Will shale gas decimate China’s toy makers?

reuters

By Clyde Russell Reuters

LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) – Such is the impact of the shale gas revolution in the United States that it’s quite possible that babies born today will no longer play with plastic dolls and cars made in China.

It’s almost become a fait accompli that China is the world’s factory, but the early warning signs that this may be changing are starting to show.

The advent of cheap natural gas in the U.S. is threatening to displace expensive naphtha in the production of petrochemicals, the key building blocks for plastics, synthetic fibres and solvents and cleaners.

While the shale gas boom is certainly no longer a secret, up to now its main impact has been in displacing coal in power generation in the U.S., and making inroads as both a heating and transport fuel.

While the U.S. is planning to export some of its shale bounty as liquefied natural gas, in effect it is already exporting more energy in the form of coal, which has helped keep Asian prices soft even in the face of record Chinese and Indian imports.

The same sort of dynamic is likely to start hitting the Asian petrochemical sector in the next few years, as U.S. output ramps up on the back of cheap natural gas and producers from India to China struggle to compete given their reliance on oil-derived naphtha.

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China Launches Aircraft Carrier

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China J-16 Landing on Deck

Langley Intelligence Group Network LIGNET

China has entered a critical phase in its rapid military expansion — and it is flexing its muscle for the world to see.

China just announced that it has succeeded in landing a J-15 fighter on an aircraft carrier, a milestone most experts didn’t expect the Chinese military to achieve for several years.

Gordon G. Chang, an expert on Asian geopolitics, tells LIGNET, the global intelligence and forecasting service, that China is becoming desperate as a result of its deteriorating economy and the desire to claim more land.

Chang also believes the “military is starting to break free of civilian control.” He calls this “a very, very troublesome event.”

Is this just the beginning of China’s aggressive attempt to position itself as a global military superpower?

As the Obama administration prepares to announce the replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, this looms as a critically important question.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4LIGNET will hold an emergency briefing on the escalating tensions between the United States and China.

Leading the intelligence panel will be former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who recently served as U.S. ambassador to China.

We strongly encourage you to join this urgent LIGNET briefing Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 11 a.m. EST to discover how this new China could have dire consequences for America and inescapable economic ramifications.

If you would like to register to watch this important briefing, you can sign up by clicking here.

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