BRIC+ News & comments

China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.

U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion

China’s growing influence in global commerce threatens to disrupt regional trading blocs as it becomes the most important commercial partner for some countries. Germany may export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to France, estimated Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jim O’Neill.
Bad as the following is, it is a big improvement as thousands of simple rural clinics and at least a hundred rural hospitals have been created in the last decade. China still has a long way to go to make all it can for its sick, but is moving fast in the right direction.

" {Rural Chinese} patients still frequently slip “tips” in red envelopes to China’s underpaid doctors and surgeons in hopes of getting scheduled to be seen more quickly or receive more attentive care.

While some urban areas have better hospitals that cater to expatriates in China and residents who are both willing and able to pay for private care, the vast majority of Chinese clinics are public and simply lack resources.

Patient care is deficient as ill-paid doctors typically try to fetch more compensation by over-prescribing medications in order to get kickbacks from drug companies.

Fortunately, however, the government has pledged to reform its health care system, and triple its spending in this area to US$1 trillion by 2020.
China’s government health care spending has already been growing rapidly and China is now the third largest health care market in the world. Despite this growth, China’s health care spending as a percentage of GDP is still among the lowest the in the world at 5%, compared to about 16% in the U.S in 2011.

With both urbanization and an aging population on the rise, the government has recently targeted an increase in health care spending to as much as 7% of GDP by 2020" – Quote from Email from Matthews International Capital Management, LLC.

Also medical care has been made more affordable - Now patient pays 1/3 of the cost, not 2/3 as was the case about 5 years ago. China did this mainly to decrease the saving rate of the population, but old habits die slowly - it is still nearly 50% of discretionary income. Note also with China´s rapid growth of GDP, 7% will be more of an increase in funds spent. - Perhaps more that Europe spends per capita.
Chinese drug lord and three underlings were executed Friday.

They killed some Chinese sailors operating on the Mekong, which now China polices thru four other countries all the way to the ocean as the Mekong is main trade river for southern inland China which is far from the coast.
{post 495 in part, this thread but from 2011} China is switching to trade more with its now prospering Asian neighbors and less with the US and EU, who need loans to buy Chinese products. (Chinese trade with these four Mekong countries is up more than 50% over last year.) The Mekong is an “international waterway” up to the Chinese border.
The Mekong flows east and south into Laos for some 400 kilometres (250 mi) and defines the Laos-Thailand border again for some 850 kilometres (530 mi) as it flows east, turning south through central Southeast Asia, passing through the capital of Laos, Vientiane. The Mun River's confluence with the Mekong occurs right before it crosses into Cambodia, where it receives the Sap River, flowing by Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The Mekong slows as it enters Vietnam, where it divides into nine channels of the Mekong Delta . {Two no longer up link but were here} Patrols use both high speed small boats (first photo) and large vessels (Chinese men, with guns, are standing on side of one in 2nd photo)

"... The joint operations among the four nations will take Chinese vessels downstream over the border, a first for Chinese border police. China has long contributed police to United Nations peacekeeping missions overseas, but this is believed to be the first time they will work in another country’s territory without a U.N. mandate.
The patrols reflect how Chinese political influence is accompanying the country’s economic penetration of the region, particularly in the impoverished nations of Laos and Myanmar. ..." Quote from same Washington post link above. ... Old Chinese saying (I just made up):
"When you invite the dragon into your house, you may lose it."...
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Brazil must be doing something right. I think a lot of the improvenment for the masses comes from the 13 years old and growing "Bolsa Family" program that bring qualifying poor into the cash economy with modest cash grants. More on the cost / benefits in my old post at end with most of China related part now removed.
It would be interesting to see same display for the USA.
I bet it would be like this one but read from right to left as the middle class in the US is shrinking %, but in Brazil it has more than doubled in the last two decades!
The economic classes in Brazil are defined by hard facts. Like: Do you own a car, own your house, have signed work contract, level of education, taxes paid, etc.
The class boundaries are not subjective judgements and have never been "adjusted" AFAIK but currency values are stated in constant Real.

