorated in colourful banners in contrast to the drab night markets across the border.

This "tale of two cities" along the border of Malaysia and Thailand probably reflects the vastly different approaches to development by the two countries. Thai development has been much more ad hoc than Malaysia, where ideas tend to be generated by individuals who do something about them using their own resources. If and when they are successful, others follow and build upon this base with complementary rather than competitive businesses. Soon after government agencies provide channels and assistance through their community industry and marketing programs. Later universities like Chulalongkorn set up fully accredited Halal testing labs to support the growing business cluster. These clusters start and grow almost naturally and this is occurring along the Islamic business front now.

In contrast, Malaysian development comes from top down planning. Much fanfare is given to new infrastructure projects with grand objectives. The participants attending launches and involved in implementation are bureaucrats and agency officials with very little participation by the private sector. Where opportunities are identified, an agency may set up a government linked company as a vehicle to exploit it, actually stifling out private enterprise growth rather than promoting it. The end result is an attempt to build a cluster with little private enterprise support, that doesn't have any natural growth or momentum, continually requiring funds to prop it up.

This story tends to support what the creativity pundits say. Creativity and innovation comes from adversity and hardship rather than a comfortable and complacent environment. The Muslim entrepreneurs in Southern Thailand have had to make it on their own and not rely upon favors from a structure of cronies who can dish out contracts and funds. In addition this trend toward Islamic principled business shows that future wealth will come from innovation rather than connections, which is very important if substantiated and real economic development is going to occur. It's not brick and mortar that will bring development, but new ideas and practices connecting hinterland, culture and entrepreneur to new market possibilities.

The Malay entrepreneurs of Southern Thailand as well aware that almost 25% of the world population are Muslims and that an Islamic approach to the market is sure to provide a regional source of competitive advantage in the international market arena within the not too distant future. Culture and religion can be a strong and powerful economic resource.

Their gung-ho attitude is to develop the market in Southern Thailand today and extend out to the region tomorrow. One can see through the Halal supply chain system developed by the Halal Research Centre at Chulalongkorn University that this is not just a dream. Some of the world's major food manufacturers like Nestlé have already adopted it.

And finally what could this mean for the restless south of Thailand. Will growing economic prosperity and wealth be the best long term weapon against any insurgency? Can the people solve this themselves without any outside assistance? If this hypothesis is true, then the growing Islamic business cluster in Southern Thailand may marginalize the insurgency movement. However this doesn't mean that the violence would end. When a movement is being marginalized it may seek attention thought further 'high profile' acts of violence. That's the sad part of the story.
 



Has The Nobel Prize Committee Awarded the 2012 Peace prize to the EU Against the Nobel Foundation Charter and Sentiments of Alfred Nobel Himself?

Murray Hunter

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize awarded by the Norwegian Peace prize committee to the European Union could prima facie contravene the Nobel character and personal sentiments of Alfred Nobel himself, according to his will.

According to the will of Alfred Nobel made in Paris on 27th November 1895 in setting up the trust in his own words, it is clear that only individuals were intended to be recipients of the awards.

The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind….The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. …".

There have on a number of occasions been awards given to organizations like the Red cross and UN Atomic Energy commission (IAEA). But these are groups of collective people who performed some specific acts, unlike the EU which is a group of nations and not a person or a citizen of any country.

Alfred Nobel specifically mentioned that a person awarded the Nobel Peace Prize be a citizen of a country...."It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatsoever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not." Consequently according to Alfred Nobel's will of 27th November 1895, A citizen of the EU can be awarded the Nobel prize, but not the EU itself as the EU is not a person and as such can't have a nationality.

Under this issue, could the Norwegian Peace prize committee's decision be challenged in a court of law as being against the intention of Alfred Nobel's will?

This will probably never be tested which leaves the Norwegian committee free to make future absurd decisions like awarding the prize to the Sun for providing us with free energy, or the Moon for inspiring love and romance on the earth.

Just in case you are in doubt here are Alfred Nobel's own words in his will of 1895.

I, the undersigned, Alfred Bernhard Nobel, do hereby, after mature deliberation, declare the following to be my last Will and Testament with respect to such property as may be left by me at the time of my death:

To my nephews, Hjalmar and Ludvig Nobel, the sons of my brother Robert Nobel, I bequeath the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Crowns each;

To my nephew Emanuel Nobel, the sum of Three Hundred Thousand, and to my niece Mina Nobel, One Hundred Thousand Crowns;

To my brother Robert Nobel’s daughters, Ingeborg and Tyra, the sum of One Hundred Thousand Crowns each;

Miss Olga Boettger, at present staying with Mrs Brand, 10 Rue St Florentin, Paris, will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;

Mrs Sofie Kapy von Kapivar, whose address is known to the Anglo-Oesterreichische Bank in Vienna, is hereby entitled to an annuity of 6000 Florins Ö.W. which is paid to her by the said Bank, and to this end I have deposited in this Bank the amount of 150,000 Fl. in Hungarian State Bonds;

Mr Alarik Liedbeck, presently living at 26 Sturegatan, Stockholm, will receive One Hundred Thousand Crowns;

Miss Elise Antun, presently living at 32 Rue de Lubeck, Paris, is entitled to an annuity of Two Thousand Five Hundred Francs. In addition, Forty Eight Thousand Francs owned by her are at present in my custody, and shall be refunded;

Mr Alfred Hammond, Waterford, Texas, U.S.A. will receive Ten Thousand Dollars;

The Misses Emy and Marie Winkelmann, Potsdamerstrasse, 51, Berlin, will receive Fifty Thousand Marks each;

