China Press Review – April 5, 2019

Press review

Xi Jinping tells Donald Trump strategic leadership is key to trade deal benefiting both US and China
Letter to US president from Chinese counterpart says healthy ties and potential trade deal rely on principle of mutual benefit Message delivered by Vice-Premier Liu He at his meeting with Trump, who praised ‘very rapid pace’ of progress

No summit with China’s Xi Jinping until a deal to end trade war is final, Donald Trump says
The US president, speaking with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He at his side, said it might be another month before he could announce a meeting with Xi ‘If we have a deal, we’ll have a summit,’ Trump said

Xi’s ‘China Dream’ vs Trump’s ‘America First’
In this contemporary era, the great powers carry a special burden of responsibility in determining the future of global politics. Therefore, it is worthwhile to track Donald Trump’s and Xi Jinping’s policy agendas, which could help us analyze their behavior and potential measures vis-à-vis other countries.

What changes has China already made to meet US trade war demands?
Cutting car tariffs and punishments for IP infringements are among the responses from Beijing since Washington called for ‘structural changes’ Donald Trump has welcomed some of the concessions made since a trade war truce was called in December

US-China trade deal could be challenged by other nations, WTO chief says
The organisation’s director general Roberto Azevedo says its mechanisms allow other nations to object to a deal if it unfairly hurts them WTO also set to rule in dispute – which a source said involves Russia – that could force US to justify why targets of its metal tariffs pose a security threat

LEAK: Europe puts pressure on Beijing ahead of EU-China summit
The European Union is ready to refuse signing a joint statement with China at a bilateral summit next Tuesday (9 April), as Europeans request stronger commitment from Beijing on the economy, trade and human rights, according to official EU notes prepared in advance of the summit.

EU-China summit preparations stumble over trade, human rights
Tensions over trade, investments and minority rights may prevent China and the EU from agreeing a joint declaration at a summit next week, four diplomats in Brussels said on Friday, sapping a European push for greater access to Chinese markets.

EU division continues as the annual EU-China Summit nears
The likelihood of the European Union coming to a unified approach before the EU-China summit seems unlikely, as each of the members has prioritized their own objectives. In order to safeguard EU interests, explicit guidelines for reciprocity will need to be set, as well as solid limits on what China can buy. The issue of developing 5G networks also looms over the members, as they must find a way to deal with the US opposition to the use of Huawei equipment. But one thing is for certain: all EU leaders recognize China’s global significance. The ramifications of a disunited EU approach for China could affect the union’s fate for years to come.

EU division continues as the annual EU-China Summit nears

Croatia will sign soon nine critical agreements with China
Zagreb and Beijing are expected to sign nine bilateral agreements at the “16+1” summit (16 countries of Eastern and Central Europe plus China) due on 10-12 April in Dubrovnik, which Chinese PM Li Keqiang will attend.

One Trump Victory: Companies Rethink China
The trade war is nearing a possible truce, but global companies are nevertheless moving to reduce their dependence on Chinese factories to make the world’s goods.

The China-US Trade War and the Winner is….MEXICO
The Bloomberg article notes that the “Mexico bump” could be short-lived if the U.S. and China strike a trade deal, “reducing the impetus to move production to Mexico.” I disagree. The US-China trade war has opened people’s eyes to how China how difficult and inhospitable China is for foreign companies and how countries like Mexico are far more welcoming of foreign business and can offer their own distinct advantages.

The China-US Trade War and the Winner is….MEXICO

Japan-China relations boosted with expanded delegation for spring economic talks
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is sending six members of his cabinet to high-level economic talks in Beijing Meeting will also prepare the groundwork for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Japan since coming to power in 2013

The next financial crisis will be worse than the 2008 crash. Here’s how the world can prepare for it
Unilateralism, fragmented regulatory bodies, a depleted arsenal of tools at the disposal of central banks and increasingly complex financial markets will make it harder to deal with the next crisis A multilateral effort, both from governments and the private sector, is our best hope Last week, the US Department of Commerce revised growth forecasts downward. Growth across major European economies is either slowing or negative. And the Chinese economy, a critical global growth engine, is

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei was under secret US surveillance, US fraud hearing told
US authorities plan to use covertly gathered information in case charging the company with violating Iran sanctions The US government obtained the information via ‘electronic surveillance and physical search’, but gave no details

Huawei to restructure traditional network gear business after surging smartphones sales take the spotlight
Last week, privately-owned Huawei reported a 19.5 per cent jump in annual revenue to US$107 billion

podcast : The US and China’s A.I. Strengths: A.I. in 60 Seconds
The US is stronger in A.I. discovery while China is better at implementation.