{part of post 460 of this thread}... About 12 years ago, Brazil began the “Bolsa Familia" program which gave modest monthly cash grant (on the order of $100 now but less originally) to the rural poor IF they kept their kids in school until age 18. Prior to Bolsa Family most boys and nearly 100% of girls dropped out of school when they could barely read to work at home or in the fields with their father. Bolsa Family has more than paid for itself due to these formerly “outside the cash economy” farmers now buying in their village when the multiplier effect of these purchases shows up in greater taxes from many merchants. The 2nd requirement to collect was that all had to get their free vaccinations. – The saving in state’s medical costs (preventive medicine in a free public medical system) has also paid for the Bolsa Family expenses. Here is the economic result 12 years later:

“…In the next decade demand for energy is expected to increase by around 60 percent in Brazil, fuelled by millions of people spending more on consumer goods for their homes and cars, economic growth continuing to outstrip that seen in developed nations …

A consumer spending boom is expected to see the average number of televisions per home rise from 1.37 to 1.71, the proportion of homes with washing machines increase from 64 to 74 percent and the proportion with air conditioning to rise seven percentage points to 27 percent. …

Production of steel in Brazil could double in the next decade with cement and aluminium also likely to rise almost two-fold. The industrial and transport sectors will account for two thirds of the country's total energy demand in 2020. …

The principal new hydropower project is the 11,233-MW Belo Monte dam to be built on the River Xingu in the state of Pará in the Amazon, which is due to start generating power in January 2015 with its full potential online by January 2019. It will be capable of supplying enough power to serve 18 million homes housing 60 million people,…

Renewable sources, such as biomass, small-scale hydropower and, principally, wind will see the 9 GW they accounted for last year triple to 27 GW in 2020. This will take their contribution to the country's electricity supply from eight to 16 percent, keeping the overall contribution of renewables to electricity at 83 percent. …"
above quotes from:

Billy T explains “keeping” Although hydro power is rapidly expanding other renewables are expanding even faster so hydro will be only ~75% in 2020 of the 60% greater generation! By some measures, (like total annual energy generation) Brazil’s more than 30 year old hydro plant is still the world’s largest (China’s five year old hydro plant was designed to be slightly bigger by several measures – concrete used etc. But Brazil’s new Belo Monte plant will be third largest in the world with # 4 far behind.)

SUMMARY, wrt China: Brazil lifted 40% (76 million people) of its population out of their rural “cashless poverty” (Not real poverty as they raised all their needs, from tobacco to pig lard for cooking on their wood stove.) China is just starting to do the same for its “cashless” rural masses but proceeding even more vigorously. As 7*x76 = 532, in less than a decade there will be at least 500 million more Chinese living in new cities and for the first time part of cash economy. As I noted in my prior post not only will they have the salaries from their city jobs but also the land lease rent from the corporation using their former farms to spend. ...
* China has ~7 times more poor than Brazil. China is doing "something right" for its masses too (purchasing power of interior salaries growing 15% + or - 3% annually!)
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More on what Brazil is doing "right." said:
Brazil’s success in reducing poverty and income inequality has been widely reported in recent years. What is less known is that there has also been progress in lessening gender inequality in the past two decades. Illiteracy rates for women 15 years old and above came down from 20.3 percent in 1991 to 9.8 percent in 2008. The share of the female labor force with tertiary education increased from 7.4 percent in 1992 to 11.9 percent in 2008, and now is higher than males. Government policies – some of them implemented in cooperation with the private sector – have also been addressing needs of mothers, providing health care before and during pregnancy and at birth, and child care and education.
BTW#1: Our maid just gave birth to a boy last week. She has 6 weeks off, about 3 remaning, with full pay, but not by us. The government pays as part of the INSS program. - Sort of like US´s Social Security in that we and she pay into the INSS every month (and also like Social Security that govenment must help support it from general taxes, etc. but with much smaller fraction of the total cost than the government´s support for the free health care services.)

BTW#2: For the first time in its long history Cornell´s current freshman class was more women than men. (52% vs 48%). Same is becoming true in Chinese education. Thus, not only does the future belong to China, it belongs to Chinese women! Men are increasly less needed. 10,000 can be replaced by an insulated jug of sperm held at liquid N2 temperatures. I.e. In the distant future, with pre-natal sex selection, the female to male ratio can be stable at 10,000 to 1.
None of this settles in the dying "PetroDollars": said:
OAO Rosneft, the world’s biggest traded oil producer by output, will borrow $2 billion from China Development Bank Corp., backed by 25 years of oil supplies, under accords signed yesterday in the Kremlin. The Russian company also offered China National Petroleum Corp. access to Arctic resources, and OAO Gazprom said it plans to conclude a 30-year gas-supply contract to China by year-end.

