China Press Review – April 8, 2019

Press review

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says Beijing supports ‘European integration process’
In article in a German newspaper, Li looks to smooth waters before a summit this week Tensions over trade and other issues might scuttle a joint declaration at the summit

China Wants To Strengthen Ties With EU On Trade
China is also willing to its part for the success of the meetings. In fact, Reutersreported that Premiere Li wrote a column in a German newspaper. He mentioned China’s intentions of solidifying its ties with the EU, especially over trade.

China, EU leaders’ plan for joint statement in Brussels hits snag over market access row, EU sources say
Two sides said to be at odds over extent to which access to China’s market should be improved Months of talks have focused on the wording of a possible joint statement during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang insists Beijing supports united EU amid ‘divide and rule’ fears
‘We support European integration’, he writes ahead of trip to Brussels, after criticism of China’s dealings with individual EU states The facts suggest otherwise, an EU source says, while another says EC President Jean-Claude Juncker will ask China to speed up openness to European firms

A China-U.S. Trade Deal Could Be a Mere Cease-Fire
America would obtain better leverage by forming a common front with Europe.

China, EU leaders’ plan for joint statement in Brussels hits snag over market access row, EU sources say
Two sides said to be at odds over extent to which access to China’s market should be improved Months of talks have focused on the wording of a possible joint statement during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit

China is Europe’s biggest economic conundrum
EU, Chinese leaders to discuss rising Chinese influence in Europe at summit next week

Smaller European states give EU greater say over China deals to ease concerns over Beijing’s influence
Brussels consulted over draft belt and road deals to be signed at a summit between China and Central and Eastern European nations Move is an attempt to address growing concerns that Beijing will undermine the EU’s cohesion

Xi Jinping can take lessons from Kublai Khan in reaching out to the West
In the 13th century, Kublai Khan reached out to the West. Can Xi Jinping do better?

Beijing’s interests threaten EU-China summit

Beijing’s interests threaten EU-China summit

cartoon : China Targets Europe
Beijing drives its trade strategies forward.

Greece says EU’s China concerns must not harm its economic interests
Deputy prime minister Yannis Dragasakis hopes ‘logic will prevail’ ahead of EU-China summit

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says US-China trade deal ‘closer and closer’
Kudlow points to ‘great progress’ on IP theft and forced transfer of technology Top officials to continue talks via teleconferencing this week

Trump’s Tariff War Doing The U.S. More Harm Than Good
A recent study by economists from the New York Federal Reserve Bank and Columbia and Princeton Universities, entitled “The Impact of the 2018 Trade War on U.S. Prices and Welfare,” found that the principal victims of Trump’s tariff war were American consumers. “[We] find that the full incidence of the tariff falls on domestic consumers, with a reduction in U.S. real income of $1.4 billion per month by the end of 2018,

Trump’s Tariff War Doing The U.S. More Harm Than Good

China refuses to give up ‘developing country’ status at WTO despite US demands
Beijing calls the special and differential treatment a ‘fundamental right’, says it will not cede to Donald Trump’s demands on World Trade Organisation reform China says it will team with other developing members, including India, South Africa and Venezuela, to win the battle over future of WTO

China’s bulging piggy bank adds to WTO tension
Beijing stands firm on ‘developing nation’ status despite its powerhouse manufacturing and high-tech sectors China has the largest piggy bank on the planet, containing more than US$3 trillion in foreign reserves.

In Trump’s Economy, the Invisible Hand Belongs to the Government
The state’s role in the U.S. economy has expanded dramatically under President Trump, even as he pushes China to exert less control
In Trump’s Economy, the Invisible Hand Belongs to the Government

China pledges to remove ‘unreasonable barriers and restrictions’ to help SMEs amid trade war
The mainland government will also seek to create a level playing field for businesses, most of which are privately-owned, in terms of market entry and regulation Small and medium-sized firms are vulnerable to trade disputes and an economic slowdown even though they contribute the majority of growth and employment

Commentary: A rising middle class and emerging tech giants – China’s decade of sweeping economic change
The changes China’s economy has undergone over the last decade are sweeping, unprecedented, an