Mrs Gaucher, 2 bis Boulevard du Viaduc, Nimes, France will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;

My servants, Auguste Oswald and his wife Alphonse Tournand, employed in my laboratory at San Remo, will each receive an annuity of One Thousand Francs;

My former servant, Joseph Girardot, 5, Place St. Laurent, Châlons sur Saône, is entitled to an annuity of Five Hundred Francs, and my former gardener, Jean Lecof, at present with Mrs Desoutter, receveur Curaliste, Mesnil, Aubry pour Ecouen, S.& O., France, will receive an annuity of Three Hundred Francs;

Mr Georges Fehrenbach, 2, Rue Compiègne, Paris, is entitled to an annual pension of Five Thousand Francs from January 1, 1896 to January 1, 1899, when the said pension shall discontinue;

A sum of Twenty Thousand Crowns each, which has been placed in my custody, is the property of my brother’s children, Hjalmar, Ludvig, Ingeborg and Tyra, and shall be repaid to them.

The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical work by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not.

As Executors of my testamentary dispositions, I hereby appoint Mr Ragnar Sohlman, resident at Bofors, Värmland, and Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, 31 Malmskillnadsgatan, Stockholm, and at Bengtsfors near Uddevalla. To compensate for their pains and attention, I grant to Mr Ragnar Sohlman, who will presumably have to devote most time to this matter, One Hundred Thousand Crowns, and to Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, Fifty Thousand Crowns;

At the present time, my property consists in part of real estate in Paris and San Remo, and in part of securities deposited as follows: with The Union Bank of Scotland Ltd in Glasgow and London, Le Crédit Lyonnais, Comptoir National d’Escompte, and with Alphen Messin & Co. in Paris; with the stockbroker M.V. Peter of Banque Transatlantique, also in Paris; with Direction der Disconto Gesellschaft and Joseph Goldschmidt & Cie, Berlin; with the Russian Central Bank, and with Mr Emanuel Nobel in Petersburg; with Skandinaviska Kredit Aktiebolaget in Gothenburg and Stockholm, and in my strong-box at 59, Avenue Malakoff, Paris; further to this are accounts receivable, patents, patent fees or so-called royalties etc. in connection with which my Executors will find full information in my papers and books.

This Will and Testament is up to now the only one valid, and revokes all my previous testamentary dispositions, should any such exist after my death.

Finally, it is my express wish that following my death my veins shall be opened, and when this has been done and competent Doctors have confirmed clear signs of death, my remains shall be cremated in a so-called crematorium.

Paris, 27 November, 1895

Alfred Bernhard Nobel


That Mr Alfred Bernhard Nobel, being of sound mind, has of his own free will declared the above to be his last Will and Testament, and that he has signed the same, we have, in his presence and the presence of each other, hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses:

Sigurd Ehrenborg
former Lieutenant
Paris: 84 Boulevard Haussmann

R. W. Strehlenert
Civil Engineer
4, Passage Caroline

Thos Nordenfelt
Constructor
8, Rue Auber, Paris

Leonard Hwass
Civil Engineer
4, Passage Caroline
 

Published on ORBUS: 19.10.2012


Asia needs ASEAN-ization not Pakistanization of its continent

What China wants in Asia: 1975 or 1908 ? – addendum

(Gunboat diplomacy in the South and East China Sea – Chinese strategic mistake)

prof. dr. Anis Bajraktarević

As the recent maritime contests in both the South and the East China Sea has shown, Beijing underestimated an emotional charge that the territorial disputes carry along, as well as the convenience given to the neighbors to escalate these frictions in order to divert public attention from their own pressing domestic socio-economic and political issues. A costly, spiral and dangerous game of the reinvigorated nationalistic rhetoric, it presently instigate a climate that could easily hijack the next Asian decade as a whole.

Speculations over the alleged bipolar world of tomorrow (the so-called G-2, China vs. the US), should not be an Asian dilemma. It is primarily a concern of the West that, after all, overheated China in the first place with its (outsourcing) investments. Hence, despite a (cacophony of voices, actually of a) distortive noise about the possible future G-2 world, the central security problem of Asia remains the same: an absence of any pan-continental multilateral setting on the world’s largest continent.

On the eastern, ascendant flank of the Eurasian continent, the Chinese vertigo economy is overheated and too-well integrated in the petrodollar system. Beijing, presently, cannot contemplate or afford to allocate any resources in a search for an alternative. (The Sino economy is a low-wage- and labor intensive- centered one. Chinese revenues are heavily dependent on exports and Chinese reserves are predominantly a mix of the USD and US Treasury bonds.) To sustain itself as a single socio-political and formidably performing economic entity, the People’s Republic requires more energy and less external dependency.[1] Domestically, the demographic-migratory pressures are huge, regional demands are high, and expectations are brewing.[2] Considering its best external energy dependency equalizer (and inner cohesion solidifier), China seems to be turning to its military upgrade rather than towards the resolute alternative energy/Green Tech investments – as it has no time, plan or resources to do both at once. Inattentive of the broader picture, Beijing (probably falsely) believes that a lasting containment, especially in the South China Sea, is unbearable, and that –at the same time– fossil-fuels are available (e.g., in Africa and the Gulf), and even cheaper with the help of battleships.[3]

In effect, the forthcoming Chinese military buildup will only strengthen the existing, and open up new, bilateral security deals[4] of neighboring countries, primarily with the US – as nowadays in Asia, no one wants to be a passive downloader. Ultimately, it may create a politico-military isolation (and financial burden) for China that would consequently justify and (politically and financially) cheapen the bolder reinforced American military presence in the Asia-Pacific, especially in the South and the East China Sea. It perfectly adds up to the intensified demonization of China in parts of influential Western media.[5]

Hence, the Chinese grab for fossil fuels or its military competition for naval control is not a challenge but rather a boost for the US Asia-Pacific –even an overall– posture. Calibrating the contraction of its overseas projection and commitments – some would call it managing the decline of an empire – the US does not fail to note that nowadays half of the world’s merchant tonnage passes though the South China Sea. Therefore, the US will exploit any regional territorial dispute and other frictions to its own security benefit, including the costs sharing of its military presence with the local partners, as to maintain pivotal on the maritime edge of Asia that arches from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean, Malacca, the South and East China Sea up to the northwest–central Pacific. Is China currently acting as a de facto fundraiser for the US?