Russia is seeking to strengthen ties with its neighbor, the world’s second-biggest economy, boosting crude shipments and opening a new market for gas as demand in Europe stagnates. ... Rosneft will boost oil supplies to China by 800,000 metric tons this year, ... Annual exports may climb to as much as 31 million tons, or more than 620,000 barrels a day, through three routes, from 15 million tons currently ... China will also gain access to energy resources in Russia, the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas. CNPC will work with Rosneft to explore three offshore blocks in the Barents and Pechora Seas and eight onshore areas, Sechin said.

Rosneft agreed with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386), or Sinopec, to “optimize” work at Sakhalin-3, saying the project may be expanded. Sechin signed the agreement for a $2 billion credit facility with China Development Bank President Zheng Zhijie.

Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, signed an memorandum with CNPC on building a pipeline along the so-called eastern route with shipments of 38 billion cubic meters a year, starting in 2018, ... Gas deliveries may rise to 60 billion cubic meters. The deal may include advance payments from China for gas, Miller said. Gazprom and CNPC plan to set legally binding terms for supplies in June and sign deal by the end of this year, he said.
Rusian Chinese trade in 2012 was 88 Billion dollar worth (but none in dollars), up 11% from 2011. In 2013 it will be ~100 billion and then in year or two more climb to 150 billion. By then, by mutual agrement of ~2 years ago China´s trade with India will be ~100 Billion before 2014, also not in dollars. China is the main trading partner of 35 countires now. Most of that trade does not use dollars. The growth ONLY of China´s trade with others than US and EU will this year pass the total trade with US and by end of 2014 pass the total trade with both US & EU. I.e. in 2015 even if China did not trade at all with US & EU, the trade would still be growing, but not at the current ~20 to 25% per year. - Why if US and EU collapes in deep depression in 2015, China will only slow its trade growth.
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The BRICS´s annual meeting officially starts tomorrow, but is producing headlines already. Most important is that they will create a BRICS alternative to the IMF* and broaden the non-use of the dollar. Current China dominates this with bi-lateral currency swap agreements with all the other BRICS + Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and at least two dozen others it trades with. A total of 35 countries have China as their largest trading partner.

The BRICS have 40% of the world´s population, 25% of global GDP, 20% of all FDI and all of these percentages are growing, while they shrink in US and EU.

To show the importance China attaches to this 5th BRICS summit, China´s new president is already there in Durban S. Africa, cutting more deals for spending China´s dollars for real assets like oil, minerals, coal, food stocks, & gold** and for more Yuan replacing dollar. Recently Nigeria, an important supplier of oil to China, agreed to switch it reserves to Yuan and that is now 40% complete. UAR, Kuwait, Iran, of course, Venezuela, and some others prefer rising value Yuan to falling value dollars, but are not yet publicly admitting that. The PetroDollar has been sent to the intensive care unit, but is still growing weaker.

*It is a “done deal” with the headquarters of this new alternative development bank to very likely be in India, but that part is not yet firm.

** China was world´s largest buyer of gold in 2012 purchasing more than 500 tons and for more than three years has admitted to producing 125% of what #2 producer produces, but probably much more.*** China is preparing for the day if will issue Yuan bonds, backed by gold, for central banks and the IMF. See more details at:

*** See next post 728.
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The Oyu Tolgoi mine is in the South Gobi Desert of Mongolia, 80 kilometers (50 mi) north of Mongolia's border with the People's Republic of China, where the mined copper is expected to be shipped.[2] Oyu Tolgoi deposits contain (as of 2010) an estimated 79 billion pounds (35,833,000 tonnes) of copper, and 45 million ounces (1,275,000,000 grams) of gold.[4] Production is scheduled to begin in 2013 and to reach full capacity in 2018. Over the anticipated lifespan of the mine (45 years), Oyu Tolgoi is scheduled to produce 450,000 tonnes (500,000 short tons) of copper per year, an amount equal to 3% of global production. Oyu Tolgoi is also expected to produce 330,000 ounces of gold annually.[5][6] There are more than 15000 workers on site currently. (2012)
That "production" refers to the 6.6 billion dollar commercial mine / concentration plant; however, for about a decade, individual called Ninjas (as they illegally mainly work at night and carry the gold ore in green turtle-like back packs. There are estimated to be 60,000 ninjas!) and more recently even truck loads of gold ore occasionally move unofficially into China, less than a two hour drive away. See photo of both below:

The Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia's Gobi Desert is one of the world's biggest copper and gold discoveries, ... The mine is part-"owned" by Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government; the latter wants to increase its ownership in the project and in turn boost its share of the billions of dollars in predicted revenue. "Owned" is in quotes as Mongolia has (on 27Feb2013) cancelled some license to mine there: said:
The current mining minister has annulled the 2009 resolution and transferred the matter to the Mineral Resource Authority,” ... Rio, the world’s second-largest mining company, controls 66 percent of Oyu Tolgoi LLC and Mongolia’s government the rest. Mongolia President Tsakhia Elbegdorj this month said it wants more control of the project -- the largest copper and gold mine under construction -- and requested Rio transfer all licenses connected to the mine to the joint venture.
In 2010, Mongolia stopped issuing new licenses beyond the existing 2,253 exploration licenses and 1,255 mining licenses, pending revision of the country’s mineral laws.
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Australia is beating Brazil in race to become economic colonies of China: said:
Gillard, on her second visit to China in two years, said Australia is committed to developing a strategic partnership with China based on mutual respect, mutual trust and win-win cooperation. Australia hopes to become a stable resource supplier of China and expand bilateral cooperation in areas including agriculture, financial services and two-way investment, Gillard said. ,,, The country also wants to maintain communication and coordination with China to protect regional peace, stability and development, she said. The two countries have established regular meetings between their prime ministers, which will elevate the level of bilateral cooperation, Gillard said.

Accompanying Gillard is a high-level delegation including Australia's ministers of foreign affairs, defense, trade and financial services for talks with China's new leaders and the business community. "It is a clear expression of Australia's determination to build broad trade, investment and political ties with China," Rory Medcalf, director of the International Security Program at Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, said in an article published recently in The Diplomat.

Gillard said ahead of the meeting that she wants to take practical steps to strengthen and diversify the relationship with China, Australia's largest trading partner, according to ABC News. China-Australia trade in 2012 totaled more than $126 billion. "What that means is a relationship that extends well beyond the economic and a relationship in which Australia and China work together, not just bilaterally, but where we have common interests regionally and globally," she said. She said closer ties at a leadership level, trade diversity, a more extensive relationship in areas such as defense and education and climate change mitigation were all areas that deserve attention,
Labor shortage in China: said:
Recruitment for general laborers has become tight for factories in East China’s coastal areas, according to a report by Economic Information Daily.
Visits to industrial parks in Shanghai and recruitment sites in Baoshan, Jiading and Zhabei district found that the market demand for skilled workers can be satisfied after the Spring Festival, but it is very difficult to get general laborers.

“We need about 20 workers, and the salary we offer is quite competitive even for low-level workers. Not until the recruitment is half through, we have got all the technical workers we need, while over half of the general workers we need are still lacking,” said Jin Tao from the Human Resources Department of Shanghai Shuanggang Warehouse Co. “Low requirements in skills and harder work for assembly-line positions make it less attractive to the new generation of migrant workers.”

Demand for proficient workers at production lines is highest for enterprises, according to a survey by local labor and human resource departments.
“In order to get people, companies had to give intermediaries 500 yuan in fees every time they introduced a worker,” said Xu Jiangao, director of labor and social security center at Shanghai Xinzhuang Industrial Park.

New generations of migrant workers in pursuit of decent employment, the narrowing wage gap between east coast and the central and west regions, and the soaring commodity prices on the east coast all contribute to recruitment difficulties.

Compared with the first generation of migrant workers, employment expectations of the new generation have increased. In addition to remuneration, they pay more attention to the quality of employment, life experience and the realization of life values.

According to estimates, 16- to 24-year-old youth labor in China will decrease from 120 million in 2006 to 60 million in 2020, and the “golden” working population of 25 to 55 would fall significantly starting in 2015, which determines the labor market, especially the low-end labor market.
If you can not find job in US, learn Mandarin. China has one waiting for you, but probably not at FoxConn where the producion line problem is being solved with 100,000 new production line robots.
Brazil officially has "inflation targeting" (4.5% is goal) as guide for monetary policy and in theory the central bank, BCB, does set that policy. They are not however officially independed, but serve at the will of the govenment. None the less until the current left-wing workers party took control, the BCB was in practice independent. Now, goverment officials with increasing frequency tell what the monetary police should be, but have not yet fired the officers of the BCB.

