China’s economic future is being influenced by nine economists, but what did they tell Xi Jinping this week?
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with nine prominent economists this week to help with the development of the 14th five-year plan for 2021-25 which is due next year. Each of the economists has advocated specific policies that could shed light on Beijing’s policy priorities in the years ahead.
China’s factory activity likely grew at slightly faster pace in August: Reuters poll
China’s factory activity likely expanded at a slightly faster pace in August, fuelled by rising infrastructure spending and improving global demand, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, as the Chinese economy continues to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
EU must correct China economic ties before it’s too late: Josep Borrell
The European Union’s top diplomat has labelled China as a “new empire” on a par with Russia, calling on the bloc’s members to “correct” economic imbalances with Beijing before it is “too late”.Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, made the assessment in two opinion pieces in French and Spanish publications on the weekend, as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in France on his European tour.
China seeks to manage crisis, shore up ties with diplomatic flurry in Europe and Asia
Latest charm offensive indicates strategic importance of its neighbours and EU countries in the long game with Washington. Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a five-nation European tour, and Politburo member Yang Jiechi is also expected to visit the continent this week.
China seeks French cooperation in fight against Covid-19
Foreign Minister Wang Yi tells French President Emmanuel Macron that their countries should also work together to defend multilateralism. French leader says country will not ban Huawei, but has decided not to use it to build its 5G network for security reasons.
China calls on Europe to unite against ‘extremist’ US forces
We never talk about ‘China first’, Chinese foreign minister says in Paris on second-last stop on European tour. French counterpart raises concerns about human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
France won’t ban Huawei as relations with China remain ‘stable and mature’
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday (French time) met with French President Emmanuel Macron during his ongoing European tour and the two discussed a wide range of topics including co-developing a COVID-19 vaccine and France’s pledge not to ban Chinese tech company Huawei.
Huawei has increased investment in Russia because of US sanctions, founder Ren Zhengfei says
Huawei still ‘trying to find a way to cope with the US ban on chips’, says the head of its consumer business group. It is now focusing more on its budding cloud business, which still has access to US chips, according to Financial Times.
China’s new tech export restrictions further cloud US TikTok sale and raise the risk of protectionism
The new rules come at a time of worsening relations between Washington and Beijing, with trade and tech tensions on the rise. Approval timetable would still be compatible with the November 12 deadline set by Trump’s second TikTok executive order, requiring a TikTok sale.
China’s revised tech export controls could give Beijing a say in TikTok sale
China has added 23 new items of technologies restricted for export, including personal information push services and artificial intelligence interactive interface. Beijing has said that it opposes the Trump administration’s executive orders directed at TikTok.
Bytedance to obey China tech export rule as Tiktok sale nears
Tiktok owner Bytedance said Sunday it will “strictly comply with” a Chinese technology export regulation, which was updated last week to ban the export of limited technologies, potentially including those used by the popular video-sharing app. The development adds a new twist to Bytedance’s negotiations with the American companies that want to buy Tiktok’s US operations, including Microsoft, Oracle, and Walmart.
China Construction Bank posts worst earnings in more than a decade on bad loan surge
Net income fell 11 per cent to 137.6 billion yuan (US$20 billion) in the first half from 154.2 billion yuan a year earlier, according to exchange filing Stock has declined 16 per cent this year, deeper than the 9.8 per cent loss in the Hang Seng Index.
China’s mega banks lost billions of dollars in profit as bad loans rise during coronavirus pandemic
Chinese banks, among the world’s largest by assets, have been placed at the front line of government effort to soften the economic blow on households and businesses. As a result, the five largest Chinese banks posted at least 10% year-on-year declines in profit for the first half of 2020 as they set aside more funds for potential loan losses in the coming months. The five lenders — Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and Bank of Communications — released their latest financial report cards last week.
G20 debt relief for Africa may be too little too late as coronavirus pandemic takes toll
Economic Commission for Africa negotiator says she is not aware of any African countries gaining from China debt relief under G20 deal. Eligible countries spend US$92 million a day on debt payments when they could be tackling pandemic-related crises: campaigner.
