China’s economy to grow 8.1% in 2021: ADB report
According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s new report, economic growth in developing Asia is set to rebound to 7.3 percent this year even as COVID-19 lingers. Yasuyuki Sawada, chief economist of the ADB, said that China is the main driver of Asia’s economic recovery, and the ADB predicts that China’s growth rate will rebound to 8.1 percent this year.
Biden: ‘We are in a competition with China to win the 21st century’
As U.S. President Joe Biden’s first 100 days draw to a close, he has one key message to the nation and the world: “America is on the move again.” Ryan Hass, a former National Security Director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia and now a senior fellow at Washington think tank Brookings, said that under the Biden administration, the Sino-American relationship is “moving gradually from sharp confrontation to deep competition.” The Biden administration is still in the midst of a lengthy policy review to determine a holistic China strategy. So far, much of former President Donald Trump’s legacy still remain in place including the tariffs. In some cases such as with the so-called technology decoupling, the Biden team appears to be doubling down — with restrictions on Chinese companies as well as its plan to invest heavily in America’s own tech sector. But these grand strategies also rest on America’s own containment of COVID-19 as well as its ability to help other countries help combat the pandemic. “There’s no wall high enough to keep any virus away,” Biden said. “As our own vaccine supply grows to meet our needs — and we are meeting them — we will become an arsenal of vaccines for other countries, just as America was the arsenal of democracy in World War II.” On this front, his administration also has Beijing — which is trying to win favors around the world with its own vaccine diplomacy — to compete with.
Biden casts US-China relations as a battle for the century
US president tells joint sessions of Congress Xi Jinping is ‘deadly earnest’ about China becoming the most consequential nation in the world Relationship will be a litmus test of the merits of democracy versus autocracy and a competition to develop the technologies of the future, he says
Biden takes aim at China over trade
President Joe Biden took aim at China in his first speech to Congress on Wednesday, pledging to maintain a strong US military presence in the Indo-Pacific and promising to boost technological development and trade. “China and other countries are closing in fast. We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future,” Biden said. And in a line that drew some of the strongest applause of the evening, he said, “There is simply no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.”
US ‘scrutinising’ trade deal with China: official
Washington is looking closely at the trade agreement signed with China by the Trump administration to ensure Beijing is living up to the terms, the top US trade negotiator said on Wednesday.
US to keep China’s trade-deal performance under the microscope
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai briefs a Senate subcommittee, vowing a top-to-bottom review of the trade policy with China Tai adds that she will meet with her Chinese counterpart ‘at the right time’ to discuss the phase one trade agreement, without elaborating
RCEP trade pact hands China a global edge, for now
Free world needs a fresh approach to strengthen liberal block The world’s largest trade pact that encompasses 30% of the global economy is set to come into force as early as this year. Under RCEP, member states will abolish tariffs on 91% of goods, notably lower than the 99% threshold in the TPP. By lowering the bar, China put emphasis on allowing as many countries as possible to enter, thereby taking the initiative of the pact. The opening chapter of this tale has been all China. If Quad activities expand into the economic arena, the approach could become an effective tool to encourage liberal economies to firmly take root in Asia, including the region’s smaller countries. The four countries are already starting to collaborate on important infrastructure, such as data communication and energy, through relevant organs.Quad leaders confirmed that they will deepen dialogue on vital high-tech supply chains during the maiden summit in March. If efforts to create a “China-free” supply chain accelerate, India anticipates taking on a portion of that itself. European countries are showing growing interest in the Quad as well. At this stage of the game, the great power competition has only been local skirmishes. But going forward, the chess board, or “go” board, will quickly expand. To challenge China, the liberal block needs a grand strategy. It will need to place the go pieces carefully yet creatively, with an eye on multiple countries as well as the economic and security frameworks of the region.
EU lawmakers vow to kill China investment deal over Beijing’s sanctions
Reject the agreement ‘to show once and for all that the EU is not just a supermarket but rather has principles’, says a French member of the European Parliament Parliamentarians in Brussels debate the sanctions for the first time since they were put in place last month
China reboots the internationalization of its currency
Beijing’s motivations are more geopolitical than economic , First, China’s heightened tensions with the U.S. have driven an urgent need to eliminate its dependency on the dollar-denominated global financial system. China now recognizes that if it wants to be seen as a peer to the U.S., it cannot be reliant on its competitor’s currency or financial systems. Second, China knows that it cannot fully leverage its economic size to achieve its geopolitical and foreign policy objectives without broader yuan adoption. Its current attempts to weaponize its economic status are typically blunt, lack the sophistication of U.S. sanctions and frequently create negative unintended consequences. If China wants to replicate the U.S.’s abilities and extend its economic influence, it needs the yuan to be more widely adopted, especially across Asia. And if China wants the yuan to become Asia’s anchor currency, then it needs to increase the trust it commands, both in terms of facilitating flows and as a store of value. Ultimately, geopolitics will win out. China recognizes that its foreign policy objectives will be easier to advance if the yuan is widely adopted beyond its borders. This decision may have been accelerated by American actions but it was in many ways always inevitable given the inseparable nature of economics, finance and geopolitics. China’s rebooting of yuan internationalization will, however, begin to entrench two parallel financial systems. This will create substantial difficulties for many financial institutions, which will have to navigate this divergence. And it will also present a challenge for countries trying to maintain relationships with, and equivalence between, the two superpowers. Banks and governments alike will be caught between a rock and a hard place; both should start considering the painful choices they may have to make.