A real challenge is always to optimize the (moral, political and financial) costs in meeting the national strategic objectives. In this case, it would be a resolute Beijing’s turn towards green technology, coupled with the firm buildup of the Asian multilateralism. Without a grand rapprochement to the champions of multilateralism in Asia, which are Indonesia, India and Japan, there is no environment for China to seriously evolve and emerge as a formidable, lasting and trusted global leader.[6] Consequently, what China needs in Asia is not a naval race of 1908, but the Helsinki process of 1975. In return, what Asia needs (from China and Japan) is an ASEAN-ization, not a Pakistanization of its continent.[7]

Opting for either strategic choice will reverberate in the dynamic Asia–Pacific theatre.[8] However, the messages are diametrical: An assertive military – alienates, new technology – attracts neighbors. Finally, armies conquer (and spend) while technology builds (and accumulates)! At this point, any eventual accelerated armament in the Asia-Pacific theatre would only strengthen the hydrocarbon status quo, and would implicitly further help a well-orchestrated global silencing of consumers’ sensitivity over the record-high oil price.

With its present configuration, it is hard to imagine that anybody can outplay the US in the petro-security, petro-financial and petro-military global playground in the decades to come. Given the planetary petro-financial-media-tech-military causal constellations, this type of confrontation is so well mastered by and would further only benefit the US and the closest of its allies. China’s defense complex is over-ideologized, under-capitalized, technologically outdated and innovation-inert, while the US’ is largely privatized, highly efficient, deployable and prime innovative. Thus, even in security domain, the main China’s problem is not a naval or overall military parity, but the disproportionate technological gap. After all, China’s army was not meant (by Mao) and maintained (by Deng and his successors) to serve the external projection purpose. It was and still remains an ideological enterprise of cohesion, an essential centrifugal force to preserve territorial integrity of this land-colossus.

Within the OECD/IEA grouping, or closely: the G-8 (the states with resources, infrastructure, tradition of and know-how to advance the fundamental technological breakthroughs), it is only Japan that may seriously consider a Green/Renewable-tech U-turn. Tokyo’s external energy dependencies are stark and long-lasting. Past the recent nuclear trauma, Japan will need a few years to (psychologically and economically) absorb the shock – but it will learn a lesson. For such an impresive economy and considerable demography, situated on a small land-mass which is repeatedly brutalized by devastating natural catastrophes (and dependent on yet another disruptive external influence – Arab oil), it might be that a decisive shift towards green energy is the only way to survive, revive, and eventually to emancipate.

An important part of the US–Japan security treaty is the US energy supply lines security guaranty, given to (the post-WWII demilitarized) Tokyo. After the recent earthquake-tsunami-radiation armageddon, as well as witnessing the current Chinese military/naval noise, (the cabinet of the recently reconfirmed PM Noda and any other subsequent government of) Japan will inevitably rethink and revisit its energy policy, as well as the composition of its primary energy mix.

Tokyo is well aware that the Asian geostrategic myopias are strong and lasting, as many Asian states are either locked up in their narrow regionalisms or/and entrenched in their economic egoisms. Finally, Japan is the only Asian country that has clearly learned from its own modern history, all about the limits of hard power projection and the strong repulsive forces that come in aftermath from the neighbors. Their own pre-modern and modern history does not offer a similar experience to the other two Asian heavyweights, China and India. This indicates the Far East as a probable zone of the Green-tech excellence (as much as ASEAN might be the gravity center of the consolidated diplomatic and socio-political action) and a place of attraction for many Asians in the decade to come.

Anis H. Bajrektarevic, Geopolitics of Energy Editorial Member
Chairperson for Intl. Law & Global Pol. Studies
Vienna, 08 OCT 12
contact: anis@bajrektarevic.eu


Notes and References


* Present text is an addendum to the previous policy paper: What China wants in Asia: 1975 or 1908? (Gunboat diplomacy in South China Sea – Chinese strategic mistake), first published by the China Daily Mail (20 May 2012)

[1] Most of China’s economic growth is attributed to outsourced manufacturing. The US, the EU, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and other Asian and non-Asian OECD countries predominantly take advantage of China’s coastal areas as their own industrial suburbia. It remains an open question how much this externally dictated growth of China has a destabilizing effect on the inner compact of the Sino nation.

[2] The geopolitical event of the year is ahead of us. The forthcoming 18
th Congress of the China’s Communist Party should soon decide on its leadership for the next 10 years. In the secretive, opaque world of CPC decision making, the ongoing contest between taizi dang (children of senior Party figures and heroes of the Revolution) and tuanpai (party members of a modest social background who successfully played their careers in the Communist Youth League) is an important one although not the only ideological and socio-political power-struggle puzzling the future of China.