The infaltion (red line) is increasing and the basic interest rate (blue line) needs to also rise; but Brazilian economy is in a slump as commodity prices have declined, so instead the governement is mandating stupid prices - unofficial controls - in certain sectors. For example, electric rates have been reduced by ~1/3, and PetroBras has not been allowed to significantly raise the price of gasoline for five years - now sells it at small loss, as refined oil products are largely imported at world prices (Brazil needs to build new refineries - but will not with negative incentives from government policy) and sells its excess of crude production at lower price than imported gasoline, etc. Brazil also needs to build more hydro- electric plants, but there too government has made the incentive negative.

These price control measure are popular with the voting masses, but very damaging to Brazil. Perhaps that will be understood by the voters, and PT will be thrown out of office, but I don´t hold my breath for that. Probably need a few months of rolling blackouts and gasoline in short supply - long gas lines etc. - The world has changed, especially under US leadership: We now live in world where masses vote for whoever promises to give the voters the most "goodies" and send the bill to future generations.
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Change in Rio, Brazil: said:
Rocinha is like most other slum districts or shantytowns, composed of densely packed housing cohesively integrated with community spaces, shopping and other enterprises. The 70,000 residents living here meet their day-to-day requirements within a couple of hundred metres stroll on foot. So, from a transport perspective, slums like these are the most sustainable of urban settings in the Anthropocene. However, getting here from Rio’s city centre means a perilous ride on the back of a motorbike, or more than an hour's trudge up steeply winding, dangerous alleyways. ... the {ocean} view is magnificent and its residents paying 300 Reais ($148) a month look down on Sao Conrado, one of the most expensive bay-side neighbourhoods in Rio, where rents go for a considerably higher 5 million Reais ($2.5million) a month! This reversal of the usual social order gives Rio’s favelas a unique vantage point over other disenfranchised communities.

Conscious it needs to smarten its image as soon-to-be host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Rio is stepping up its war on the heavily armed favela drug gangs, with police permanently occupying places like Rocinha under a new “pacification” programme. Rocinha is also undergoing a rapid regeneration programme in which residents formed mutiroes (construction cooperatives) and replaced their timber and tarpaulin shacks for brick and concrete – and the entire favela will be provided with free wi-fi, under the government’s new development programme. But what may prove far more effective at achieving a lasting peace and improving the livelihoods here is a government pledge to invest more than $58.5 million to build a cable car system and funicular up the steep hills of the favela.
Of course what will probably happen, if plan is completed, as happens in other cases of urban gentrification, is the original residents will sell out to young and newly rich, wanting the fantastic view, and cleaner air of a locally car free area and short cable car ride to the beach etc.
As I predicted more than five years ago, China is and MUST become more of a domestic oriented economy with fewer exports to the broke US & EU who can only buy if China finances their purchases. China will of course continue to rapidly expand exports to other prospering Asian nations and its suppliers of raw materials and energy: said:
China's efforts to reshape its business model by focusing more on domestic growth and boosting consumption are seen as "critically important" steps in the "right direction" to help promote global economic growth, said International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday ... at a news conference before the opening of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF in Washington. ...

Legarde cited China's "ability to gradually reshape its business model by focusing gradually more on the domestic market, in order not to be overly reliant on exports, moving from quantity growth to quality growth, being more attentive to the return on investment, and being willing to expand the consumption in the territory and to start negotiating on wages," the former French lawyer added.
As I predicted more than five years ago, China is and MUST become more of a domestic oriented economy with fewer exports to the broke US & EU who can only buy if China finances their purchases.
Isn't that what Japan and Germany did after WWII? And South Korea after their war, although after a longer hiatus?

China's people have considerable wealth with which to build up a domestic market--because there is virtually no housing industry so they can't turn their savings into home equity like we do. Well, like we used to do, anyway. ;)
Isn't that what Japan and Germany did after WWII? And South Korea after their war, although after a longer hiatus?
Not sure I follow your thought. Germany, I think, on a per capita basis is by far the world´s greatest export based economy.
France leads EU in RMB: said:
According to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, last month 21.4 percent of the payments made between China and France were denominated in yuan, against only 6.5 percent a year ago.

France is ranked fourth in the world in terms of the value of offshore RMB payments— excluding Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, trailing behind the United Kingdom, Singapore and Taiwan, according to SWIFT. "This is an interesting development as it signifies France's drive to become a leading RMB trading center in Europe," said Lisa O'Connor, RMB director at SWIFT.