Taiwan says China is stealing technology and poaching engineers from the island
Taiwan is home to a world-leading semiconductor industry, leading to worries about industrial espionage It is unclear when or if the proposal to amend the commercial secrets law could be passed
China digital currency: Fed’s Powell says Beijing’s approach would not work in US
The Boston arm of the Fed is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a digital currency research China is already running pilot programmes to test out digital yuan
The EU’s microchip dilemma: Too little or too late?
The EU is running low on semiconductors — advanced chips used in smartphones, medical devices and more — exposing its vulnerability to the vicissitudes of the China-US trade war. The bloc plans to change that. Can it?
Alibaba ‘rectification’ marks slowdown of China’s internet economy
Big Tech takes nudge to focus on business services for growth Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding, hit recently with a record $2.81 billion antimonopoly fine, is due to present Beijing with a comprehensive plan by Friday to rectify market practices regulators have deemed unfair.
China’s Internet Antitrust Push Leads to Corporate Clashes
Internet companies are using the threat of government action as a cudgel against rivals. That could make the Communist Party the ultimate arbiter over the industry. Still, discuss is affordable, and the platforms have executed little to present they’re opening up. Tencent and Alibaba, for instance, may begin by permitting one another’s fee apps on their providers. That would profit shoppers and present they’re severe about following the legislation. That may additionally get the federal government off their backs. But up to now, none of those firms have introduced substantial strikes to right anticompetitive practices. Instead, they’re clashing and maneuvering by means of the halls of energy
Alibaba injects Tmall Haofang into E-House as property industry follows retail sales in marching to the internet’s beat
E-House will pay HK$1.86 billion in shares for an 85 per cent stake in Tmall Haofang, and separately allot 132 million shares to Alibaba’s wholly owned unit Taobao China for HK$990 million The deal boosts Alibaba’s stake in E-House to 22.6 per cent, from the previous 8.3 per cent as the second-largest shareholder
China’s biggest banks post profit gains below 3% amid curbs
China’s biggest banks posted profit gains of below 3% in the first quarter with policy makers leaning on the lenders to contain debt growth as the economy powers out of the pandemic. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world’s biggest bank by assets, reported a 1.46% gain in profit in period. Its smaller rivals including Bank of Communications Co, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd, Bank of China Ltd and China Construction Bank Corp all saw profit increases of below 3%. All except Bank of China were weighed down by rising loan losses.
China’s ‘problematic’ local debt in the spotlight as it begins scaling back coronavirus stimulus
With economic momentum stabilising in China, local government debt and corporate bond defaults are emerging as the prime financial risks But experts say Beijing faces a challenge in balancing debt reduction in cash-strapped regions while maintaining post-coronavirus growth
Henan sets up $4.6 billion fund to address local firms’ debt risks
Twenty-four companies backed by the provincial government of Central China’s Henan plan to jointly set up a RMB 30 billion ($4.6 billion) credit guarantee fund to assist local enterprises in dealing with debt risks, a Henan government official told Caixin. The fund, which was registered Tuesday with RMB 4 billion of registered capital, will raise RMB 5 billion in the first phase. Henan government-controlled Zhongyuan Yuzi Investment Holding Group led the investment with a 25% stake. Henan Energy and Chemical Industry Group, parent of debt-ridden Yongcheng Coal and Electricity Holding Group, also took part in the fund with a 1.25% holding, business registration records showed.
Top Booming Industries of 2021
One positive effect of the pandemic on the job market is the new opportunities for people to bring their unique capabilities to the table. Digitalization and automation have affected all aspects of our lives. With the world urging a more virtual way of doing daily things, we have seen many companies adjust to this new reality. Some of them still fight to survive, while others have adopted the latest technologies and made considerable earnings in specific niches. Let us look at some industries that are booming in 2021.