[3] Since the glorious Treasury Fleets of Admiral Zhèng Hé have been dismantled by the order of the Mandarin bureaucracy in 1433, China has never recovered its pivotal naval status in the Asia-Pacific.

[4] More bilateralism (triggered by unilateralism) is not only less multilateralism– essentially, it is a setback for any eventual emancipation of the continent.

[5] In late September 2012, China put its first aircraft carrier (the Liaoning) into service with a lot of parade domestically and huge anxiety in its neighborhood. However, the media underreported three important details: (i)this Soviet-constructed vessel is over 20 years old (bought from Ukraine in 1998); (ii) its runway deck cannot support any aircraft landing; (iii) China’s best tactical jetfighter J-8 (a copycat of the Soviet MIG 23s, 30-year-old technology) is not designed for landing on any aircraft carrier. From the military technology point of view, China is still well-behind were e.g. the Imperial Japan was some 80 years ago – as the Liaoning carrier is neither home-made nor of any practical use for either the Sino Navy or its Air Force.

[6] More on the pan-Asian security architectures and preventive diplomacy in: Bajrektarevic, A. (2011) No Asian century without the pan-Asian Institution, GHIR (Geopolitics, History, and Intl. Relations) 3 (2) 2011, Addleton Publishers NY

[7] An ASEAN summit in June 2012 failed to issue a joint communiqué for the first time in its 45-year history after an open disagreement over the wording of a section on the South China Sea territorial claims. Cambodia, the current ASEAN chair, was seen by several member states of stonewalling in support of its ally, China. Quickly absorbing the shock, the ASEAN diplomatic offensive has started, primarily shuttled by the Indonesian Foreign Office. One of the chief negotiators recently told me in Jakarta: “The biggest threats (related to the South China Sea territorial disputes, rem. a.) to ASEAN’s centrality are the gnawing moves that ultimately pit its 10 members against each other.” The views I’ve heard while in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok this fall, well-corresponded with the concerns expressed in Jakarta: “What will be rejected is the seeming habit of major powers – be they China or the US – to define countries as allies or adversaries…and so, riling ASEAN’s divisions.

[8] Historically, both Europe and Asia had a weak centre with the continent’s peripheries traditionally pressing on a soft centre. With the strengthening of 19
th century Germany (Bismarck’s Greater Prussia), and of late 20th century’s Deng’s China, the centre started pressing on its peripheries for the first time in modern history. One of the central security dilemmas between Bismarck and Helsinki times was ‘how many Germanys’ Europe should have to preserve its inner balance and peace. Europe and the world have paid an enormous price in two world wars to figure it out. With the bitter memories of Nazism still residing in the body and soul of the continent, the recent unification of Germany was only possible within the Helsinki’ tranquilized Europe.



16.10.2012


From Europe, to the US, Japan, and onto China: The evolution of the automobile

Murray Hunter

The pre-automobile era

Even though the railways existed in Britain, Europe, and America by the late 1880s, most road transport was still undertaken by house and carriage. There were over three million horses in Britain and ten times that many in America which had to be breed, fed, cared for, and housed. A large amount of farmland was devoted to producing hay and oats for horse feed and it was becoming an expensive exercise to maintain a house and carriage. The industry was reaching the limits to its potential growth by 1900.

The automobile was not invented by any one individual and was developed from a combination of other inventions and incremental innovations over time to create what we know as the automobile today.

One of the first forms of self-propelled automobiles was Cugnot’s steam wagon in 1771 discussed earlier in the steam engine section. This was followed in Britain by William Murdoch’s steam carriage in 1784 and Richard Trevithick’s full size steam vehicle in 1801. However the British Parliament passed the Locomotive Act (1865)
that required any self-propelled vehicles on roads to be preceded by a man on foot with a red flag and blowing a horn, effectively discouraging much more development of the automobile in Britain, where attention was shifted back to the steam engine.

The automobile evolved through incremental invention

Outside Britain there were a number of various vehicles built, some having useful features that would be incorporated into later versions of the automobile. For example Ivan Kulibin in Russia developed a steam carriage in 1791 that incorporated a flywheel, brake, gearbox, and bearings. In 1805 Oliver Evens, an American developed a self-propelled vehicle that was also an amphibious vehicle. In 1815 Josef Buzek from Prague, from what is now known as the Czech Republic built an oil fired steam car that could run further than other steam vehicles developed until that date due to its more efficient fuel. In 1830s there were also a number of electric cars developed including Anyos Jedlik’s model car powered by his electric motor in 1928, Thomas Davenport’s model electric car in 1834, Stratingh and Becker’s small electric car in 1835, Robert Davidson’s electric car in 1838 that ran on tracks, a forerunner to an electric tram, and Robert Anderson’s electric carriage in 1839.

However steam and electricity were not practical power sources for an automobile, and the absence of a suitable power source hindered commercial development. Likewise the ride on these early vehicles was very rough due to the wheels being fabricated out of wood or iron. A softer material that could take some shock out of the road was necessary. These problems had to be solved before any commercial vehicle could be invented.

One of the very early concepts of a combustion engine was a water pump driven by gunpowder in the 17
th Century to pump water for the Versailles Palace gardens developed by Christiaan Huygens. Shortly after, a number of piston engines utilizing gas were developed. In 1807 a Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz developed an internal combustion engine driven by a hydrogen and oxygen mixture, ignited by an induced spark based on Alessandro Volta’s concept of propulsion using air and hydrogen in a pistol to propel a cork from the end of the barrel from 1790s.

Over the years a number of improvements to the combustion engine were made by Sadi Carnot, Samuel Morey, William Bernett, Eugenio Barsanti and Felice Matteucci, and Pietro Benini. The development of an efficient combustion engine was hindered by the absence of petroleum as a fuel which was just appearing in the later part of the 19
th century.

