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El imperio invisible: El éxito empresarial chino y sus vínculos con la criminalidad económica en España y Europa

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La madrugada del 16 de octubre de 2012 la policía española irrumpía en la vivienda de Gao Ping y culminaba su mayor operación contra el crimen organizado de todos los tiempos. Se desarticulaba así una gigantesca trama que ha sacado de nuestro país ilícitamente entre 800 y 1.200 millones de euros en tan sólo cuatro años. Un zarpazo policial —bautizado con el nombre de Opera La madrugada del 16 de octubre de 2012 la policía española irrumpía en la vivienda de Gao Ping y culminaba su mayor operación contra el crimen organizado de todos los tiempos. Se desarticulaba así una gigantesca trama que ha sacado de nuestro país ilícitamente entre 800 y 1.200 millones de euros en tan sólo cuatro años. Un zarpazo policial —bautizado con el nombre de Operación Emperador— que ha permitido tomar conciencia acerca de la criminalidad económica china en nuestro país. El Imperio Invisible es el primer libro sobre esta problemática en España. Dos periodistas conocedores del gigante asiático desgranan con claridad cómo y por qué proliferan tan rápidamente los negocios chinos, y destapan el enorme negocio ilícito que crece a nuestro alrededor gracias a la inmigración ilegal, la explotación laboral, el fraude fiscal o el blanqueo de capitales. Tras varios viajes a los focos de la criminalidad china así como del análisis de múltiples sumarios y más de un centenar de entrevistas con policías, empresarios chinos, fiscales o funcionarios, el libro da respuesta a las preguntas cotidianas que todos nos hacemos. ¿Por qué hay cada vez más bares en manos de la comunidad china? ¿Por qué los bazares resisten las turbulencias económicas mientras los comerciantes españoles se ven forzados a cerrar? ¿Cómo se han logrado los empresarios chinos enriquecerse tan fabulosamente en medio de crisis?


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La madrugada del 16 de octubre de 2012 la policía española irrumpía en la vivienda de Gao Ping y culminaba su mayor operación contra el crimen organizado de todos los tiempos. Se desarticulaba así una gigantesca trama que ha sacado de nuestro país ilícitamente entre 800 y 1.200 millones de euros en tan sólo cuatro años. Un zarpazo policial —bautizado con el nombre de Opera La madrugada del 16 de octubre de 2012 la policía española irrumpía en la vivienda de Gao Ping y culminaba su mayor operación contra el crimen organizado de todos los tiempos. Se desarticulaba así una gigantesca trama que ha sacado de nuestro país ilícitamente entre 800 y 1.200 millones de euros en tan sólo cuatro años. Un zarpazo policial —bautizado con el nombre de Operación Emperador— que ha permitido tomar conciencia acerca de la criminalidad económica china en nuestro país. El Imperio Invisible es el primer libro sobre esta problemática en España. Dos periodistas conocedores del gigante asiático desgranan con claridad cómo y por qué proliferan tan rápidamente los negocios chinos, y destapan el enorme negocio ilícito que crece a nuestro alrededor gracias a la inmigración ilegal, la explotación laboral, el fraude fiscal o el blanqueo de capitales. Tras varios viajes a los focos de la criminalidad china así como del análisis de múltiples sumarios y más de un centenar de entrevistas con policías, empresarios chinos, fiscales o funcionarios, el libro da respuesta a las preguntas cotidianas que todos nos hacemos. ¿Por qué hay cada vez más bares en manos de la comunidad china? ¿Por qué los bazares resisten las turbulencias económicas mientras los comerciantes españoles se ven forzados a cerrar? ¿Cómo se han logrado los empresarios chinos enriquecerse tan fabulosamente en medio de crisis?

30 review for El imperio invisible: El éxito empresarial chino y sus vínculos con la criminalidad económica en España y Europa

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    A take on how the Chinese trade with countries in the developing world. The story itself is cringeworthy, as is the way the story is told. "China's Silent Army" is focused on how the government of China, Chinese companies, and individuals from China are negotiating with, moving to, operating companies in, and pulling raw materials from other third world countries. There are a few areas of focus, including Chinese construction of infrastructure in partner countries, the mining industry, retail, a A take on how the Chinese trade with countries in the developing world. The story itself is cringeworthy, as is the way the story is told. "China's Silent Army" is focused on how the government of China, Chinese companies, and individuals from China are negotiating with, moving to, operating companies in, and pulling raw materials from other third world countries. There are a few areas of focus, including Chinese construction of infrastructure in partner countries, the mining industry, retail, and the logging trade. The authors travel around the world and have vignettes from various places in Asia, Africa, and South and Central America. All these vignettes show that the Chinese are self-optimizing, focusing on profits and speed, enabling corruption if needed, ignoring human rights and environmental consequences. I found this aspect of their story interesting, but not entirely unexpected. I found myself wondering while reading this how different this actually is to how the Europeans and Americans traded in the past. This isn't really mentioned in the book, except to say that because European and Americans now tend to value human rights and the environment and tend to not want to deal with corruption, they are leaving the market to the Chinese. The Chinese seem to be like the trading countries of old, but with an unprecedented scale due to large population and cheap manufacturing. The book was written in an odd way. The first chapter consists of the authors repeated arguments as to why they are real journalists. If the authors have to go to the effort to make the case that they have the skills to write a story, it really makes me wonder if they actually do. And immediately upon starting the actual content, you see that they have taken the tact to write in a very judgmental way. The reader is told time after time about the "wrongs" of the Chinese way of doing business, how their trade is exploitation of their trading partners, how they treat native employees almost like slaves, and so on. I would have expected, based on their "journalistic credentials", that they would have presented the facts and provided perspective, but this was more about raising the specter of Chinese imperialism. The Chinese in the book are also stereotyped. They are portrayed as excellent self-optimizers who could care less who or what is hurt as long as they get ahead. They also maintain the Chinese people are willing to support their families and countrymen to the detriment of others, and that they are naturals at making money. I must say I've heard these stereotypes before, so seeing them repeated wasn't a big surprise. What is surprising is that this is supposed to be investigative journalism, and I understood that to mean that the story would go beyond stereotyping. It gets to the point that you can't tell if the authors are describing a Chinese company, the government, or a specific business owner, as they all act the same. At least until you read about some dissidents near the end of the book. I found a couple of things missing that I think would have made this book better. While the title mentions the "world", this book only deals with the developing nations. I wonder why it didn't extend to America, Canada, and Europe. It seems like there could be related stories here. After finishing the book, I'm also left with a feeling of not knowing what to do about the issues the authors raise. They have written such a partisan book, I expected to see some partisan idea of a solution, but there are none given. I won this through GoodReads First Reads program.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

