China Press Review – April 23, 2018

Press review

US-China trade war: Not about trade, not about Trump. Here’s what it is about
The US objective is not to win trade concessions, but to force a change in China’s whole economic and industrial policy approach

China welcomes prospect of trip by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Mnuchin says he might go to Beijing as the world’s two biggest economies continue to wrestle over their trade differences

Sieren’s China: Economic growth better than expected
Despite the threat of a trade war with the US, China’s economic growth has exceeded expectations, allowing an opportunity to address certain problems, says DW’s Frank Sieren.

Will China listen to EU on infrastructure plan’s perceived pitfalls in free trade and competition?
Mathieu Duchatel writes that as China reviews its EU policy under a new foreign policy team, it remains to be seen to what extent European belt and road concerns will be taken seriously

EU presents (nearly) united front against China’s ‘unfair’ Belt and Road Initiative
Document denouncing infrastructure project was signed by all but one EU ambassador in Beijing as concerns grow over Chinese influence on continent

How China Is Buying Its Way Into Europe
For more than a decade, Chinese political and corporate leaders have been scouring the globe with seemingly bottomless wallets in hand. From Asia to Africa, the U.S. and Latin America, the results are hard to ignore as China has asserted itself as an emerging world power. Less well known is China’s diffuse but expanding footprint in Europe. Bloomberg has crunched the numbers to compile the most comprehensive audit to date of China’s presence in Europe. It shows that China has bought or invested in assets amounting to at least $318 billion over the past 10 years. The continent saw roughly 45 percent more China-related activity than the U.S. during this period, in dollar terms, according to available data.

Chinese money sows European disunion
Eastern states are being seduced by the allure of authoritarianism

EU suspects tax fraud at China’s ‘gateway to Europe’ as state-owned shipping firm Cosco faces mounting opposition abroad
Investigator says agency has evidence that Chinese firms run by criminal groups were fraudulently avoiding the VAT and duties on large shipments through Piraeus port

Patrick Scheurle: «What Will the New Silk Road Provide?»
China’s «one belt, one road»initiative is the biggest infrastructure push in contemporary history. Microfinancier Patrick Scheurle looks at the flip side of the gargantuan project, in his essay for finews.first.

Citi signs MoU with Chinese banks for Belt and Road related projects
Citi announced on Friday that it has signed memoranda of understanding with Bank of China Ltd and China Merchants Bank Co Ltd to strengthen cooperation between Citi and the two banks in supporting clients’ investments and projects related to the Belt and Road initiative.

China-Germany Relations: Opportunities Emerge as Investment Ties Grow
Germany is the largest European investor in technology businesses operating in China, and Chinese businesses also invested over US$2.95 billion in Germany in 2016. That same year, Germany launched more than 300 new projects in China worth US$2.71 billion. By 2017, more than 8,200 German enterprises were operating in China, representing a total investment of US$67.34 billion.

China-Germany Relations: Opportunities Emerge as Investment Ties Grow

BRI can be a vehicle for trilateral cooperation
It appears that the time is ripe for pushing the idea of trilateral cooperation between Nepal, China and India. Nepal aspires to be a “dynamic bridge” between India and China, and now has a stable and strong government after decades of political transition. It is in a better position to execute independent foreign policies that hold the key to implementing major bilateral or trilateral initiatives.

BRI to connect Asia with Europe, Africa: PwC
China and CEE countries have worked together to improve transport networks, including Serbia’s E763 highway project and the overhaul of the Budapest-Belgrade railway, as well as other infrastructure projects, such as a thermal power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

China’s Outreach to CEE Could Be Win-Win
There are many motives for China to engage with central and eastern Europe (CEE), not least developing a link between the Port of Piraeus in Greece (which Beijing has invested heavily in), and important Western European markets for Chinese goods. However, the positives for CEE could also be significant, and notably for the Western Balkans, with Chinese investment set to potentially bring about an acceleration of economic development in one of Europe’s poorest regions. Much depends, however, on the extent to which locals are involved, while concerns have been raised about rising debt, corruption and unwelcome political influence.

China’s Outreach to CEE Could Be Win-Win

Chinese local governments’ US$2.4 billion of concealed debts is uncovered by audit office
Hidden debts were racked up by borrowing through financing vehicles and deals forbidden by the finance ministry, report says

Trade war ‘extremely dangerous’ for global economy: JP Morgan’s Jacob Frenkel
Protectionism is a “major risk” to the global recovery now underway, says Jacob Frenkel, chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase International. “A trade war will be extremely dangerous for the world economy and once it slides it will be very difficult to turn it around,” he says.