Dongfeng Motor tells investors ‘no excuses’ in plans for 2020 goals, Shenzhen stock offering as China vehicle sales rebound
Carmaker to implement goals “with strong style”, chairman says in unusually colourful language in first-half earnings report. Jefferies upgrades the stock to “buy” with a target price of HK$6.70, implying about 20 per cent upside from current levels.
Shenzhen’s success story holds lessons even as US-China tech war bites
China’s ‘Silicon Valley’, home to the likes of Huawei and Tencent, was once ridiculed for harbouring hopes of becoming a tech and innovation hub. Its transformation is the result of a talent scheme by a city government that has learnt to tango with the private sector.
US sanctions on China’s Huawei spell trouble for Shenzhen economy
Huawei’s success has been a major factor in Shenzhen’s transformation from a fishing village to an international tech hub. Analysts say US sanctions on the company will be a blow not just to the city, but the broader Chinese economy.
China’s embattled HNA cedes control of baggage handler Swissport to senior creditors in €1.9 billion debt-for-equity swap
Hainan-based HNA, which had been trying to sell Swissport since its international expansion unravelled spectacularly, agrees to €1.9 billion of debt to be converted into equity or extinguished. Swissport secures €500 million in new long-term facility and €300 million additional interim facility
China revises list of technologies banned, restricted for export
The government has added 23 new items of technologies restricted for export, including those on space material production and laser. The last revision of this list was made in 2008.
How ‘see now, buy now’ culture and superior social media apps put Chinese influencers way ahead of those in the West
China’s key opinion leaders on social media have weathered the coronavirus storm quite well, while influencers in the West have seen their earnings plunge. Western influencers haven’t lost relevance thanks in part to political activism, even if they can’t sell through Instagram as easily as KOLs do on Chinese apps.
Coronavirus: students go back to school in China after authorities say pandemic is under control
Campuses across the country – from kindergarten to university – started a staggered reopening from Monday. But the new academic year will begin online in Xinjiang after recent outbreak of cases.
Four Chinese COVID-19 vaccines undergoing phase-3 clinical trials
Four Chinese COVID-19 vaccine candidates have started international phase-3 clinical trials, according to the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19.
Hong Kong’s pandemic fatigue: we’re sick of Covid-19 and a government we can’t trust
The public has been diagnosed with ‘anti-epidemic fatigue’ by officials. If they really understood what that meant, they would know why Hongkongers aren’t rushing to join the mass-testing programme for Covid-19.
Green recovery: how Carrie Lam can protect Hong Kong from future pandemics and climate disaster
While suppressing the spread of Covid-19 must be a top priority, it would be irresponsible to overlook the environmental crisis which, if not handled intelligently, will exacerbate losses to the economy and livelihoods in Hong Kong.
China’s anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine is politically motivated, industry figures say
Some Australian wines are discounted on e-commerce sites in China, though insiders reject allegations of cheap wine dumping, given its high production costs Ministry of Commerce probe could take more than a year, but there are concerns that thousands of jobs may be lost in Australia before investigation concludes.
Chinese-born Australian CCTV journalist detained in China
A Chinese-born Australian journalist for CGTN, the English-language channel of China Central Television, has been detained in China, Australia’s government said Monday.
Housing, not GDP: Carrie Lam must focus on what really matters to Hong Kong in her next policy address
The pandemic-stricken world needs to rethink how we measure well-being. In Hong Kong, the chief executive must realise that restoring growth matters less than delivering on her promise to solve the housing problem.
Weaponising China’s export of medicines is wrong, immoral and should be denounced
High-profile economist Li Daokui said that Beijing could restrict drug exports to the US if the Trump administration was to cut China’s access to semiconductors. Washington has been ratcheting up attacks on Chinese tech firms, including starving Huawei of components made by American companies.