    This book shines in the tens of detailed stories of entrepreneurship shown by Chinese immigrants the world over, from Egypt to Ecuador to Siberia. The authors visited hundreds of Chinese immigrants all over the world and are able to share first-hand knowledge of the hardships and the crucial help provided by Chinese communities abroad. The book fared less well in its near apocalyptic description of the imminent Chinese domination of the world and the slave-like conditions this will create for al This book shines in the tens of detailed stories of entrepreneurship shown by Chinese immigrants the world over, from Egypt to Ecuador to Siberia. The authors visited hundreds of Chinese immigrants all over the world and are able to share first-hand knowledge of the hardships and the crucial help provided by Chinese communities abroad. The book fared less well in its near apocalyptic description of the imminent Chinese domination of the world and the slave-like conditions this will create for all workers everywhere. After every description of horrendous labor practices and exploitative pay the authors barely manage to include, as an afterthought, that these conditions, while certainly deplorable, are unfortunately the norm in some of the less developed places they visited, from the DRC to Burma to Laos. I seize on this not to exculpate Chinese companies but to give importance to the context that is severely minimized in the book. While I applaud the efforts of the authors to shine a light into the low standards of some Chinese firms as well as highlight how the lack of a free press and strong civic society in China allows these abuses in a way that would not be tolerated in American or European firms, I find it disingenuous, to say the least, to create the impression that Chinese companies are somehow forcing such conditions on the places they go rather than to acknowledge that they simply operate at the lowest standards they find. I have no doubt that the argument of the book would have been strengthen by a more honest portrayal.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nguyễn Quang Vũ

    Cuốn sách là hành trình của tác giả là 2 nhà báo người Tây Ban Nha đã đi qua hơn 25 nước trên bốn châu lục để xem xét bản chất thực sự trong sự phát triển của Trung Quốc, đặc biệt là bản chất của những khoản đầu tư khổng lồ có phần dễ dãi của quốc gia này đến các nước đang phát triển dưới chiêu bài "không can thiệp" và "hợp tác cùng thằng". Người đọc cũng sẽ hiểu được phần nào lý do Trung Quốc luôn chọn những quốc gia có nền chính trị độc tài để đầu tư và hậu quả lâu dài của chính sách đầu tư bấ Cuốn sách là hành trình của tác giả là 2 nhà báo người Tây Ban Nha đã đi qua hơn 25 nước trên bốn châu lục để xem xét bản chất thực sự trong sự phát triển của Trung Quốc, đặc biệt là bản chất của những khoản đầu tư khổng lồ có phần dễ dãi của quốc gia này đến các nước đang phát triển dưới chiêu bài "không can thiệp" và "hợp tác cùng thằng". Người đọc cũng sẽ hiểu được phần nào lý do Trung Quốc luôn chọn những quốc gia có nền chính trị độc tài để đầu tư và hậu quả lâu dài của chính sách đầu tư bất chấp tác hại của nó đến môi trường cũng như đời sống xã hội của những quốc gia này. Hãy đọc và liên hệ tới chính chúng ta. Đọc để mà biết các nguồn lực dễ dãi đến từ Trung Cộng đã đang và sẽ mang lại điều gì cho quốc gia mà nó đầu tư. Và nói như tác giả cuốn sách: "chúng tôi không thể lạc quan".

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Hernandez

    Una investigación sería y muy bien documentada. Preocupante la manera como China esta atropellando a los países tercer mundistas.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yves Gounin