Around 1860 the Belgian Etienne Lenoir developed a gas fueled electrically ignited internal combustion engine that utilized cylinders, pistons connected to rods and a flywheel where the gas basically took the place of steam, as in the Watt steam engines. The engine was commercially produced and used extensively to drive stationary machinery. Although the Lenoir engine attracted much publicity, it was not suitable for a moving vehicle but inspired others to refine and develop upon the basic design.

One of these people was Nikolaus August Otto who thought that running the engine on gas was impractical and imagined an engine running on the vapour of petrol mixed with air. Together with a friend Michael Zons who had a workshop, they built a small engine that ran on alcohol and applied for a patent that stipulated an engine that would propel vehicles serviceably along a country road[1]. The patent application was turned down on the basis that the engine was too close to others, so Otto and Zons continued to development until they created a four-stroke cycle engine. That year Otto formally joined Zons in his machine shop and went across to London to see if anybody else was offering any similar types of engines. He found that nobody else had anything like it.

Otto had a number of ideas to make the engine more efficient but was starting to run out of money. He eventually met up with a young engineer Eugene Langen from a wealthy family who became a partner and bankrolled Otto, forming N.A. Otto & Company, engine builders. After selling a few engines they found that in their present form the engine was not too saleable and spent the next three years experimenting until they created an engine with a vertical cylinder and piston connected to a cog wheel that went up and down. They presented it at the Great Exhibition in Paris during 1867. It just so happened that one of Otto’s old acquaintances Professor Franz Reuleaux of Berlin University was on the judging committee and insisted Otto’s engine be directly compared to the Lenoir engines on display. The judges found that the Otto engine used only one third the fuel used by the Lenoir engine and Otto and Langen won the gold medal personally presented to them by Napoleon III. After the exhibition sales increased dramatically and by 1871 they had licensed production of the engine to Crossley Brothers of Manchester and were making profits. The company continued to grow and took on some new partners and was renamed Deutz-AG-Gasmotorenfabrik.

Gottlieb Daimler was interested in building an automobile from an early age. He showed himself to be a very skilled craftsman during his apprenticeship at a gunsmith workshop and was awarded a place at the School for Advanced Training in Stuttgart where he studied at night while working during the day. Daimler later moved to Strasbourg where he worked on steam locomotives and built railway cars, becoming foreman at the age of 22. He was given leave to study at the Stuttgart Polytechnic Institute and completed the four year course in two years. Daimler then spent some time in Paris and Britain where he toured and worked at a number of engineering works. He also attended the 1862 Great Exhibition in London. Upon his return to Germany Daimler spent a few years working at the Bruderhaus Factory producing machines for paper mills, farms, and weighbridges. During his time at Bruderhaus, Daimler met Wilhelm Mayback with whom he developed a very close relationship. Maybach was a very creative draughtsman who was later to follow Daimler from job to job.

Daimler was approached by Langen in 1872 to work for Deutz which was expanding their production of the Otto engine. Daimler persuaded Langen to also take on Mayback as chief designer for the company. They both spent about ten years at Deutz, with Daimler leaving to set up his own company in Cannstatt from the compensation he got from Otto for his work on the patents. Maybach soon joined him and they set out to produce a petrol engine that had an efficient and quick starting ignition and a power-to-weight ratio that would be suited for an automobile. By 1885 they had produced a one horsepower engine with some improvements over the Otto engine including a carburetor to mix fuel with the air for better combustion. Daimler fixed an engine to a bicycle and created the first powered motorcycle. Daimler also bought a carriage he bought from Stuttgart and mounted the engine onto it as a “present to his wife”.

Quite independently Karl Friedrich Benz was also working on a petrol engine. Benz was born into a relatively poor family but was able to get a good education where he studied locomotive engineering at university. During these years Benz had a dream of building a self-propelled horseless carriage. Benz started his first business a machine shop and supplier of construction materials in 1871 with a partner August Ritter. The company ran into financial trouble and Benz fiancée Bertha Ringer bought out Ritter with money from her dowry. After further poor business performance the firm got into further financial trouble where Benz admitted a new partner and lost control of the company. In 1883 Benz left the company and bought into a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim with Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eβlinger.

Benz soon left and went into the engine building business and formed Benz & Cie Rheinsche Gasmotoren-Fabrik. The business went well producing engines for a growing market and this gave Benz the opportunity to focus his attention on building an automobile. Benz developed an automobile primarily based on bicycle technology. It was powered by a four-stroke engine Benz had designed, sitting between the rear wheels with the power being transmitted through chains to the rear axle. Benz patented his automobile in 1886 calling it the Benz Patented Motorwagen. This first model had plenty of room for improvement and Benz over successive years created new versions that ironed out faults in the previous model. Although his invention had plenty of attention, there was actually little interest in purchasing the vehicle. Most of the sales were in France through Benz’s agent Emile Roger, who was already building Benz engines under license there.

There were still a number of problems. Gasoline at the time was only sold by pharmacies as a cleaning fluid, and the automobile still lacked power to climb small hills and the brakes were rough. The automobile could not go in reverse. An important event in the history of Benz was the story of Bertha Benz in 1888 using the car to travel from Mannheim to Pforzheim to visit her mother, a round trip of some 212 km. During the trip she apparently made some technical improvements to the automobile which included putting leather brake linings on the brakes to help with downhill braking and recommended to her husband to add another gear to the engine so it could go up hills better.