Mao’s China falsely claimed it had eradicated this disease. It was a big cover-up
By focusing on this campaign in the middle of pandemic, China revealed just how little the relationship between propaganda and public health has changed since the 1950s. In post-Mao China, mass media propaganda about the state’s success in improving people’s health concealed the reality of poor and mismanaged healthcare. In 2020, the same propaganda message has been used during the COVID-19 epidemic too.In her seminal study on totalitarianism, the philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote that: “What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part.”China’s decision to air the documentary in April was a calculated one. By identifying with the victory narrative of the Maoist anti-schistosomiasis campaign, the otherwise hapless and frightened people in a totalitarian state could at least feel proud for being a member of a heroic nation that they believed was the first and only country to have eradicated schistosomiasis. By placing the struggle against COVID-19 within a victory narrative of improving health, the Chinese government continues to create a false sense of security and cohesion – one they require to ensure the stability needed to remain in power.
The colossal scale of China’s coronavirus censorship on WeChat
“The blunt range of censored content goes beyond what we expected, including general health information such as the fact [that] the virus spreads from human contact”
No country for grieving men as artist Ai Weiwei turns a lens on Wuhan outbreak
“Coronation”, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s latest documentary directed remotely from Europe, probes how ordinary citizens in Wuhan coped during the height of the coronavirus pandemic under the gaze of the all-monitoring state determined to relay a narrative of efficiency, not human loss or sorrow.
Crops at risk as southern China battles worst locust infestation in decades
Villagers in Yunnan province say the impact has been far worse than they feared. Corn supplies are particularly vulnerable at a time when concerns about food security are already increasing.
Southeast Asia is Ground Zero in the New U.S.-China Conflict—and Beijing Is Winning
‘Under Beijing’s Shadow’ lays out in compelling detail how China is working to dominate the region.
South China Sea: how the US can head off an ugly showdown with China
Amid heightened tensions, the best scenario involves negotiations and power sharing. In the worst case, a clash leaves the region a cold-war zone, drives away oil and gas firms, and possibly splits Asean. Unless the US is ready for war, it must learn to accommodate China.
Why does Taiwan treat fleeing Hong Kong activists as illegal immigrants after inciting them?
Yonden Lhatoo calls out the Taipei government for promising a safe haven for young anti-Beijing activists fleeing the city and failing to deliver as they risk their lives to reach the self-ruled island.
China’s foreign minister says Czech senate president will ‘pay heavy price’ for visiting Taiwan
Milos Vystrcil defies Wang Yi’s warnings he will ‘make an enemy of the Chinese people’. Czech visitor says two sides share democratic values and it is important to stand for freedom worldwide.
Premature concerns over Hong Kong
China’s gateway to world’s financial markets Rather than retaliation to deteriorating US-China relations, the controversial law is seen as a necessary step by Beijing in safeguarding China’s national security and sovereignty in President Xi Jinping’s ‘other grand plan’ (in other words, not the Belt and Road initiative), the Greater Bay Area. Beijing wants to turn the region into a unified economic hub and an innovation and technology powerhouse to rival Silicon Valley. This transformation would cement Hong Kong as a crucial financial centre for China. Foreign investors have always seen the region as a gateway to China, and this geo-economic union of 11 cities will foster stronger bonds between Hong Kong and mainland financial, commercial and educational systems. The city is repositioning itself for China’s new economy, but Hong Kong won’t become ‘essentially just another Chinese city’. The financial centre, which has tactfully converged interests to manage as best it can Beijing’s ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement, will play a key role in the ‘one world, two systems’ framework borne out of US-China economic and technological decoupling.
US-China relations: Chinese military mounts another show of force in Bohai and Yellow seas
Exercises are the latest in a string of manoeuvres Beijing has made public this month. Efforts are meant to intimidate the United States and Taiwan, Chinese analyst says.
Playing laser tag: US dominance and Chinese ambition point to new arms race
The US is the leader in directed-energy weapons but China has been accused of targeting American planes with military-grade laser beams Both sides are developing laser weapons and equipping warships to be able to launch them.