    Journalistes espagnols basés en Chine, Heriberto Araujo et Juan Pablo Cardenal ont publié fin 2011 La silenciosa conquesta china. Son titre espagnol est plus parlant que la plate traduction qu’en ont faite les éditions Flammarion. Son sous-titre en anglais est plus parlant encore : “The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing's Image”. Car l’enquête des deux journalistes s’intéresse moins au siècle à venir qu’à ces Chinois éparpillés aux quatre coins de la pla Journalistes espagnols basés en Chine, Heriberto Araujo et Juan Pablo Cardenal ont publié fin 2011 La silenciosa conquesta china. Son titre espagnol est plus parlant que la plate traduction qu’en ont faite les éditions Flammarion. Son sous-titre en anglais est plus parlant encore : “The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing's Image”. Car l’enquête des deux journalistes s’intéresse moins au siècle à venir qu’à ces Chinois éparpillés aux quatre coins de la planète qui sont en train d’en façonner l’image. Pendant deux ans, ils ont sillonné 25 pays, réalisant plus de 500 interviews de la Sibérie au Pérou, du Turkménistan à l’Angola. Ils dressent un tableau effrayant d’une « conquête silencieuse » qui nourrit d’autant plus les fantasmes et les craintes qu’elle se fait sans publicité. Les deux journalistes n’ont cessé de se heurter à l’hostilité d’interlocuteurs qui, en Chine comme à l’étranger, leur ont fermé leurs portes, renâclant à répondre à leurs questions. En s’ouvrant au monde, la Chine ne s’occidentalise pas, comme on l’avait espéré. Au contraire, soutiennent les auteurs, c’est le monde qui est en train de se siniser, les Chinois exportant leurs (mauvaises) pratiques dans le reste de la planète. Les terribles conditions de travail qui prévalent en Chine sont imposés aux recrutés locaux et conduisent parfois à leur révolte, comme dans les mines de cuivre de Zambie en 2008. Le mépris affiché pour la protection de l’environnement favorise le pillage des ressources naturelles. Les investisseurs chinois ne s’embarrassent pas d’éthique et nourrissent une corruption déjà omniprésente en Angola ou en RDC. Ils travaillent main dans la main avec des régimes parias (Soudan, Iran, Birmanie …), leur offrant sinon une légitimité du moins des débouchés commerciaux qui privent de toute efficacité les embargos décrétés par la communauté internationale. Cette attitude s’explique aisément à défaut de se justifier. Loin du discours officiel vantant les mérites d’une coopération « gagnant-gagnant », la Chine poursuit dans le monde en développement des objectifs qui n’ont rien d’altruiste. Elle y cherche à la fois les ressources naturelles dont elle manque (énergie, bois, terres, eau …) et un débouché pour sa main d’œuvre excédentaire sans se soucier des effets collatéraux sur les populations locales et leur environnement. Peu lui importe le profit que ses partenaires en développement vont en tirer. Comme les puissances coloniales occidentales jadis, elle ne cherche pas à encourager la création de valeur ajoutée sur place : le pétrole et le bois africain sont ainsi exportés brut vers la Chine. Les grands projets d’infrastructure qu’elle réalise (routes, stades …) sont construits par une main d’œuvre chinoise et sont sans effet sur l’emploi local. Les produits qu’elle exporte à bas coût élargissent certes l’offre proposée aux consommateurs, mais constituent une redoutable concurrence pour la production locale. L’enquête de Araujo et Cardenal a le mérite de dévoiler ces pratiques sans verser pour autant dans le procès à charge. Elle présente une lacune : elle ne s’attarde guère sur les ressorts de cette « conquête silencieuse » se bornant à indiquer que les banques de développement chinoises, adossées à la puissance publique, profitent de l’immense épargne domestique pour proposer des emprunts avantageux. Les deux journalistes auraient pu profiter de leur séjour en Chine pour enquêter à Pékin dans les cercles du pouvoir : existe-t-il une politique consciente d’expansion mondiale ? quels en sont les idéologues ? quels en sont les relais ? Faute de traiter cette dimension, leur enquête se borne, au risque parfois de la répétition, à présenter les manifestations d’un phénomène dont les motivations profondes nous restent inconnues.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Arjen

    Many of my Chinese clients have construction projects overseas, in countries all across Asia, Central America and Africa so I was interested to read this study on Chinese working abroad. The book turned out to have a much larger scope than the title suggests. In the book the two authors argue that China has an unbeatable formula to secure its raw materials around the world. The deals are financed by Chinese sovereign funds and the China Development Bank (easy money); executed in countries with l Many of my Chinese clients have construction projects overseas, in countries all across Asia, Central America and Africa so I was interested to read this study on Chinese working abroad. The book turned out to have a much larger scope than the title suggests. In the book the two authors argue that China has an unbeatable formula to secure its raw materials around the world. The deals are financed by Chinese sovereign funds and the China Development Bank (easy money); executed in countries with lack of governance where there is little oversight, no regard for environmental impact and no respect for labor conditions. Resources are stripped away and shipped off to China without any processing (adding no value to the local economy), in exchange for roads, hospitals and the occasional a stadium (their calculations show the invested sums are a pittance set against the resources gained). Chinese companies take over when Western companies decline a project due to these concerns (pressured by western NGO’s - who when successful in chasing out multinational bidders hand over the project to scrupulous Chinese state owned companies). Topics covered are unlawful deforestation in Burma and Siberia, swopping infrastructure construction for resources in Africa and South America, managing water resources along the Mekong, Chinese door to door sales people in Egypt, dealings with Iran and other unsavory Central Asian oil producers, and oddly enough a last chapter on Tibet which in my opinion veered off topic. The book is heavily annotated, which made the main text quite anecdotal and in some places not strong enough to carry the argument. It did result in an interesting and quick read, be it with some small mistakes in the setting of some of the interviews… eating sweet and sour pork with Dongbei businessmen just doesn’t sit right. The authors also claim that overseas Chinese communities rally around the country, while in my experience they tend to distance themselves from the country (CCP) and around an identity. The book leaves me feeling sad, is this what we want? The authors’ final statement also hit a nerve when they credit the 1.3 billion migrant workers and shrewd Wenzhou businessmen for building the country with the Party running off with the credits for developing the nation.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peter Wibaux

    Two Spanish journalists seem an unlikely team to write such a profound book on one of the great issues of today. However, what Cardenal and Araújo have pulled off is an extremely readable, accurate, and worrying piece of prose. On and off, I have almost twenty years of China, going back and forth from Europe, and I've used some of that experience to develop scenes, characters, and situations in my new book Atmos Fear. From experience, China's Silent Army reads true from the start. The most strikin Two Spanish journalists seem an unlikely team to write such a profound book on one of the great issues of today. However, what Cardenal and Araújo have pulled off is an extremely readable, accurate, and worrying piece of prose. On and off, I have almost twenty years of China, going back and forth from Europe, and I've used some of that experience to develop scenes, characters, and situations in my new book Atmos Fear. From experience, China's Silent Army reads true from the start. The most striking aspect to the newcomer will be the thoroughness with which other countries' natural resources (and citizens) are exploited, from Myanmar to Mozambique, from Peru to the Congo. In Southern Africa, I've seen it with my own eyes, as far back as the turn of the century. If you visit Maputo, a steel structure erected by Gustave Eiffel rubs shoulders with Portuguese colonial architecture from the past three hundred years, but you'll also see buildings from the last three decades with a distinctive Chinese twist—I felt as if I was back in Qingdao. Because China's Silent Army is written by investigative journalists, there are numerous examples of the effects of Chinese policy on the common man (and woman), both citizens of the Middle Kingdom, and foreign nationals. Above all, the book tells the story of a nation with a strategy. There is a profound difference between tactics and strategy, and I would argue that Western nations, including the U.S., are limited at present to a tactical viewpoint. If you wanted to know where America sees itself in twenty-five years, you'd be pushed to find an answer—not so for China, and that alone is a reason for reading this book. FInally, a poor translation often destroys a good book, but in this case Catherine Mansfield does justice to the original text.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dan Bell