By 1895 the Benz factory had sold more than 135 cars and was known as one of the most important manufacturer of automobiles[2]. Now Germany had three manufacturers of petrol engines.

The early bicycles and automobiles used wooden or iron rims for tyres which had no shock absorbing properties. However for the tyre to be invented, a pliable material that could be used in its construction was required. Charles Goodyear heard about the properties of gum elastic[3] and went to see J. Haskins, the manager of Roxbury Rubber Company in New York. Goodyear found that the rubber used to make products disintegrated over time rendering them useless. He started working with Indian rubber by heating it and adding different materials in attempts to get the stickiness out of the material. Goodyear thought that he found the solution using an acidic material to cure the latex and built up a business manufacturing life preservers, rubber shoes, and other rubber based products. Due to the crash of 1837, Goodyear became penniless and it was only the financial support given to him by J. Haskins who he knew at Roxbury Rubber Company that saved him. Goodyear continued to experiment to improve the curing process. In 1838 Goodyear met with Nathaniel Hayward who had been using sulphur to dry rubber. Goodyear found that when rubber was heated with sulphur, the rubber cured perfectly–heating sulphur with rubber created vulcanized rubber, named after the Greek god of fire. It is debated today whether Goodyear found the solution by pure luck or through careful application and observation. Goodyear made the discovery in 1839 but only patented it in 1844 after he enhanced and fine tuned the process. Vulcanized rubber could be utilized to make many products of which automobile tyres was one of them.

Robert William Thomson was born in Stonehaven, Scotland and moved to America at the age of 14 where he was apprenticed to a merchant. Two years later he returned to Scotland teaching himself chemistry, electricity, and astronomy. Robert’s father built him a workshop where he improved upon his mother’s washing mangle so wet linen could be passed through, designed a ribbon saw, made a working model of an elliptic steam engine, and a number of other inventions. He set up his own railway consulting company, while he designed and built a pneumatic tyre for horse carriages. The tyre consisted of a hollow India rubber and canvas tube inflated with air enclosed in a strong leather casing of leather and bolted to the wheel. The wheels formed a cushion of air upon the road or track they ran on which greatly improved the comfort of travel and reducing the noise. One set of tyres lasted for more than 1,200 miles. Thomson patented the tyre in France in 1846 and in America in 1847.

Thomson’s invention basically went unnoticed and forty years and forgotten. A Scottish veterinary surgeon John Boyd Dunlop came up with the idea again as a way to improve the suspension of carriages. Dunlop had worked with sheets of rubber at his surgery and first made a pneumatic tyre for his son’s tricycle from wrapping the sheet into a hollow lined with linen that he blew up with his son’s football pump. After finding that bicycles with pneumatic tyres were much faster than existing tyres at the time, the bicycle fraternity in Ireland switched over to them and in 1889 Dunlop formed a company with Harvey du Cros, President of the Irish Cyclists Association. On filing a patent application, Dunlop’s claim to novelty was invalidated by Thomson’s prior patent. Other aspects of the tyre were patented and Dunlop assigned his patent over to Harvey du Cros and du Cros formed the Dunlop Rubber Company of which Dunlop had no interest. Dunlop had reinvented the pneumatic tyre, unlike in Thomson’s time, at a crucial time in the development of road transport.

At about the same time Dunlop was producing tyres in Ireland, Edouard and André Michelin in France were running a rubber factory in France. The company produced rubber balls and invented rubber brake pads for horse-drawn carriages. There are a number of stories about how the Michelin brothers started making tyres but one story tells of how the Grand Pierre asked for help at the Michelin workshop to repair one of his pneumatic tyres on the bicycle[4]. According to this story the tyre was glued to the wheel rim and it took hours to remove it and all night for the glue to dry after it was repaired. Edouard saw the need to have pneumatic tyres that could be easily removed from wheel rims for repairs. From 1891 the Michelin brothers began manufacturing tyres where France became the number one tyre maker in the world until the end of the century.

A number of companies ventured into automobile manufacturing in Europe and the automobile started replacing the bicycle and horse and carriage. After lobbying British restrictions on automobiles were lifted and the industry flourished. Motor buses and trucks began appearing changing public and goods transport. With the petroleum industry established in the United States and large distances to travel the automobile very quickly became popular with the likes of Charles and Frank Duryea forming the Duryea Motor Company, Ransom E Olds forming the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, and the eventual formation of the Ford Motor Company that was going to take automobiles onto a new plain in the new Millennium.

The transition to Chinese dominance

The decade saw the rise of the fourth generation of modern automobile manufacturers, the first being the US automakers, then the Japanese emergence in the 1960s and 70s, and then the Korean emergence during the 1990s. The fourth Generation consists of Indian manufacturers like Tata Motors and a number of newly created Chinese manufacturers which include BYD, Lifan, Chang’an (Chana), Geely, Cheri, Hafei, Great Wall, Jianghuai (JAC), Roewe, Martin and a number of others.

Tata Motors is part of the Tata Group, the largest privately owned conglomerate in India. Tata began operations in 1945 building locomotives and then in 1954 commenced manufacturing commercial vehicles as a joint venture with Daimler-Benz. Tata entered the passenger car market in 1991 launching the Tata Sierra and a number of other models. In 1998 Tata launched the Indica, the first fully indigenous car built in India which was a great success and now exported to South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The company acquired Daewoo truck manufacturing operation in 2004, a controlling interest in Aragonese (within Spain) Hispano Carrocera in 2005, formed a joint venture with Marcopolo in Brazil in 2007, acquired British Jaguar land Rover in 2008 and took an 80% stake in Trilix of Italy in 2010. In 2008 Tata launched the Nano, a car priced around USD $2,000 so that more people could afford to purchase an automobile in India. Tata is experimenting with electric cars and compressed air engines. Today Tata has an extremely strong customer based on the Sub-continent and exports to 26 countries with manufacturing plants in the UK, Korea, Spain, Thailand, South Africa, and Argentina. Under franchise Tata cars are also assembled in Russia, Ukraine, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Senegal.