Beijing’s ‘Made In China 2025’ plan isn’t dead, it’s out of control
The ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy, announced four years ago to great fanfare, targets a 70-per-cent self-sufficiency in critical components across a range of hi-tech industries But while authorities have publicly stopped talking about it, Beijing has continued to aggressively pursue the plan’s goals, with the central and local governments pouring billions into the development of new industries

China’s economy may not be as big as you were told
A report by the Brookings Institution, a Washington DC-based think tank, claims what economists have long suspected: China’s economic data is fudged. The report indicates that the size of China’s economy is around 12% smaller than official data shows. This is because real GDP growth has been inflated by an average of 1.7 percentage points between 2008 and 2016, due to the overstatement of local data as well as inflated investment and industrial production figures.

A Big Shift In China: Consumers Are Trading Down, Author Says
Slowing economic growth in China is taking some of the glow off of one of the country’s greatest attractions for foreign businesses: consumers’ willingness to splurge on higher-priced goods as incomes rise. So says Shanghai-headquartered business consultant Shaun Rein. “Labor markets are bad,” Rein said in an interview on Thursday. In addition, compared with the past, consumers are more accepting of better-made domestic goods. “They’re becoming more supportive and more nationalistic when it comes to Chinese brands,” he said. Apple, for instance, is running into problems in the country “due to the fact that they’re being outcompeted by Huawei, Oppo and Vivo at much better price points.”

Economic Watch: China’s consumption growth potential to beat expectations
Market observers are seeing more upside than expected in China’s economy with more signs of stabilizing in the first quarter and the consumption driver revving up.

China cuts tax on personal items bought overseas in move to boost consumption
The tax rate on products including computers, foodstuffs, gold and silverware, furniture and medicines will be lowered to 13 per cent from 15 per cent Analysts doubt whether the minor tax break will have a material impact on China’s sluggish consumer confidence

The Return of Craftsmanship in China
Despite these favorable conditions, it is challenging to generate a long-term relationship with Chinese consumers and shift their collective focus from Western luxury goods to homegrown Chinese brands. The devotion to Western (mainly European) brands has, over the years, built a strong resistance against the arts and crafts of local artisans and designers.

The Return of Craftsmanship in China

Don’t Breathe Easy About China Yet
If the government really gets serious about deleveraging, growth rates are going to plummet a lot faster than most people expect.

Putting the UK-EU split into perspective with a look at the wider world.
Brexit may be filling the headlines in Britain but in Europe investors are far more worried about China than the UK.

China’s foreign exchange reserves hit seven-month high of almost US$3.1 trillion in March
Monthly increase of nearly US$9 billion far higher than analysts’ forecasts With economy set to maintain reasonable growth and improved flexibility in yuan exchange rate, forex reserves will remain stable, regulator says

EV subsidy cuts give Chinese automakers more reason to fret
Fast-growing used-car market also takes toll on sales of new electrics Government subsidies and policy incentives have played a key role in the rapid development of electric vehicles in China. More than half of the world’s electric vehicles were sold in China last year. As of 2018, China offered 111 EV models, compared with 32 in Europe and 11 in the U.S., according to Nomura. But critics say government support is often abused by obscure companies, many of which have little research ability and can only exist with subsides. The government has been gradually reducing direct subsidies since 2016 to let the market play a bigger role. Currently, China’s green car market is dominated by domestic players, including Shenzhen-based BYD and state-owned BAIC Group. But the drastic subsidy reduction could open the market up to more international companies. Established automakers, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, have plans to roll out their first electric vehicles in the coming years.

China will dominate the world’s electric cars market — Quartz
This story is part of an ongoing series on how China is reshaping our world. Is the future of electric cars in China?