    I won this book as a Goodreads First Read. China's Silent Army takes the reader on a worldwide tour of China's massive economic machine, exploring the impacts of the exportation of the "Beijing Consensus" around the globe. Drawing heavily on interviews with all parties and a "boots on the ground" approach, the authors thoroughly document the benefits and drawbacks of China's involvement around the globe. I found the authors did a good job of presenting all sides when they could, realizing the ch I won this book as a Goodreads First Read. China's Silent Army takes the reader on a worldwide tour of China's massive economic machine, exploring the impacts of the exportation of the "Beijing Consensus" around the globe. Drawing heavily on interviews with all parties and a "boots on the ground" approach, the authors thoroughly document the benefits and drawbacks of China's involvement around the globe. I found the authors did a good job of presenting all sides when they could, realizing the challenges of trying to get honest opinions and information from the Chinese companies and government was oftentimes challenging. They also do an excellent job of presenting the facts fairly objectively, allowing the reader to place his/her own judgments on the actions of all parties, and their conclusions a thoughtful and logical without straying into pro-China or anti-China rhetoric. Overall, I found the book a very informative and satisfying read, and would highly recommend it to anyone concerned with China, Asia, or the development of the third world in general, and specifically Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    First off, the investigative journalism in this book and the number of interviews as well as scope of visit is thoroughly impressive, and is the biggest reason to read it. It is a bit of a shame, however that the authors don't leave much room for the reader to make their own judgments on this material, with all pretence of impartiality vanishing within the first chapter. Although some efforts are made to acknowledge a different side of the argument, they are predominantly focused on portraying ' First off, the investigative journalism in this book and the number of interviews as well as scope of visit is thoroughly impressive, and is the biggest reason to read it. It is a bit of a shame, however that the authors don't leave much room for the reader to make their own judgments on this material, with all pretence of impartiality vanishing within the first chapter. Although some efforts are made to acknowledge a different side of the argument, they are predominantly focused on portraying 'the Chinese' as something of a monstrous force, sticking mostly to basic stereotypes and using sweeping generalisations for an entire race of people. Although I can appreciate that they have reached their conclusions from a solid amount of comprehensive investigation, presentation would have perhaps have benefited from a more measured and less scaremongering sort of tone. Worth reading, but also worth keeping an open mind.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Spuckler

    China's Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who are Remaking the World in Beijing's Image, was put out two years ago in Spanish by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araujo both who are Spanish reporters with extensive experience in mainland China. Initially I was expecting a different view on China than the current American view, I later learned that China has bought a great deal of Spain's debt too. Growing up in the mid 1960s and 1970s, I learned America feared two countries: China's Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who are Remaking the World in Beijing's Image, was put out two years ago in Spanish by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araujo both who are Spanish reporters with extensive experience in mainland China. Initially I was expecting a different view on China than the current American view, I later learned that China has bought a great deal of Spain's debt too. Growing up in the mid 1960s and 1970s, I learned America feared two countries: The Soviet Union and Japan. The Soviets were out to take over the world and threatened us militarily and politically. Japan threatened us economically with cheap, low priced goods and trade deficit. Much later in graduate school I learned there are three things that make a superpower: Military, economic, and political power. The Soviet Union had two and faked the economic power. Japan had only economic power. Now in a new century, the world faces the rise of what could be a new superpower in the world, China. China does have the economic power and growing political power as seen in its head to head meetings with the US over Taiwan and the 2001 mid air collision and forced US landing in China of a US Navy EP-3 plane which lead to an apology from the US. Militarily, China is growing; it released pictures of its first aircraft carrier which did not alarm the US military as much as the anti-aircraft carrier missile it has developed. Although China does not have the blue water navy that was a sign of power in the last century, this is a new century with new signs of power. The causal look into China's growing world wide power may seem benign. China comes to a developing country and builds infrastructure. Railroads, highways, power plants, and even stadiums are built to improve the lives of the people lin the developing country. In return China gains rights to minerals, oil, and agriculture. It appears to be a win-win situation, or at least better than the conquest, enslavement (of the natives), rape of the land conducted by European nations in the Americas and Africa. In Argentina, China will help/fund the cultivation previously unfarmed land in return for a portion of the land. Costa Rica will get a new stadium and aid in return it will break relations with Taiwan. African nations receive roads and railways in return for raw materials (which are hauled out of the country on the roads and railways China built). China needs oil to fuel its growth and has been very successful in getting it from America's and the West's enemies. Iran has oil and need nuclear technology and imports that are currently banned by Western embargoes. China did not and does not support the embargoes and trades, although rather quietly in banned goods. When approached on the issue China has enough political clout to ignore the concerns of other nations or when the material is too sensitive, it uses North Korea to transport goods. China is now Iran's largest trading partner. China also befriended Venezuela's Hugo Chavez (who was still alive at the writing of this book) and is the second largest importer of Venezuelan oil. Sudan has oil but needs to get it out of the ground and transport it. China is Sudan's only choice. The west does not want to invest the unstable country. Russia has the technology, but not the money. China has the money and the need for oil. China has other ways of getting what it wants too. It made loans to Angola to build an airport. The loan money disappeared within the corrupt Angolan government. A second loan was made with similar results. Now it is time to repay the loan and the money is gone and the infrastructure not built, so Angola must pay back the loan with oil. Through trade or corruption China will get want it wants. China also exports its people. The Soviet Union used to keep immigration tightly controlled, but China sees an advantage in letting its people emigrate. Chinese emigrate to developing countries because they see opportunity that they don't have in their rapidly developing homeland. People move to countries live Egypt where even low paying jobs are more than they made in China. By hard work, under cutting the competition they can monopolize sections of the economy, like the textile industry in Egypt. Unlike other groups of immigrants who generally want to blend into the new country the Chinese remain very loyal to China. The Chinese also enjoy something Westerner's do not: China does not have a history of colonization and the Chinese who come to build the infrastructure keep to themselves. They remain almost invisible. They live on company compounds in nicer housing than they had in China. They have little reason to go out into the city because their goal is to save money, they have everything they need on the compound, and they have no understanding of the local language. Problems do exist. Local recognize the higher pay, better food, and conditions the Chinese workers receive. In several countries this has lead to strikes and even riots. Chinese companies avoid legal problems with bribes. China is on its way to becoming a superpower. Looking out for its interests it finds countries that need its help or money and slowly move in. It moves not with colonial ambition, but under the guise of friendship and mutual benefit. It's methods are not the export of revolution, but rather a no holds barred, all out capitalism. Cardenal and Araujo present a well written and thoroughly documented work on China in the twenty-first century. A very worthwhile read for anyone interested in economics, trade, and foreign affairs.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Natxo Cruz