US catches up with China in 5G readiness as race heats up for ultra-fast mobile networks
US leads in planned commercial deployments in 2019, but China has hundreds of large-scale 5G trials

The potential of China’s economy
Dialogue with Yang Rui Trade disputes with the U.S. and a lowered economic target are serious factors indicating that China is entering a new phase economically. What will be the pillars of the Chinese economy in the next chapter? What is the consumptive potential of Chinese society? What kind of leadership will be needed globally in the era when globalization is facing hurdles

Jamie Dimon: ‘China does not have a straight road to becoming the dominant economic power’

Will China surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy? Probably not any time soon, according to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

China’s Re-Balancing Act
While China faces slowing GDP growth, a trade standoff with the US and disputes over China allowing foreign companies market access in return for technology transfers, we see policymakers stepping up to the plate to readjust and rebalance targets for a more sustainable economy. In the face of an economic slowdown, Chinese officials have lowered the country’s 2019 GDP growth forecast to a range of 6-6.5%, compared to last year’s target of 6.5%. In spite of these hurdles, the historical ability of the Chinese authorities to implement their policies efficiently and effectively underpins the country’s potential strengths.

Why China’s Economic Reforms Often Backslide
China’s “seesaw economy” is the result of an unempowered market that plays second fiddle to political objectives. Market reform has been China’s flagship economic initiative for over 40 years, yet each new round of reform often ends up with more heavy-handed state control. Why does China’s market reform so often backslide? Why is government intervention a persistent syndrome even after the center repeatedly promised to “give the market a decisive role in resource allocation”? With the state playing a central role in coordinating economic activities, the Chinese government builds and sustains the market, but falls short on empowering it.

Economist Jim O’Neill says his fears over China are at a 30-year high
The world’s second-largest economy grew 6.6 percent in 2018 — the slowest pace since 1990.
Recent consumer data has also spooked market watchers. But some analysts have said the services sector remains resilient and highlight stimulus measures that the government has introduced like personal income tax cuts and cash injections from the central bank.

Economic data may point to a favourable bounce for investors midyear, but market risks remain
The Chinese and US economies will see growth stabilise, not pick up or drop significantly. Meanwhile, company earnings will have to bottom out or even rise to calm investor nerves

China’s Coming Current Account Deficit?
The Economist—in a leader two weeks ago—argued that China is on the verge of shifting into a “structural” current account deficit and that, as a result, it is now safe for China to accelerate the liberalization of its financial account as part of a new push to “free” its financial system.

Bankruptcy run in wealthy China province spooks creditors
Local officials move to halt the spread of damage in selected cases A SERIES of bankruptcy filings by major private-sector bond issuers in China’s third-wealthiest province is shining a spotlight on aggressive efforts by local governments to manage unsustainable debt loads. Four debtors have entered bankruptcy procedures since the start of November in Dongying, a city of 2 million in the eastern province of Shandong that once thrived with a booming tyre-making industry. While China sees thousands of bankruptcies each year, instances of court-led restructuring of publicly issued bonds have been rare.

Chinese banks boost fintech spending and launch services to counter competition from internet giants
China Construction Bank and China Merchant Bank use fintech to deliver cross-border services in the Greater Bay Area Chinese banks that have set up fintech units are also forming partnerships with internet giants to tap their technology

Sales of Athleisure Are Expected to Surpass Luxury Goods in China by 2020
“Turns out, the China market loves their athleisure.” That was one of the key conclusions to be drawn from Lululemon’s fourth quarter revenue report, which saw the Vancouver-based athleisure-powerhouse bring in revenues of $1.2 billion, a 25 percent increase of from the same quarter last year. The boost in sales comes amidst what CEO Calvin McDonald is calling “one of Lululemon’s strongest years yet, a result of broad-based strength across the business.”

In Asia, the Future of Luxury is Here, and It Is Online
The first Future of Luxury: Ecommerce in Asia conference, hosted in Hong Kong by Sotheby’s and Jing Daily, brought together industry thought leaders from around the globe to examine Asia’s soaring ecommerce market, identify trends and place a few bets on the future direction of the luxury sector.