United States sets sights on China in new electric vehicle push
Government officials plan to meet carmakers and lithium miners in Washington next month, sources say China dominates electric vehicle supply chain – producing nearly two-thirds of lithium-ion batteries – and controls most of its lithium processing facilities

Alibaba-backed parenting platform Babytree to branch out globally, grow international revenue over three years
Hong Kong-listed company wants revenue from international business to exceed a third of its China sales Firm expects to continue growing despite ‘deep winter’ in Hong Kong capital market

Which city within the Greater Bay Area should Hong Kong’s residents consider for real estate investment?
The biggest barrier to property investment in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) is the legacy price-control regulation left from the 2017-2018 campaign to cool real estate prices Eligible buyers are limited to one residential property each. First-time buyers must put down at least 30 per cent of the property’s value, mortgaging the remainder

China’s banks defy Beijing by pumping loans into property, despite economic slowdown
Despite Beijing’s push for state-owned banks to lend more to private companies, half of new loans issued by China’s big six banks last year went to individual property buyers.Data retrieved through a South China Morning Post analysis of the banks’ reported annual results underscores the challenges faced by Beijing in guiding more money into the real economy, amid mounting worries about higher household debt and a new housing bubble

China may open door to WFOE public fund sales
Foreign-owned fund managers could be given regulatory approval to raise public funds in 2021: sources

China’s $1 Trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund Has Gone Quiet
China’s sovereign wealth fund was set up in 2007 to much fanfare. It was supposed to be a vehicle that helped invest the country’s massive pile of foreign-exchange reserves abroad through big-ticket deals.

Big-time investors are snapping up China’s junk bonds
Chinese property developers dominated the issuance of U.S. dollar-denominated junk bonds in the first three months of 2019, according to a report by research firm CreditSights. In a sign of greater risk appetite by investors this year, many high-yield bonds issued by Chinese developers in the first quarter come with longer maturities, CreditSights said. BlackRock, Pimco and UBS are among investors who say high-yield bonds by Chinese property developers are an attractive investment this year.

Party on: Real estate booms in cradle of China’s Communist revolution
Staring at an array of floor plans in a showroom packed with models of apartment blocks set to go up in the northwestern city of Yanan, the young couple was faced with a tough decision.

China’s new credit rating system will even monitor people’s utility bill payments
System developed by central bank to help government better control debt likely to be introduced soon, state media says But prevalence of shadow banking means official databases can only know part of the story, analyst says

Investors gather to protest losses after P2P lender Tuandai collapses
More than 1,000 investors affected by the sudden collapse of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform late last month gathered outside of the company headquarters in Dongguan, a city in southern Guangdong province, over the weekend. Many investors who lost their life savings took to the streets seeking to recover their funds and urging the government to intervene. Hundreds of riot police were mobilized in response to the protests

Briefing: Investors gather to protest losses after P2P lender Tuandai collapses

Britain’s quest for a role in China’s Belt and Road is a journey to nowhere because of the UK’s disconnection from Europe
Britain is at the end of the road, not only because of its messy attempt to leave the European Union, but also because of its physical position with regard to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Unlike Italy, which is set to become a way station for the BRI’s march into continental Europe, all roads from Britain lead to nowhere

Belt and Road Initiative sustains Chinese trade growth despite marginal loss of momentum
Outlook for Chinese trade is being driven mainly by strong air imports and ocean exports
Important growth sectors include Machinery Parts, Industrial Raw Materials, and Chemicals & Products

India rejects China’s invite to attend Belt and Road Initiative meet for the second time
India along with the US and several other countries have been highlighting the concerns over the BRI projects, leaving a number of smaller countries in debt traps

India’s BRI rejection means lost opportunities: experts
India’s refusal to cooperate under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will make it lose many growth opportunities and harm its connectivity with other countries in South Asia, experts said Monday.

Greece’s ancient civilisation was once a lure for China’s leaders. Now it could prove their nemesis
China’s grand plans for the port of Piraeus near Athens are running into difficulties, partly because of the heritage that attracted Beijing in the first place The Greek Central Archaeological Council unanimously turned down an expansion plan

Standard Chartered says Belt and Road initiative will boost China and Africa trade
Standard Chartered Bank on Friday said that the “Belt and Road Initiative” will not only boost trade and investment opportunities between China and South Africa but will also provide economic development opportunities between China and various African countries.