French acceleration in RMB payments reflects increased competition with the UK since the Bank of England announced that it had signed a three-year currency swap agreement with China in March, she added. "It will be interesting to see how France's work toward setting up a currency swap agreement with China progresses, and the impact that this activity may have on the RMB."

Zhao Xijun, a professor at Renmin University of China, said France's location at the heart of the continent means it is perfectly positioned to handle more customer payments than other European cities.
I think SWIFT has forgotten S.Korea. which has China as it largest trading partner, and a currency exchange agreement too. - I.e. they don´t buy with dollars, but RMB.
Brazil playing "catch-up" to China in Africa: said:
Brazil has announced that it will cancel or restructure almost $900m (£600m) worth of debt with Africa. Oil- and gas-rich Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania and Zambia are among the 12 African countries to benefit.

The move is seen as an effort to boost economic ties between the world's seventh largest economy and the African continent. Official data in Brazil show that its trade with Africa has increased fivefold in the past decade.

The debt announcement was made during the third visit in three months to Africa by Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, who attended the African Union summit in Ethiopia.
052813-img-01.jpg said:
ASEAN is a geo-political and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia that are working together to cross-promote each other’s economic and humanitarian growth.

ASEAN was formed in 1967 when the leaders of five countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand — joined forces in an effort to promote economic coordination and regional free trade. The membership base has changed over the year, adding Brunei, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

With a population of almost 600 million people, the ASEAN region has an economy bigger than India. Plus, it has an aggregate stock-market capitalization of $1.8 billion, making it larger than both India and Brazil. The ASEAN region is thriving thanks to low labor costs, rich natural resources, strong relationships with China and a wave of economic liberalizations that have encouraged foreign investment.
As I recall, China´s trade with ASEAN grew 55% in 2011 over 2010 and was projected to be bigger than China´s trade with the US by 2014 (or was it 2015?) Someone may want to check. An way China´s trade with US and EU is static or slowly growing while it trade with the BRICA is growing by double digits annually and with many others in Asia (all the way over to Iran, including India, Indonesia, and Burma, is growing by the mid 20s% percent. None of them need to borrow funds form China with which to buy, as the US and EU do. Only a few years now before China tells US & EU:

Go to Hell. We don´t need to sell to you and will no longer finance your deficits. (Print money as you need it.)

Exactly when depends a lot on how rapidly they can get Chinese to save less and spend more, so China´s economy is mainly domestic rather than export based. There internal market is larger than US + EU and is mainly a "first time buyer" market, not the much smaller, on even a percapita basis, "replecement market" of US & EU. When that is considered, the Chinese market is effecively at least 10 times larger than US + EU for at least a decade.
End part of quote below, now bold, is about right I hope. Brazil is intrinsically one of the richest countries in the world, but for decades wealth was very concentrated. Then a little more than a decade ago things began to improve for the very poor mainly via a program (Bolsa Family) that paid parents if their kids stayed in school up to age 18 and got their vaccinations. It lifted many millions out of deep poverty and even though the schools were not good they were better education than going to work in the fields at age ~12, barely able to read and do simple math. Also TV and to some extent the internet expanded horizons beyond how far their horse could take them.

The majority of the population was no longer happy with "Taxes like Sweden, Services like Nigeria" - a common way to describe Brazil. The better educated youth are now "Mad as hell & I'm not going to take it anymore."

As you probably know, the current unrest stated with a modest increase in transportation fares, but they were rescinded and by time that was done, the demonstrations had morphed into as stated here:

" The people living in Brazil, a country that's pretty well-off, feel like the government is the reason they're not seeing the tangible benefits of the broader economic prosperity. Corruption is a broad term, obviously, but the above are the popular complaints pointed out {in your link}. Those sentiments highlight what protesters told the AP: "We don't have good schools for our kids. Our hospitals are in awful shape. Corruption is rife. These protests will make history and wake our politicians up to the fact that we're not taking it anymore!" one woman said. "

I hope, and expect, that some fundamental changes will finally come out of this. In less than half an hour, the lady president is scheduled to go on TV and address the nation - That may give an indication if anything will be done to end the corruption in government. Fastest way to get very rich in Brazil now is to get elected to congress. And it is not just bribes. They make it too. For example a few years ago, ambulances were bought for all the local Governments of the party in power (and a few others they could cite to make it seem less like politics) Trouble was you could by the same ambulance for 1/3 the price the government paid for 100s of them. Etc.

It is ironic - When Brazil was under the CIA assisted dictatorship, she was leading street demonstrations, was arrested, and tortured in jail.