China’s auto industry began in the 1950s under the guidance of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, with technical assistance from the Soviet Union. From the 1980s to 2000 all of the China’s leading automakers were joint ventures with foreign automobile companies. Output was tightly controlled with most production focused on commercial vehicles. As China prospered, vehicle ownership has increased dramatically, where production increased from one million automobiles in 2000 to almost 14 million vehicles in 2009[5], making China the largest automobile manufacturer in the world[6].

Many of the local companies that commenced operations after the 1990s were owned by the Defense Ministry, Chang’an Motors, Changhe, Hufei Motors, or provincial authorities, Brilliance China Auto, Cherry Auto, and Chang Feng Automotive. A few private companies BYD Auto, Greely Automotive
and Great Wall Motors also started up. On the whole Chinese automakers lack the efficiency and quality, but still produce cars much cheaper than manufacturers in other countries. R&D is still low at present with some companies taking inspiration from international models. The state owned Cherry Automobile Co. Ltd. is the largest independent domestic vehicle manufacturer and will be privatized soon. Some of the other major domestic manufacturers First Automobile Works Group Corporation (FAW), Greely, SAIC, and Dong Feng have built their cars upon platforms provided from international automakers while the rest have been the result been built from knowledge gained through reengineering or just outright copying[7]. Some firms like SAIC and Nanjing Automobile Group acquired MC Rover to access technology and there is a tendency for domestic companies to acquire international brands rather than build them[8]. The Chinese Government is encouraging domestic automakers to merge so that three or four main domestic players exist in the industry[9]. Due to the economic downturn of 2008 Chinese Automakers had been able to acquire struggling part manufacturers such as the Greely purchase of the Australian Drivetrain Systems International (DSI).

Chinese companies are working on developing electric cars. However costs are still too high for the average Chinese consumer, and there are still many practical problems as most Chinese live in apartments and access to power supplies may be difficult. Nevertheless China is the largest producer of electric cars in the world. One company committed to the development of electric cars is BYD, a Shenzhen based company founded by entrepreneur Wang Chuanfu in 1995 when he was 29 years old[10]. By 2005 BYD was the largest manufacturer of batteries in the world for mobile phones, iPods, digital cameras, and other electronic goods. While he still eats in the company canteen and lives in the company housing block, Wang Chuanfu is now considered one of the richest people in China[11]. Warren Buffet is an investor in BYD.

As we can see the invention of the automobile was built upon a number of foregoing pieces of new knowledge and inventions in various domains that filled in the missing links that make the invention possible. Until every aspect of knowledge and sub-component exists that is required for the invention to take form, it cannot take form. For example an automobile is a compilation of numerous previous inventions that enable the form of an automobile to exist. Without the ideas of steel, rubber, fuel, concepts of compression and combustion, electronics, tires, braking systems, new alloys, hydraulic systems, road rules and carriageways, the automobile cannot exist (see Figure 1).



Figure 1. The hierarchy of inventions that make the invention of the automobile possible[12]

The creation of inventions that become incorporated into what we call the automobile was and still is a continuous process, making incremental improvements to the whole idea and concept. New composite polymer materials and plastics make lighter frames without sacrificing strength, new engine power enhancing systems like turbochargers and fuel injection systems contribute to the enhancement of car performance. The automobile is a system of ideas and also forms part of other idea systems like transport and city planning, etc.

Any new technology like the automobile brings with it a number of new opportunities in addition to the original intended purpose of the technology. The advent of the automobile industry enabled the formation and development of many specialized service businesses, and satellite suppliers of car parts for production. The automobile has led to automobile service stations, parts manufacturers, paint manufacturers, steel suppliers, logistic transport providers, and automobile dealers, as well as the invention of seat beats and other safety equipment. The development of cities like Detroit in the 1950s was driven by the auto industry.

The automobile also radically changed the way societies existed. Auto manufacturing clusters are also a feature in the development of a nation, as we have seen in Britain, Europe, the US, Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and of late India and China - rising, stagnating, and eventually declining. Some of these early industries may grow out of factor advantages such as low cost labour, as did the Japanese consumer product manufacturing during the 1950s and 1960s. However to maintain any industry in the long term, a new basis of competitive advantage should be developed on the production and/or market sides, i.e., new technologies, design superiority, the development of enhanced logistical chains, or the targeting of special market segments like the Japanese did with small automobiles, etc.

Now we are again witnessing a change in the guard of this industry towards China.


Notes and References


[1]Diesel, E., Goldbeck, G., & Schildberger, F. (1960). From Engines to Autos: Five pioneers in engine development and their contributions to the auto industry, Chicago, Henry Regnery Company

[2] Weightman, G. (2007). The Industrial Revolutionaries: The making of the modern world, 1776-1914, New York, Grove Press, P. 320.

[3] Natural rubber derived from latex.

[4] Lottman, H.R. (2003). The Michelin Men Driving and Empire, London, I.B. Tauris.

[5] See: Motoring Ahead: More Cars are Sold in China than in America, The Economist, 23rd October 2009, http://www.economist.com/node/14732026?story_id=14732026&fsrc=nwl, (accessed 16th February 2011).