    Inquietant assaig que planteja un futur dominat per la Xina gràcies a una expansió econòmica imparable. Segons els autors, una política molt agresiva de control dels recursos del planeta combinada amb una interpretació relaxada dels drets humans o de sensibilitat mediambiental fan que a mig termini el gegant asiàtic desplaci Occident del centre de poder econòmic mundial i, en aquest sentit, l'obertura de Xina al món no implicarà la seva occidentalització, sinó la exportació d'un model polític aut Inquietant assaig que planteja un futur dominat per la Xina gràcies a una expansió econòmica imparable. Segons els autors, una política molt agresiva de control dels recursos del planeta combinada amb una interpretació relaxada dels drets humans o de sensibilitat mediambiental fan que a mig termini el gegant asiàtic desplaci Occident del centre de poder econòmic mundial i, en aquest sentit, l'obertura de Xina al món no implicarà la seva occidentalització, sinó la exportació d'un model polític autoritari i opac. Una altra prova que anem cap al model de societat que Orwell o Huxley van profetitzar?...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yi-Chen

    Highly recommend this book to everyone who cares about the economic invasion of developing countries by notorious China's government. They signed unequal treaties and robbed all natural resources by bribery of local governments and entrepreneurs. They neglected the negative impact on our environment and deprivation of people's lives just for power and profits. It's heartbreaking, but I believe everyone should read this great book written by two Spanish journalists and know how China's silent arm Highly recommend this book to everyone who cares about the economic invasion of developing countries by notorious China's government. They signed unequal treaties and robbed all natural resources by bribery of local governments and entrepreneurs. They neglected the negative impact on our environment and deprivation of people's lives just for power and profits. It's heartbreaking, but I believe everyone should read this great book written by two Spanish journalists and know how China's silent army has been destroying our beautiful world.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Waylaid

    This book highlights the changing of world power better than any other I have seen, and examines lesser known issues, such as the destruction of Russian forests. It examines China's recalcitrance on sanctions of Iran, which are now rendered pointless, reflecting China's new power status. Definitely worth reading for a better understanding of global industry, you might wonder where the wood for your new furniture actually came from. The author's hands-on, rather than statistical approach, makes i This book highlights the changing of world power better than any other I have seen, and examines lesser known issues, such as the destruction of Russian forests. It examines China's recalcitrance on sanctions of Iran, which are now rendered pointless, reflecting China's new power status. Definitely worth reading for a better understanding of global industry, you might wonder where the wood for your new furniture actually came from. The author's hands-on, rather than statistical approach, makes it unique, with the writers preferring to speak to people at the front line.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jair Avilés

    Un libro que me hizo reflexionar sobre la forma que el país asiático esta convirtiéndose en la próxima potencia mundial. Si se asegura que el sistema político-financiero occidental esta caduco, el modelo de Pekin es preocupante para los que estamos interesados en convivir en una sociedad donde la justicia, los derechos humados y la igualdad sean universales. De lo contrario, solo estaremos cambiando de dueño en un nuevo orden mundial oriental.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kuang Ting