China and India’s road to peace blocked as both sides build in border region
A lopsided approach to infrastructure development in the Himalayas is key sticking point as post-clash talks stall. Tensions remain high with Indian disagreement over equal rate of troop withdrawals from conflict zone.
Chinese President Xi Jinping turns focus onto Tibet border security
High-level policy meeting follows deadly clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers along disputed frontier. Xi told senior officials to work to ensure national security in first meeting of top Tibet policy body for five years.
China-India border dispute: army says it thwarted Chinese bid to alter status quo in eastern Ladakh
The Indian army said the latest flare-up took place along the Pangong Tso lake Military officials of the two countries were holding a meeting at a border point to resolve the crisis.
Donald Trump’s national security adviser calls Beijing’s South China Sea claims ‘ridiculous’
Robert O’Brien says China’s claim to nearly the entire ocean that Southeast Asian countries claim part of has been ‘rejected by all major countries’ O’Brien says high-level meetings of ‘the quad’, comprising the US, Japan, Australia and India are being planned for September and October.
China’s rise: why US advocacy for confrontation leaves Asia cold
Asian nations recognise that the balance of global order has changed, and China’s rise – backed by both economic and military might – must be accommodated In the minds of pragmatic Asians, America’s spin of a fight between good and evil only raises questions about US judgment and motivations.
Why Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s resignation is unlikely to change approach to China
The Liberal Democrat leader announced that he would step down due to health issues. Analysts believe that whoever succeeds him will want to continue the balancing act between China and the United States.
China’s urbanisation has fuelled economic growth, but without redirection it will come at a cost
China’s new urbanisation strategy focuses on city clusters, which will improve economic efficiency and prevent white elephant infrastructure projects But the change is likely to have far-reaching implications for China’s regional development, with many small towns doomed to die while big cities prosper.
Period poverty in China and how one group of girls aims to end it – a school at a time
A 17-year-old high school student and her friends in Chengdu are raising money to ensure that hundreds of girls in an impoverished community have access to sanitary products. The goal is to ease a health and welfare problem that stops many from attending school each month.
29 Dead in Building Collapse as Birthday Celebration Goes Awry
Linfen residents had built the banquet hall out of cheaper, more lightweight construction materials, though the cause of the incident is still being investigated.
China censors Thomas Piketty’s book that touches on nation’s growing inequality
President Xi Jinping heaped lavish praise on French economist Thomas Pikkety’s first book Capital in the 21st Century, which critiqued the failings of capitalism. But Pikkety says his latest book on inequality is unavailable in the mainland because he has refused to allow sections critical of China’s wealth gap to be censored. While Piketty’s new book by no means targets China, it spends several pages talking about the party’s tolerance for rising inequality, the opacity of official data on income and wealth distribution, and the paradox between a socialist political system and a highly unequal society. The share of China’s wealth held by the richest 10 per cent of the population was about 40 per cent to 50 per cent in the early 1990s, a level of inequality below that of Sweden. But by 2018, that had grown to nearly to 70 per cent – close to that of highly unequal societies like the US, according to data cited by Piketty.
Virtual tours of China giving a ‘try before you buy’ taste of the country – and could be what the tourism industry needs when physical travel resumes
Virtual reality is helping tour operators in China survive the pandemic but will only ever be the ‘next best thing’ while technical limitations remain. Their true worth could be in helping potential tourists decide if a country is worth visiting and drumming up positive publicity at a difficult time.
podcast 8 Tips for Doing Business in China
1. Use your own interpreters 2. Do proper due diligence 3. Register IP early 4. Use bilingual NDAs or NNNs 5. Don’t sign short form agreements 6. Use unsigned, non-binding term sheets in negotiations7. Use bilingual agreements with the right choice of controlling language (usually Chinese) 8. Make the right choice of law and jurisdiction (usually PRC law and jurisdiction)
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