Chinese consumers push Apple to record second quarter in China thanks to 5G iPhones
CEO Tim Cook said the Californian giant saw robust demand for iPhone 12 models during the three months ending March Chinese consumers cited uncertainties around Huawei as a reason for switching to Apple handsets
Chinese carmakers steal Tesla’s thunder at Shanghai Auto Show with compact EVs, 1,000km-range models
SAIC-GM-Wuling’s two-seater convertible, and NIO’s luxury EV that can go as far as 1,000km (620 miles) on one charge wow visitors Protest by woman who jumped on Tesla’s Model 3 embarrasses US carmaker
COVID-19 won’t rattle East Asian supply chains
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a series of overreactions about the viability of global value chains (GVCs), with some mixed feeling about China. Many claimed that the pandemic would mark the end of GVCs and that there would be a massive ‘reshoring’, with production pulled back from developing to developed countries. Others claimed that GVCs needed broadening to boost resilience and that companies should avoid concentrating their operations in one location such as China.
But GVCs have mostly remained intact over the past year, with more intensive use of communications technology.
Why China’s vaccine diplomacy is winning
Chinese COVID-19 vaccines have been shipped to more than 80 countries for market or emergency use. Among them, 53 countries received vaccines for free (including developing countries in Africa and some strategically important Asian countries such as the Philippines and Pakistan) and 27 middle-income countries paid for doses. Rolling out of vaccines to developing countries, Beijing has framed itself as a solution to the pandemic rather than the origin of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus: China and Russia sow disinformation to undermine trust in Western vaccines, EU report says
State media pushed fake news online sensationalising vaccine safety concerns and promoting Russian and Chinese shots as superior, the study says The campaigns, aimed at dividing the West, also make unfounded links between jabs and deaths in Europe, according to the report
Australia’s China debate gets more rancorous with harassment, threats and lawsuits
Defamation claims against journalists, online hate campaigns against researchers: Australia’s debate on China has become vitriolic The hawks say Beijing is eroding academic freedom in Australia; the doves say the hawks are beating Beijing to it
‘Fuel on the fire’: war of words between Australia and China stokes tension
Scott Morrison wants to ‘pursue peace’ but ‘drums of war’ speeches from his government have raised hackle
China seeks stronger ties in South Asia with united Covid-19 front
Beijing fears rise in coronavirus cases in India could flow over into neighbouring countries and China, observers say India would understand if other nations in the region accepted help from Beijing, analyst says
China is its own worst enemy
High likelihood that hubris will push Beijing toward folly For example, China’s most recent aggression in the South China Sea — amassing fishing boats around a reef claimed by the Philippines — has angered Manila and, should Chinese aggressive behavior continue, will likely create a strategic opening for the U.S. The U.S. Navy’s return to Subic Bay would be a game-changer and a debacle of China’s own making. Similarly, China’s hard-line position on human rights has made the EU’s strategic neutrality increasingly untenable. Last month, Brussels sanctioned a small number of Chinese officials for their role in the repression of the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Instead of a muted response, Beijing imposed countersanctions that have put China’s prized investment treaty with the EU in jeopardy. Overconfidence could even doom much-needed reforms at home. On paper, Beijing has just produced a blueprint — its new five-year plan — to reorient its economy and achieve technological self-sufficiency. But its success is far from assured. Tough reforms, especially those requiring downsizing the role of the state-owned enterprises and mobilizing the private sector — which necessitates decreasing party control — will challenge President Xi Jinping’s core belief in state capitalism and party supremacy. If he feels that China is strong enough not to undertake such reforms, they will unlikely happen. China could descend into stagnation as a consequence, as the Soviet Union did starting in the mid-1970s. The likelihood that hubris will lead Beijing to commit a series of strategic mistakes is not just real, but very high. Its decision-making environment, marked by over-centralization of power and lack of dissent and contrary information, is fertile ground for wishful thinking and false assumptions.
‘Getting tough on China’ more rhetoric than reality
There is not a day that goes by without the West, India and Japan vowing to be ‘tough’ on China. The ‘tough’ measures include: US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga issuing a joint communiqué in April reaffirming their ‘ironclad’ alliance; European allies the UK, France and Germany sending warships to Asia; and India warming up to forming an ‘Asian NATO’ with ‘like-minded’ democracies.
China Sends Space Station’s First Building Block Into Orbit
Over the next two years, the country’s space agency plans to add new modules for conducting experiments, a state-of-the-art telescope, and two massive robotic arms.
China ‘will not accept’ US challenges to its Communist politics, leaders
‘It is normal for China and the US to have some differences, but the key is to have mutual respect,’ Beijing’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi says in People’s Daily article China has no intention to promote its political system or reject the democratic systems of the United States, he says
China population: census expected to show decline, spur debate on key policy issues
Economist warns that ‘China’s population crisis is approaching’, with ‘increasingly severe’ economic and social problems Data could prompt a rethink or revision of China’s decades-old retirement ages and make it easier for rural migrant workers to establish residency in urban areas
China says population grew last year, refuting Financial Times report of first decline in nearly 60 years
The Financial Times reported earlier this week that the latest census figures were expected to show nation’s population slipping to less than 1.4 billion A drop in China’s population would be the first since a two-year decline in 1960-61 due to the impact of the Great Famine
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