    Authors are two Spanish journalists that have reporting experience in mainland China. They wanted to learn about Chinese oversea influence and spent two years traveling the globe to find out. The book was their final effort. It was well written and very informative. You may have already been familiar with the topic that China is taking over the world. It's not a secret anymore as it has caused political concerns in many countries recently. For example, an Australian scholar faced political press Authors are two Spanish journalists that have reporting experience in mainland China. They wanted to learn about Chinese oversea influence and spent two years traveling the globe to find out. The book was their final effort. It was well written and very informative. You may have already been familiar with the topic that China is taking over the world. It's not a secret anymore as it has caused political concerns in many countries recently. For example, an Australian scholar faced political pressure when publishing his investigation about China's influence in Australia. That incident raised debate in Australian society. As a Taiwanese student studying postgraduate in Sydney, I had a close observation. My Chinese friends shared some articles from the Chinese embassy that warned students to be cautious for potential adversary. It's obvious Chinese will be more influential in the days to come, thus it's even more essential for everyone to learn about China. The book offers a close look at China's oversea expansion. In my opinion, it is a little biased as it constantly gives warning to readers. They conclude China is more likely to be a threat to the current world order. After all, they are Westerners who are enjoying the status quo. New superpower is coming, and many people start to panic. However, it's without doubt that China's oversea expansion has many problems. Readers will take a close look at these problems. Broadly speaking, the authors argue China's oversea investment is simply Beijing's goal to meet its own benefits. China is such a big country. It's not an easy task to rule. To meet huge and increasing domestic needs, Chinese government helps business enter foreign market. Without transparency, China promises to build infrastructure for poor countries and wants resources (oil, minerals...etc) in return. Many of these promises default and lead to further problems. Chinese firms pursue economic development at any cost. They cause pollution, bad labor treatment, and most alarming, huge debt on the poor countries. It's said to be 21st colonialism. The receiving countries have to follow Beijing's command accordingly. More worryingly, the profits generated are enjoyed by the few that control power. Common people are left to even poorer lives. Whether it's true or not depends on readers' judgement. However one thing is for sure, China's global influence will only be more powerful. One thing that bothers me is some Chinese people also lack understanding to the outside world. It's rare to see them incorporate into local communities. For example, some of my classmates even despise other countries. They are being more confident and rich. I hope people can show more respect to each other. That's the best way to build a better world together.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mikko

    Oikein mielenkiintoinen kirja Kiinan ja kiinalaisten taloudellisesta toiminnasta ympäri maailman. Kirjan kirjoittaneet toimittajat ovat reissanneet lukuisissa maissa ja haastatelleet hirveän määrän porukkaa kirjaa varten. Tyylillisesti tässä on haettu vähän Michael Lewisiä. Lähes joka kappale alkaa jonkun henkilön esittelyllä ja sitä kautta yritetään pureutua käsiteltävään ilmiöön. Tätä henkilöiden kautta tehtävää esittelyä ei kuitenkaan viedä sen pidemmälle, joten tehokeinona tämä on ehkä vähän Oikein mielenkiintoinen kirja Kiinan ja kiinalaisten taloudellisesta toiminnasta ympäri maailman. Kirjan kirjoittaneet toimittajat ovat reissanneet lukuisissa maissa ja haastatelleet hirveän määrän porukkaa kirjaa varten. Tyylillisesti tässä on haettu vähän Michael Lewisiä. Lähes joka kappale alkaa jonkun henkilön esittelyllä ja sitä kautta yritetään pureutua käsiteltävään ilmiöön. Tätä henkilöiden kautta tehtävää esittelyä ei kuitenkaan viedä sen pidemmälle, joten tehokeinona tämä on ehkä vähän hassu. Kirjassa käsitellään siis Kiinan toimintaa aasiassa, afrikassa ja etelä-amerikassa. Erityisen kiinnostavaa oli minusta kun esiteltiin Kiinan vaikutusta keski-aasian maihin, sillä nämä eivät ole meidän uutisissamme mitenkään esillä. Kirjoittajat näkevät Kiinan toiminnan hyvin arvelluttavana, mitä se epäilemättä onkin. Silti, en voi itse välttyä ajatukselta (joka esitellään myös kirjassa), että Kiina on ottamassa sen paikan supervaltana, joka sille historiansa perusteella kuuluu ja tähän kuuluu luonnollisesti myös strategisista intresseistä huolehtiminen ja sotilaallisen vallan kasvattaminen. Näin suurvallat aina toimivat. Myös länsimaisen kysynnän osuutta luonnon varojen käyttöön (ja riistoon) olisi voinut avata enemmän. Sillä vaikka Kiina ja kiinalaiset yritykset toimivatkin varmasti keskimäärin epäeettisemmin kuin länsimaiset vastineensa, ei länsimaillekaan voi antaa ihan puhtaita papereita kuviosta. Sanotaan että 3,5 tähteä ja pyöristetään neljään.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hải Lưu

    Rành mạch, dễ đọc, nhiều thông tin. Có lẽ cũng là vấn đề nóng ở Việt Nam (nhà thầu Trung Quốc + công nhân Trung Quốc..). Tuy nhiên về cuối tác giả lại sa và chính trị và có vẻ lại mắc bẫy dân chủ như các tác giả khác (Trung Quốc như thế là do thiếu dân chủ ....) - trong khi bỏ qua các trường hợp khác mà có thể nhìn thấy ngay (nhất là tại châu Á: như Đài Loan, Hàn Quốc, Nhật Bản, Singapore..): mà có lẽ các mối quan tâm về môi trường cũng chả hơn Trung Quốc, và cũng chả có mô hình dân chủ và xã hộ Rành mạch, dễ đọc, nhiều thông tin. Có lẽ cũng là vấn đề nóng ở Việt Nam (nhà thầu Trung Quốc + công nhân Trung Quốc..). Tuy nhiên về cuối tác giả lại sa và chính trị và có vẻ lại mắc bẫy dân chủ như các tác giả khác (Trung Quốc như thế là do thiếu dân chủ ....) - trong khi bỏ qua các trường hợp khác mà có thể nhìn thấy ngay (nhất là tại châu Á: như Đài Loan, Hàn Quốc, Nhật Bản, Singapore..): mà có lẽ các mối quan tâm về môi trường cũng chả hơn Trung Quốc, và cũng chả có mô hình dân chủ và xã hội dân sự theo tiêu chuẩn Mỹ.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wagner

    This book about China's global economic strategy displays how extensive and intricate China's influence in developing economies. The authors discuss Chinese impact in several African, Asian, and South American countries. As an American, this book was eye-opening, especially to see the lack of references to the United States. As China becomes more powerful, I imagine I'll think of this book often and how it mapped out exactly how China built a global economic power base.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Iván