How Donald Trump is stealing a page from the populists’ playbook in his trade war with China
Richard Heydarian writes that the US president’s ‘dangerous dalliance’ with China trade is ‘mindless posturing’ driven by emotions rather than policy

India’s Economy On Track To Beat China
To be fair, India’s economic growth begins at a low level of resources utilization. Therefore, it can raise GDP growth by the better employment of excess resources with existing technologies. China’s economy, by contrast, begins at higher resource utilization levels. Therefore, it can no longer raise GDP growth by using existing technologies. It must innovate, and that isn’t easy given China’s current economic structure where most of its economic sectors are under direct or indirect government control. That could explain why India is beating China in another metric: competitiveness. In the last four years, India gained 20 points in the World Economic Forum’s (WEFR) Global Competitiveness rankings, while China’s ranking remained roughly unchanged — see table.

ZTE may be too big to fail, as it remains the thin end of the wedge in China’s global tech ambition
ZTE accuses US Commerce Department of “extremely unfair” treatment for a seven-year ban on buying technology from American companies, which would derail its 5G network plans, a key plank to China’s technology ambitions

US Yanks Export Privileges From Chinese Company
ZTE Denial Order in Response to False Statements to US Government

US Yanks Export Privileges From Chinese Company

China is taking a new approach to its jobless rate, but is it enough?
Beijing has started releasing monthly data based on surveys, as other countries do. It may be an improvement, but some say the rate is still ‘implausibly low’

Suitable for men: China’s problem with job ads
Rapid growth in China has created unprecedented economic opportunities for women in the world’s second-largest economy. But massive gender discrimination in job ads continues to be a major obstacle.

China: Forced Technology Transfer and Theft?
The increasingly accepted narrative in the West, especially in the United States, is that China acquires technology mostly through forced technology transfer from multinational companies investing in China and through outright theft. Overlooked are the data that suggest the popular narrative exaggerates the magnitude of China’s forced technology transfer and theft and does not allow for the possibility that China’s protection of intellectual property is improving rather than worsening.

What you need to know about the US panel that can stop deals from transferring cutting-edge tech to China
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is at the centre of Washington’s efforts to halt Chinese acquisitions of US assets seen as a security threat

What’s changing at China’s central bank under its new leadership?
Change at the top could herald fresh approach to monetary policy

Chinese central bank chief says economic fundamentals are strong
Yi Gang also tells meetings of IMF and World Bank that financial leverage is ‘under control’ as IMF warns trade tensions, debt load threaten world economy

Chinese investment floods US biotech
Pharmaceutical start-ups are raising money at a breakneck pace

China waste imports plunge after new curbs on foreign refuse take effect
Imports drop by a quarter after new regulations take effect

China sets 100 per cent clean power target for Xi Jinping’s new Xiongan megacity
Aim part of plans to turn backwater into sustainable city and help cap carbon emissions throughout the country

At war with Alibaba: Top brands fight China e-commerce giant
A U.S. clothing company that was expecting a 20 percent jump in online sales on Alibaba’s Tmall,saw sales plummet 10 to 20 percent after the company refused to sign an exclusive contract with Alibaba, instead participating in a promotion with archrival, Tmall punished them by taking steps to cut traffic to their storefront, two executives told The Associated Press. They said advertising banners vanished from prominent spots in Tmall sales showrooms, the company was blocked from special sales and products stopped appearing in top search results.
Alibaba denied punishing the companies.

Chinese housing demand robust in first quarter despite efforts to cool market
New mortgages hit 1.9 trillion yuan in first three months, up 11.8 per cent

TV show raises stink over illegal rubbish dump after Chinese villagers’ complaints ignored for years
Local officials spurred into action when environmental blight exposed by national broadcaster

Urban Officials Are Spoiling the Cities They Should Be Improving
Municipal governments are putting headline-grabbing vanity projects ahead of residents’ comfort and convenience China’s current urban management methods place too much emphasis on order and unity, all while overlooking the need to conveniently house large numbers of people in high densities.

China’s claims in South China Sea ‘proposed by continuous boundary for the first time’
Joining of the nine-dash line by scientists is based partly on 1951 map that ‘furthers the certainty of China’s seas’

For US and China, the real friction over Taiwan is yet to come
US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s trip to Taipei and Trump’s stance on submarines could make the biggest mess of China-US ties since Nixon

China Huarong’s Lai Xiaomin Said Investigated For Financing Private Company
Last week, it was learned that Lai Xiaomin, party secretary and chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., Ltd., is under investigation due to “severe disciplinary breaches.” Now news reports are emerging that the instigation is tied to the company’s financial backing of a private electrolytic manganese manufacturer Ningxia Tianyuan Manganese Industry Co., Ltd.

China Huarong’s Lai Xiaomin Said Investigated For Financing Private Company

Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for tighter grip on internet to ensure stability
China must strengthen its grip on the internet to ensure broader social and economic goals are met, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday citing comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping, underlining a hardening attitude towards online content.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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