G7 stays silent over China’s Belt and Road Initiative after failing to reach consensus
World’s leading economies unable to agree joint approach to infrastructure project after Italy became first member to join

Small factories in northern China count the cost of Beijing’s war on pollution
Workshops in Shijiazhuang, Hebei were told to halt production in November to help curb smog over winter – but machinery still lies idle at some One factory manager puts losses at US$298,000 and says he’s had to lay off dozens of workers at his foundry

China’s virtual reality arcades aim for real-world success
China had an estimated 3,000 such places in 2016 and the market was forecast to grow 13-fold between then and 2021 to US$782 million Expansion in next five years could see country dominate AR/VR long term, report says

Tencent ‘s game store is available outside of China
It’s not much competition for its partner Epic’s store, at least not yet

China needs to ‘ensure a smooth switch’ amid rising demand for natural gas
Boss of main supplier in Beijing expects 14 per cent more of the clean-burning fuel to be consumed this year than in 2018 Li Yalan says efforts to better connect end users with suppliers are needed

French companies eye broader investment in China
French companies have been entering the Chinese market and tapping its potential in elderly care, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and other fields

US federal prosecutors take aim at Chinese economic espionage
Massachusetts seen as ‘target-rich environment’ for intellectual property theft due to its research universities, biotech, cybersecurity and defence firms Officials at local companies and colleges have been encouraged to bring suspected instances of espionage to attention of federal investigators

Xi Jinping’s speech shows China’s Communist Party is still haunted by the fall of the Soviet Union
The release of a six-year-old speech by the Chinese president is significant for both its timing and its content Xi’s warning of the long struggle ahead between socialism and capitalism is being circulated as the People’s Republic reaches its 70th anniversary – a mark the USSR never reached

China and ‘inter-civilization exchanges’
In his UNESCO address, Xi orated beautifully about diversity, equality, inclusiveness and harmony without uniformity, yet his regime has done very little – and in some areas, the opposite – of what he preached

The 21st: China’s century?
The 20th century has been called “The American century,” and the period 1815 to 1914 was “Britain’s imperial century.” That’s when one country is dominant in political, military and economic terms.

The 21st: China’s century?

US prepares to open new de facto embassy in Taipei amid ‘policy shift’ on Taiwan
Nearly 500 staff – including military personnel – will move to the US$255 million American Institute in Taiwan complex on May 6 Analysts say AIT has become ‘a lot more high-profile’ since Donald Trump became president, as calls grow for Washington to elevate ties with the island

China’s Rise and Modern Military Technology: Part I
What are the proper historical analogies to use when analyzing China’s military-technological rise in recent decades?

This election, Taiwan must choose: Chinese cash or American freedom
As the island’s presidential campaign season begins, its troubled relationship with the Chinese mainland will be front and centre stage.

Chinese mortuary uses 3D printing to help rebuild the faces of accident victims
Undertakers in Guangzhou say the technique allows them to more accurately reconstruct the features of people who were badly disfigured in accidents

Fears over Hong Kong-China extradition plans
Hong Kong is part of China but has its own judicial system The Hong Kong government has proposed changes to extradition laws that could allow transferring suspects to mainland China for trial. The move has further fuelled fears of erosion of the city’s judicial independence amid Beijing’s increasing influence.

Why the Chinese Internet Has a Hate Speech Problem
The feminist writer Zheng Churan observes a correlation between China’s emerging nouveau riche and the rise of xenophobia.

Why the Chinese Internet Has a Hate Speech Problem

Cyber-Sovereignty and China’s Great Firewall: An Interview With James Griffiths
James Griffiths is a CNN reporter and producer based in Hong Kong. His new book, released last month and distributed for Zed Books by The University of Chicago Press is called The Great Firewall of China: How to Build and Control an Alternative Version of the Internet. In it, he describes the cultural, political, and other historical forces that led to China cordoning off its Internet from the rest of the world.

Thieves fool smartphone facial recognition to steal Chinese man’s life savings
A pair of thieves managed to unlock a sleeping man’s smartphone and steal more than RMB 12,000 (around $1,800) as a result of faulty facial recognition technology. Police charged two of the victim’s roommates with theft after an investigation found they had unlocked the victim’s phone while he was sleeping to transfer the money using WeChat. The smartphone brand was not identified but police said it cost around RMB 1,000.

Briefing: Thieves fool smartphone facial recognition to steal Chinese man’s life savings

As Chinese Buy French Vineyards, Names Like Château Imperial Rabbit Rattle Purists
Renamed estates stir consternation among tradition-bound French. Rabbits are hunted in the Bordeaux, they note, and there are no “Tibetan Antelopes.”

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