China Press Review – April 20, 2020

Press review

China moves to keep EU investment talks on track
The two sides have been making slow progress, but vice-premier Liu He’s phone conversation with his European counterparts is seen as an attempt by Beijing to refocus attention on the matter     Discussions took place against growing European suspicion of China and its handling of the coronavirus crisis

With the aviation industry stalling due to the coronavirus, the global economy cannot take off too
As Covid-19 lockdowns can only be relaxed gradually, the economic fallout is set to be deeper than some wishful thinkers predict   With the beating heart of our globalised world bleeding losses, so too will the related travel, tourism, hotel and catering businesses

China’s economic growth prospects are worse than during the global financial crisis
The latest economic data from Beijing for first quarter growth confirms the grim but perhaps unsurprising news that China has experienced the worst quarterly year-over-year decline in its GDP in history as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 6.8 percent falloff was widely anticipated by forecasters but not as bad as some had predicted. The median forecast by economists polled by Reuters was -6.5 percent, and the largest forecast decline, by Capital Economics, was 16 percent. Nonetheless, the data show that China faces a greater challenge in recovering its economy than during the global financial crisis of 2008–10.

China’s economy just shrunk for the first time in decades. Could the U.S. be next?
“Japan and the United States are likely to have large negative gross domestic product figures in April-June, so if China will recover, I think it will become a source of hope to the world economy.”
The coronavirus pandemic is not quite at its peak in the United States, but its economic impacts are already reverberating. Both small businesses and migrant workers were hit this week. On Thursday, the Small Business Administration’s rescue loan program hit its $349 billion limit, and the White House is working with the Department of Agriculture to possibly cut migrant farmworkers’ wages.   So far, about 22 million people have lost their jobs, which is roughly equivalent to the cumulative workforce of 23 states, according to The New York Times’s Peter BakerJob losses have translated to a surge in unemployment claims and delays in many states.

In wake of coronavirus can China keep its trade deal promise to US?
US soybean farmers have planted this season’s crop but orders from their top customer are down in favour of the beans from Brazil    Pandemic-driven low prices combine with weak demand as Chinese livestock producers restock after African swine flu

Op-Ed: How the US can win the post-coronavirus race for global dominance
The post-COVID19 race could determine whether the U.S. rebounds in a manner that allows it to retain the mantle of global leadership.   More likely for the moment, Beijing could leverage its first-mover advantage – alongside a faster economic recovery across Asian markets – accelerating the trend toward a Chinese-centric globalization.

The US and China Want a Divorce, but Neither Can Afford One
For all the talk of moving production and supply chains out of China, governments and companies lack the trillions that would be needed as they battle the pandemic.

The world’s energy order is changing — and China is set to reap the strategic benefits
“It seems inevitable that the geopolitics of energy will develop into a contest to see which country can produce the most energy on its own, and which has the best technology.”

Coronavirus: China’s slow economic reboot continues but power surge suggests light at the end of tunnel
Electricity generation rebounded in China in the first half of April, a key alternative indicator of economic activity identified by Premier Li Keqiang     However, other metrics show that while the economy is reopening, progress is slow and piecemeal

Doing Business Under COVID-19: Going Online to Weather the Storm
Manufacturing of non-essential goods is now scaling back to even being suspended.   Even businesses that cannot be fully established online will benefit from an online presence.    Business is booming for many aspects of the language industry, especially online translations.

How the coronavirus pandemic has trapped China’s Belt and Road Initiative between a rock and a hard place
China deviated from its usual policy by joining other nations in agreeing to a debt moratorium for countries in economic distress      Some of China’s principal loan recipients, with weak health systems and large populations, are going to be hard hit by the pandemic. Restructuring their debt will be no easy feat

Is Italy’s Economic Crisis an Opportunity for China?
As Italy reels, Chinese companies might sense an opportunity to buy up more Italian brands on the cheap.

Coronavirus: China’s consumers push back against price increases as firms seek to offset Covid-19 impact
Restaurant chains Haidilao and Xibei were forced to reverse price increases after a backlash from customers  China’s headline inflation dropped for the second month in a row in March after posting an eight-year high in January

Class of 2020: a lost generation in the post-coronavirus economy?
Young people starting out in the jobs market face a hit to their prospects that could endure years after the Covid-19-induced downturn has run its course   A generation of angry youth raises the spectre of political instability

US oil price plunges almost 40% to 22-year low
New York oil crashed Monday to nearly $11 per barrel, the lowest level since 1998, extending a dizzying plu…

Why The Luxury Sector Will Rebound Strongly After Covid-19
The luxury market is more resilient than people realize, and if a brand is proactive rather than passive, it will thrive once the crisis is over.

