China’s economy is slowing down. So says the NY Times, Calculated Risk, and Clusterstock, citing a number of indicators, like less exports, declining real estate prices, and collapsing stock market. Given that China has no experience with the bust part of the boom-bust cycle of capitalism, one wonders what will happen when things get bad.

From former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

The real competition lurking behind the upcoming Olympic games is between democratic capitalism and authoritarian capitalism.

In terms of this large underlying competition, think of our upcoming presidential election as our own Olympic games. It will showcase to the world whether, and how well, democratic capitalism still works.

Illuminating isn’t it that even Reich is wondering if the US style of capitalism is working…

Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray on that Chinese authoritarianism.

If it wasn’t for the border crossings, an eight hour drive from the Eastern border of Uzbekistan would take you into China. There you would be among the Uighurs, a people culturally and linguistically extremely close to the Uzbeks. Like the Tibetans, the Uighurs are culturally, religiously and ethnically oppressed by the highly racist Chinese state. But the Uighurs are Muslims and they do not get the press coverage of the Tibetans, even though their oppression has been still more systematic and brutal. Over a million Uighurs have been displaced by the Chinese state in the last three years alone. Thousands are murdered – either executed or disappeared – every year.

The War on Terror has enabled Russia, China, Karimov and other Central Asian leaders to characterise any manifestation of a desire for freedom in the region as Islamic terrorism and extremism.

One good thing about the Olympics going to Beijing is that the western media has run a few articles on the plight of the Uighurs, of whose existence I suspect few western reporters knew a couple of weeks ago. It is entirely predictable that the Chinese government is responding by organising “terrorist incidents” to try to blacken the Uighurs as part of Al Qaida. Do not be taken in by this rubbish.