    Leídos los dos libros sobre la expansión China escritos por dos autores que hacen viajes sobre el terreno. Explican infinidad de situaciones y hechos sobre la expansión china en el mundo.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dan Zeeger

    Don't be fooled by cheap geegaws and pandas, these guys are on the march.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rajesh

    This was written back in 2011/2012, but the picture presented is truly scary. Eight years down the line, China's influence has become more pervasive than ever. Time for a follow-up book...?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nudgem

    Propaganda

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karl Koh

    So many Chinese people have changed this world through their hands and minds.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pburgh

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It is a detailed review by two Spanish journalists of the way that China is extending its influence around the world while securing access to the natural resources that its economy needs to continue its growth. The book is an impressive feat of reporting, for the authors travelled to seemingly all corners of the earth to see how the Chinese have been doing business lately. The book does get a bit repetitive, in that the authors’ observations on Chinese bu I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It is a detailed review by two Spanish journalists of the way that China is extending its influence around the world while securing access to the natural resources that its economy needs to continue its growth. The book is an impressive feat of reporting, for the authors travelled to seemingly all corners of the earth to see how the Chinese have been doing business lately. The book does get a bit repetitive, in that the authors’ observations on Chinese business practices are consistent across the continents and industries that they visit. The book works well as a travelogue, providing a fascinating look at locations well off the beaten path. These are places, such as the deserts of Turkmenistan and the chaos of the Democratic Republic of Congo, that do not appear in travel brochures. Based on the descriptions in this book, there is a good reason for this. What these countries lack in tourist appeal they make up for in natural resources. For this reason they have seen an infusion of Chinese capital and expertise in exchange for guarantees of access to these natural resources. There is a consistent pattern at work. The Chinese initiate large building projects, such as dams, highways, or soccer stadiums. In exchange, they get full rights to ship massive quantities of natural resources such as oil and timber back to China. “The leitmotif is always the same: obtaining or guaranteeing China’s long-term supply of natural resources, ousting the competition, and gaining in terms of political influence and power” (p. 110). This is a process that remains current, evidenced by the $400 billion deal that China signed with Russia in May, 2014, for delivery of natural gas to China beginning in 2018. Deng Xiaoping, the “Little Helmsman” who steered China toward economic growth following the Mao years, famously said, “It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.” This reflects the pragmatism with which Chinese businesses pursue their objectives. The largest companies in China, including financial and energy concerns, are either heavily influenced or owned outright by the state. Thus, while these companies seek profits, they also promote the interests of the government. In promoting these interests, they show little concern for business ethics or side effects. According to a Chinese businessman that the authors interviewed in Turkmenistan, bribery is such an accepted part of doing business that the cost is factored into the budget. The authors frequently cite China’s stated policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other nations. While this may appeal to many around the world who consider the United States and others a little too interested in other countries’ affairs, it also provides justification for China to ignore where its money goes once it has struck a deal. In many cases the ruling party gets rich while the rest of the country remains impoverished. Environmental damage, such as deforestation in Russia and Mozambique, is apparently of little concern. One gets the impression while reading this book that although China has been successful in securing natural resources, its methods of doing so might not be bringing the political influence and power that China wants as well. Employees of Chinese companies around the world, such as miners in Peru and in Zambia, have the same complaints. Working conditions are appalling and native employees are paid less than Chinese employees. China is not succeeding in winning hearts and minds in these countries. American companies doing business in these sectors would be very popular in contrast.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Felicitas

    Despite its claims to give a full picture of China's reach into the world, the book is lacking in three aspects that make it difficult to rate. One is the lacking comparative perspective: there are a number of examples from western firms behaving just as badly in developing countries as Chinese ones have done. The aspects of an unfair trading system and unfair international institutions making it impossible for e.g. African countries to participate and integrate in world trade are not addressed, Despite its claims to give a full picture of China's reach into the world, the book is lacking in three aspects that make it difficult to rate. One is the lacking comparative perspective: there are a number of examples from western firms behaving just as badly in developing countries as Chinese ones have done. The aspects of an unfair trading system and unfair international institutions making it impossible for e.g. African countries to participate and integrate in world trade are not addressed, therefore the question whether those countries really have a choice with whom they are doing business is not discussed. The book is also exoticising Chinese 'genes' by not comparing Chinese traders to generations of Indian or Lebanese entrepreneurs (and a naturalistic argument is simply never a good idea). The other big fault line of this book is the assumption that the Chinese state is an unitary bloc that has the power to control each and every Chinese citizen or company. Research has disproven this assumption and the book does not help in answering the questions of whom is implementing what global agenda. Power structures within SOEs are not understandable that way. The last argument that made me not enjoy this book so much is one of language and discrimination: Features of Chinese from the northern provinces are described as 'coarse' in contrast to the 'fair' features of the Siberian population, the Chinese State has its 'tentacles' everywhere... Nonetheless, i have to admit that this book impressed me much more than I thought after reading the frankly terrible introduction. It's a haunting account of an alternative future that might come into existence if the Chinese state does not reform its business practices either from within (keep in mind the millions of young Chinese studying all over the world whose intercultural competence is much higher than that of the current generation) or due to political pressure from outside.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Scot McAtee