Donald Trump’s latest attack on China over coronavirus ‘highlights challenge in repairing relations’
The US President’s warned that China should ‘face consequences’ if it was ‘knowingly responsible’ for the Covid-19 outbreak    Observers expect US hostility towards to China to remain and say Beijing will struggle to overcome that if it wants to improve matters

The hard truth about the global coronavirus pandemic: it can’t be fought off by countries working alone
Scientists around the world are working together on Covid-19 research and possible vaccines  But they can’t by themselves bring the crisis under control, when the world’s leaders are blaming one another instead of strengthening multilateral cooperation

Coronavirus: others will revise death tolls like China, World Health Organisation says
City of Wuhan, where outbreak was first reported, has raised its fatality count by 50 per cent to account for misreporting issues in early stages of pandemic     ‘All countries will face this,’ says WHO emergencies director, urging nations to produce precise data as early as possible

‘I’m not Huawei’s spiritual leader. I’m a puppet leader,’ founder Ren Zhengfei says
This is the fifth in an eight-part series looking at how Huawei has found itself at the epicentre of the US-China tech war     Ren Zhengfei has been described as the ‘spiritual leader’ of Huawei, but he says he would rather be forgotten

Alibaba Cloud to invest extra 200 billion yuan in next three years to boost cloud business after pandemic
The investment will focus on technologies including operating systems, servers, chips and networks, according to Alibaba Cloud

Taiwan’s coronavirus response wins rare praise from World Health Organisation
China has blocked the island from joining international organisations but on Friday officials from the UN agency gave credit to Taipei’s success in containing Covid-19  Senior WHO official Michael Ryan told a press briefing that Taiwanese specialists were being brought into technical networks

Is the China-Africa ‘all-weather’ relationship in the midst of a coronavirus storm?
Beijing has sent medical teams and vast quantities of essential supplies to help African nations battle Covid-19, but it has also been accused of racism towards African people living in southern China   Observers say China has to be careful the incident does not damage its otherwise positive image in Africa

How to Be a Strong Leader during Coronavirus
Here are 5 strong leadership skills that will help you provide the leadership that your employees so desperately need.   You will need to make tough decisions during this crisis, but you must always come from a place of empathy.   It is a time when leaders need to take quick actions that will save supply chains from collapsing.   A leader must lead regardless of how unprepared or inexperienced.

Asian countries more receptive to China’s coronavirus ‘face mask diplomacy’
Faced with a backlash from the West over its handling of the early stages of the pandemic, Beijing has been quietly gaining ground in Asia   Teams of experts and donations of medical supplies have been largely welcomed by China’s neighbours

China urged to ease coronavirus curbs on foreigners and speak out against racism
Diplomats and business leaders have criticised restrictions on movements imposed to stop second wave of Covid-19    Reports that Africans living in Guangzhou have faced discrimination were described as ‘very counterproductive’ by one diplomat

Coronavirus: Chinese writer hit by nationalist backlash over diary about Wuhan lockdown
Award-winning novelist and poet Fang Fang accused of fuelling Western criticisms of China’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak  Her Wuhan Diary, first published online, is now set to be released in both English and German

Covid-19: Excuse to Crack Down on Freedoms
Press, rights organizations under unprecedented attack     Governments in Asia and across the world are using the Coronavirus crisis to curtail civil liberties, extend surveillance to an unprecedented degree and seeking to limit freedom of the press, alarming press and civil rights protection organizations.

In China, two ‘subjects’ questioned ‘emperor’ Xi and they disappeared from public view
Essays by Ren Zhiqiang and Xu Zhangrun hold Xi responsible for the devastation caused inside and outside China due to the poor handling of the Covid crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic is nature’s wake-up call to humans who have lost their Way
The prevention of future pandemics must be a collective effort by the world, but China has a crucial role to play  The country must adopt a more environmentally sustainable development model, and it can start by relearning Taoist teachings

Belgian judges overturn ban on Chinese Confucius Institute professor accused of spying
Eight-year bar from entering Europe’s visa-free area ‘not valid’ but no ruling made on validity of espionage claims    Song Xinning denied accusations of recruiting for Chinese intelligence while head of controversial institute in Brussels

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Revitalizing Everyday Creativity
With the world in varying stages of lockdown, people are redefining their relationships to art.

The End of One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong
Police arrest some of the territory’s most respected leaders

No one should forget Hong Kong’s Basic Law derives its authority from the constitution of China
On this premise, the exercise of Chinese state power in Hong Kong is fully legal and should not be distorted to mean interference     Any action, whether local or foreign, based on a misunderstanding of the Basic Law risks crossing Beijing’s red line. No attempt to endanger national sovereignty will be tolerated

China condemns foreign interference in Hong Kong democrats’ arrests
China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday it condemns and opposes interference by politicians in Western countries over Hong Kong police’s crackdown on democracy advocates.

Taste of freedom: how coronavirus is changing Asia’s relationship to food
Culinary adventures are serving as an escape for cooped-up cooks across the region   Edible parcels spread the love in Malaysia; a brave new world beckons hawkers in Singapore; and a Thai air hostess has a new line in sun-dried pork

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