In Asia, the Future of Luxury is Here, and It Is Online

Secoo Attracts More Users as It Pivots Toward Diversification
Chinese luxury e-commerce company Secoo Holding Limited released its fourth quarter 2018 and full-year 2018 earnings results on April 4, and expectations were low based on previous financial results from competitors Alibaba Holdings and, both of which announced slowing revenue growth. While Secoo works in a crowded marketplace, as a more niche luxury company, it has shown potential for growth because of its strategic partnerships and customer loyalty (the company claims to have a 51 percent customer retention rate.)

Secoo Attracts More Users as It Pivots Toward Diversification

WeChat Releases New Logistics API: Should You Be Impressed?
A few days ago, WeChat announced the release of a new logistics API enabling to connect WeChat Mini-programs with 3rd party logistics providers. The solution has already been implemented by companies such as the American skincare brand Kiehl’s (part of L’Oréal group) and is now being made available to the whole public.

Chinese take a shine to Europe’s investor immigrant schemes, as waiting list for US programme stretches to 10 years
Concerns over long waiting lists, policy uncertainty, and lack of welcome prompt search for alternative emigration destinations Washington’s EB-5 investment immigration programme last year issued 4,642 visas to those born in the mainland, down from 8,308 in 2014

Chinese take a shine to Europe’s investor immigrant schemes, as waiting list for US programme stretches to 10 years
Concerns over long waiting lists, policy uncertainty, and lack of welcome prompt search for alternative emigration destinations Washington’s EB-5 investment immigration programme last year issued 4,642 visas to those born in the mainland, down from 8,308 in 2014

Chinese Students in Limbo for Months Waiting for US Visas
Student visa applications are stuck in ‘administrative processing.’ What does this mean for current scholars?

China’s Doghouse Is Smaller Than It Looks
But South Korea, Canada and Australia are learning that countries who fall in can’t easily get out.

How green is China’s high-speed rail?
Can the largest high-speed rail network in the world help China decarbonise? Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other institutions analysed the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line, which is China’s most highly trafficked. They found its carbon footprint to be much higher than high-speed railways in other countries. This is largely due to the dominant use of coal for electricity generation in China. However, the authors’ analysis suggests that the line actually has strong potential to fulfil many of the IEA’s criteria for a low-carbon line.

Europe and China look to boost ties on environment, water, and circular economy issues
An EU delegation headed by EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella visited China from 1 to 3 April to continue with the process of deepening EU – China environmental bilateral relations.

Europe and China look to boost ties on environment, water, and circular economy issues

After China’s import ban, where to with the world’s waste?
When China announced it would no longer recycle the world’s old plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and tattered newspapers, it triggered a global trash crisis. The search for new refuse dumps is ongoing.

Chinese city shuts down chemical plant after explosion that killed 78 people
Authorities in Yancheng city act after country’s deadliest industrial accident in four years Decision follows action by Jiangsu provincial government to reduce number of chemical plants

Are Confucius Institutes Good for American Universities?
Confucius Institutes continue to incite controversy in America. Since 2006, China’s government has given more than $158 million to dozens of U.S. universities to host the institutes, which offer Chinese language classes and hold events. To critics, the institutes threaten academic freedom on U.S. campuses, but many supporters view them as an innocuous means of funding Chinese language learning.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tells China to ‘lay off’ island in disputed South China Sea
Duterte said his comment was not a warning, but rather a word of advice to a friend This follows a statement made by the foreign affairs ministry calling the presence of Chinese boats near Thitu Island illegal

China’s Growing Prominence in Football
Ultimately, the emergence of China as a key player in the footballing landscape is already underway. As the Chinese Super League’s profile continues to rise, and Chinese companies continue their investment in the football industry, the circumstances for a successful Chinese World Cup bid are becoming more and more favorable.

China’s Growing Prominence in Football

China orders party members to celebrate ‘political’ birthday
Disciplinary watchdog asks members to remember their ‘love and devotion for party’ Under Xi Jinping, party officials are increasingly focused on ideological education and loyalty to Xi. China’s ruling communist party has ordered its members to celebrate a different kind of birthday every year – the day they joined the party.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
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