    I really liked this book and found myself nodded in agreement at most of the tales within. There were some things I wasn't aware of, like the Russian forests being gobbled up and Malaysia and most of central Asia being sucked dry of their resources like a kid sucking down a root beer float, but many of the stories I'd heard before. This book put a little more of a personal face to the plight of the titular Chinese people who have spread across the globe, but the deeper I got into the book the mo I really liked this book and found myself nodded in agreement at most of the tales within. There were some things I wasn't aware of, like the Russian forests being gobbled up and Malaysia and most of central Asia being sucked dry of their resources like a kid sucking down a root beer float, but many of the stories I'd heard before. This book put a little more of a personal face to the plight of the titular Chinese people who have spread across the globe, but the deeper I got into the book the more I realized that China is only doing what the western powers did all last century-- albeit at a larger and faster pace than any country before. Not that I'm an apologist for China, but it's hard to admit that we capitalists are probably the ones to fault. After all, they're running our own system with a more ruthless efficiency than we are. Bigger profits at the top while spending less at the bottom. It's shameful but you can't read this book without realizing that the west is now reaping what it sowed. While the book gives no direction on how to face the music that China will be playing over the course of the next century, it does seem that it may end up one of those tunes that we can't stand to hear one more time. The only reason I gave the book 4 stars and not 5 was that by the end of the book, I felt like the title didn't really fit. To me the title implies a certain willingness on the part of the little guys to export Chinese culture, but it sure didn't seem like most of them were intentionally participating in converting the world to one big China. Rather, they only brought pieces of home with them while slogging their way to perceived riches and sending back natural resources to the Great Workshop.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris-Armel

    As years pass by, the book's relevancy doesn't fade away. China is obviously the elephant in the room since it opened up its national market to international trade and from then till now, has been on a shopping spree all over the world. The authors, aided by tremendous and arduous research gathered from Asia, Africa and Latin America, draw a much detailed map of the China economic presence in foreign lands which is planned and supported by its political apparatus. The ideology of grandeur of the As years pass by, the book's relevancy doesn't fade away. China is obviously the elephant in the room since it opened up its national market to international trade and from then till now, has been on a shopping spree all over the world. The authors, aided by tremendous and arduous research gathered from Asia, Africa and Latin America, draw a much detailed map of the China economic presence in foreign lands which is planned and supported by its political apparatus. The ideology of grandeur of the Chinese people in this 21st century that is championed by the Communist party serves as the motto to the most entrepreneurial endeavors outside the "Middle Kingdom". Clearly, China's main resource is its laborious and abundant workforce. Whenever the tireless workers step out the gates, they export a great drive for wealth gain and carelessness for social and environmental impacts on local entities. I was greatly impressed by finding out, through the on-spot fact checking extensively carried about by the authors, that the general opinions from the Chinese settlements in Siberia (Russia), Katanga (Congo DRC), Patagonia (Argentina), etc... isn't greatly favored by the locals. The great take-out from Beijing-based media reports is how much China's works and leadership are appreciated abroad. To the contrary, this book shades some light on how only political elites and business partners individuals are cashing in profits from the the arrival of the Chinese man, not the average citizen. In terms of strategy, the single-party state comes out as the sole winner, pulling in all political strings in order to sign deals that award its people's enterprising spirit and its state-owned big corporations, to whom the title refers to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Moses

    I enjoy the investigative journalism authors took, following them to different locale to see what is happening "behind the scene"; authors tell the story of how China and it's Mingong are building a "new foundation", how China's tentacles are everywhere now. I like to read how nameless chinese workers around the world, driven by wanting to have a better life are playing a part in this "rise of China". However, i feel authors are a bit idealistic to assume or suggest that China is to be blame, an I enjoy the investigative journalism authors took, following them to different locale to see what is happening "behind the scene"; authors tell the story of how China and it's Mingong are building a "new foundation", how China's tentacles are everywhere now. I like to read how nameless chinese workers around the world, driven by wanting to have a better life are playing a part in this "rise of China". However, i feel authors are a bit idealistic to assume or suggest that China is to be blame, and China should "do better".. well, isn't international relations take on Realism beliefs? Zero-sum game. National Interest is most important; Why be angry with China... if you (as a State) are not happy, then do something about it. If the people are unhappy, rise up and revolt. If developing countries are mismanaged, who is to blame? Too bad for them. British also for it's own business interest sold Opium to Chinese. Isn't that exploitation? That's just reality. If you got the money, and power, you set the rules. In the end, i do enjoy the read. It's very informative to know about development happening "behind the scene"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Suze

    This book was an eye-popper for me, excellent investigative journalism into China’s economic rise through colonization and industrialization of mostly developing countries throughout the world. However, despite the authors’ stated attempt to remain unbiased, their language shrieked of alarmism as they selected examples of the worst Chinese behavior around the world (and it’s pretty bad). I found myself thinking: Late to the party – our Western ancestors colonized and plundered a century or two a This book was an eye-popper for me, excellent investigative journalism into China’s economic rise through colonization and industrialization of mostly developing countries throughout the world. However, despite the authors’ stated attempt to remain unbiased, their language shrieked of alarmism as they selected examples of the worst Chinese behavior around the world (and it’s pretty bad). I found myself thinking: Late to the party – our Western ancestors colonized and plundered a century or two ago and now China is able to emulate the worst aspects of the Western industrial revolutions and colonial exploitation. It looks like we in N. America are also eager to be similarly colonized by China. Amidst the scaremongering there’s hypocrisy lurking here. Mea culpa.

  30. 4 out of 5

    K

    China's Silent Army enlightened me about Chinese politics and the way they compete with the West. A friend of mine told me, when he even didn't finish the book yet, that this book is Western anti-China propaganda. But when you read this book you have to keep in mind that it's solely about China. Of course the West has it's own dirty tricks, and to book reminds you a few times about that, but it's just not the subject the authors chose to write about. I've red the Dutch version, and it's writing s China's Silent Army enlightened me about Chinese politics and the way they compete with the West. A friend of mine told me, when he even didn't finish the book yet, that this book is Western anti-China propaganda. But when you read this book you have to keep in mind that it's solely about China. Of course the West has it's own dirty tricks, and to book reminds you a few times about that, but it's just not the subject the authors chose to write about. I've red the Dutch version, and it's writing style was very good. Easy to read. My only negative remark on this book is the (sometimes) exaggerated use of adjectives in the personal stories it contains. It created subjective images in my head.

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