[6] Marr, K. (2009). As Detroit Crumbles, China Emerges as Auto Epicenter, The Washington Post, 18
th May, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2009/05/17/AR2009051702269.html
, (accessed 15th February 2011).

[7] Tang, R. (2009). The Rise of China’s Auto Industry and its Impact on the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry, Washington D.C., Congressional Research Service, P. 13,
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R40924.pdf, (accessed 15th February 2011).

[8] Jian, Y. (2009). Chinese Car Companies Resort to Buying Brands Rather Than Creating Them, Advertising Age, 15
th July, http://adage.com/china/article?article_id=137900, (accessed 16th February 2011).

[9] Tang, R. (2009), P. 14.

[10] Wang Chuanfu: Building electric dreams in China, CNN.com/asia, 20th April 2009, http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/20/byd.wangchuanfu/index.html, (accessed 14th February 2011).

[11] See: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/10/billionaires-2010_Wang-Chuanfu_39SU.html

[12] Hunter, M. (2012), Opportunity, Strategy, & Entrepreneurship: A Meta-Theory, Vol. 1., New York, Nova Science Publishers, P. 53.


09.10.2012



PUBLICATIONS:


      Australia in the "Asian Century" or is it Lost in Asia? - Murray Hunter

      Surprise, surprise: An Islam economy can be innovative - Murray Hunter

      Do Asian Management Paradigms Exist? A look at four theoretical frames - Murray Hunter

      What China wants in Asia: 1975 or 1908 ? – addendum - prof. dr. Anis Bajraktarević

      ASEAN Nations need indigenous innovation to transform their economies but are doing little about it. - Murray Hunter

      From Europe, to the US, Japan, and onto China: The evolution of the automobile - Murray Hunter

      Missed Opportunities for ASEAN if the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) fails to start up in 2015 - Murray Hunter

      Lessons from the Invention of the airplane and the Beginning of the Aviation Era - Murray Hunter

      Elite educators idolize the “ high flying entrepreneurs” while deluded about the realities of entrepreneurship for the masses: - Murray Hunter

      The Arrival of Petroleum, Rockefeller, and the Lessons He taught Us - Murray Hunter - University Malaysia Perlis

      Ethics, Sustainability and the New Realities - Murray Hunter

      The Dominance of “Western” Management Theories in South-East Asian Business Schools: The occidental colonization of the mind. - Murray Hunter

      How feudalism hinders community transformation and economic evolution: Isn’t equal opportunity a basic human right? - Murray Hunter

      On Some of the Misconceptions about Entrepreneurship - Murray Hunter

      Knowledge, Understanding and the God Paradigm - Murray Hunter

      Do Confucian Principled Businesses Exist in Asia? - Murray Hunter

      Samsara and the Organization - Murray Hunter

      Integrating the philosophy of Tawhid – an Islamic approach to organization. - Murray Hunter

      What’s with all the hype – a look at aspirational marketing - Murray Hunter

      Does Intrapreneurship exist in Asia? - Murray Hunter

      One Man, Multiple Inventions: The lessons and legacies of Thomas Edison - Murray Hunter

     People tend to start businesses for the wrong reasons - Murray Hunter

    
How emotions influence, how we see the world? - Murray Hunter

     How we create new ideas - Murray Hunter

     Where do entrepreneurial opportunities come from? - Murray Hunter

     The five types of thinking we use - Murray Hunter

     Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities: What’s wrong with SWOT? - Murray Hunter

     How motivation really works - Murray Hunter

     The Evolution of Business Strategy - Murray Hunter

     Not all opportunities are the same: A look at the four types of entrepreneurial opportunity - Murray Hunter

     Do we have a creative intelligence? - Murray Hunter

     Imagination may be more important than knowledge: The eight types of imagination we use - Murray Hunter

    
The environment as a multi-dimensional system: Taking off your rose coloured glasses - Murray Hunter

     Generational Attitudes and Behaviour - Murray Hunter

     Groupthink may still be a hazard to your organization - Murray Hunter

  
  Perpetual Self conflict: Self awareness as a key to our ethical drive, personal mastery, and perception of entrepreneurial opportunities - Murray Hunter

     The Continuum of Psychotic Organisational Typologies - Murray Hunter

    
There is no such person as an entrepreneur, just a person who acts entrepreneurially - Murray Hunter

     Go Home, Occupy Movement!!-(The McFB– Was Ist Das?) - prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic

     Diplomatie préventive - Aucun siècle Asiatique sans l’institution pan-Asiatique - prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic

    
Democide Mass-Murder and the New World Order - Paul Adams


 






Koninkrijk Belgie - Monarchie Belgique










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Maasmechelen Village




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BALKAN AREA
BALKAN AREA




prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic



Go Home, Occupy Movement!! - (The McFB – Was Ist Das?) -
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic




Diplomatie préventive - Aucun sičcle Asiatique sans l’institution pan-Asiatique - prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic\/span|



ADDENDUM – GREEN/POLICY PAPER: TOWARDS THE CREATION OF THE OSCE TASK FORCE ON (THE FUTURE OF) HUMAN CAPITAL
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic




Gunboat Diplomacy in the South China Sea – Chinese strategic mistake -
Anis H. Bajrektarevic




Geopolitics of Quantum Buddhism: Our Pre-Hydrocarbon Tao Future
prof. dr. Anis Bajrektarevic




The Mexico-held G–20 voices its concerns over the situation in the EURO zone - Anis H. Bajrektarevic



What China wants in Asia: 1975 or 1908 ? – addendum - prof. dr. Anis Bajraktarević




Maasmechelen Village




Maasmechelen Village