US-China confrontation would be ‘disaster’, Xi tells Biden in first call
White House says Biden raised trade, human rights and Indo-Pacific region in first call to Beijing since his inauguration. Leaders exchange Lunar New Year greetings in goodwill call aimed at reshaping US-China relations.
US-China relations are at a crossroad under Biden administration: Academic
The US-China relations are at a crossroad under the administration of new President Joe Biden, says Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.
US-China relations: Xi and Biden break the ice with phone call, but can they dial down tensions?
Analysts say conversation is a first step in getting ties on the right track, but Washington is expected to continue taking a tough line on Beijing US messaging emphasised concerns raised on economic practices, human rights and Taiwan, while China focused on cooperation and dialogue
Europe to Coax U.S. Back to WTO Amid Growing China Challenge
The European Union will step up appeals to the U.S. to align its foreign policy priorities with the bloc, arguing that a common western front would stand a better chance of forcing China to pursue fairer trade policies. When the EU unveils its new trade strategy next week, it will concede that the U.S. had valid concerns when it blocked the World Trade Organization’s ability to rule on international disputes, and reform of the Geneva-based body should take those into consideration, according to a draft of the proposal seen by Bloomberg.
China eyes good start to 14th Five-Year Plan period ahead of Spring Festival
A New Year is a new beginning. With this year’s Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, just around the corner, China is also well prepared for the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period (2021-2025) and the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Ahead of the Spring Festival, Chinese President Xi Jinping extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese Wednesday at a reception in Beijing and called for a good start in boosting the country’s development during the 14th FYP period so as to celebrate the Party’s centenary with outstanding achievements.
Chinese factory prices rise for the first time in a year
CONTRARY TRENDS: China’s consumer price index edged down more than expected while the authorities encouraged people to reduce Lunar New Year holiday travel
Goldman, other financial firms add China staff, eyeing growth
Global financial firms including Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and Fidelity International are poised to add hundreds of staff in China this year as they look to take advantage of the opening up of its $40 trillion financial sector. Beijing in the last one-and-a-half years stepped up the pace of liberalisation mainly as part of a trade deal with the United States, and allowed foreigners to fully own their local ventures in areas including investment banking and asset management
China ups anti-monopoly reforms to curb digital platform power
China recently joined the global anti-monopoly movement, placing its leading digital platforms under closer scrutiny. Released in November 2020, China’s new draft anti-monopoly guidelines target anti-competitive behaviour in the internet sector such as forced exclusivity, big data price discrimination, use of subsidies to crowd out competition and exclusive cooperation agreements.
TikTok continues negotiations with Washington on sale of US assets, legal cases put on hold
White House calls a report that the sale had been shelved indefinitely because of a review by the Biden administration ‘not accurate’ Discussions with the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the US continue, a person familiar with the negotiations says
Is China the New Champion of Globalization?
Can China credibly profess the virtues of globalization to achieve harmony and balance in an international system if it doesn’t adhere to international law? Can China credibly profess the virtues of globalization to achieve harmony and balance in an international system if it doesn’t adhere to international law? Can Beijing speak of cooperation to solve global problems when it has withheld vital information about the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic? As Xi Jinping continues to steer the Middle Kingdom out of its historical isolation, avoiding challenging the United States for the position of world leader will be difficult, given China’s demographics and economic status. Will these two Weltanschauungen, two comprehensively different conceptions of the world, sooner or later present the international community with a choice?
An open China is a window of opportunity for Europe and world
Taking Belgium as an example, in 2020, bilateral trade between China and Belgium registered $28.597bn. Belgian exports to China increased by 14.2 percent against a contracting world economy. This shows the Chinese market helps boost China-Belgium and China-EU pragmatic cooperation, and China’s development brings opportunities to Belgium and Europe. This is also favourable to the economic recovery of Belgium and Europe under the impact of the epidemic. China will take greater strides in opening up to promote mutually beneficial cooperation with Europe and the world. China will stay committed to globalisation, and the fundamental national policy of opening up and the win-win strategy of opening-up.
The EU’s front line with China: Stockholm
Beijing is threatening retaliation over Sweden’s ban on Huawei and ZTE in 5G contracts. Sweden’s travails are of wider interest to the EU because they touch on important questions which many countries in the bloc face, namely where to draw the line between often lucrative commercial deals with China and concerns over China’s human rights record and its history of spying on Western nations Sweden has emerged once again as the front line in the European Union’s tensions with China. Or more precisely, the Stockholm suburb of Kista, where some of the leading players in the latest stand-off in the new Cold War are clustered within each other’s sights. Sweden’s fight with China kicked off over human rights in 2015 with the detention of a Swedish-Chinese bookseller, but has now escalated into a technology showdown after Stockholm late last year blocked two Chinese companies, Huawei and ZTE, from supplying core 5G infrastructure. Punching back at Swedish charges that the kit could be used for spying, Beijing is now raising the specter of retaliation against Swedish businesses. Several key actors in that drama are huddled together in Stockholm’s high-tech focused business quarter of Kista, north west of the center. On one side of a snowy parking lot, the local staff of Huawei work from a modest red-brick office block adorned with the company’s fan-like logo.
China’s environmental push away from plastics having knock on effects in paper industry, bubble tea shops
China banned single-use plastic straws in all restaurants by the end of 2020 as part of Beijing’s new policy initiative to reduce environmental pollution The price of paper has since soared to a near two-year high, with some mills forced to increase their prices at least three times since the end of last year
China’s clampdown on harmful emissions puts ozone layer rescue back on track
Here’s some good news: when people put their mind to it, they can act on climate.
Research published on Wednesday has shown a significant drop in emissions of a banned ozone-depleting chemical after China clamped down on its illegal production. As a result of this drop, the recovery of the ozone layer has resumed. The ozone layer is the world’s shield against ultraviolet radiation, which is known to cause skin cancer. It has been significantly damaged by dangerous man-made chemicals, including those known as CFCs.
The Smell of Success: How Niche Perfumes Perform in China
In China, consumers are still learning about perfumes. Growth has been slow, but for niche brands, now is a great time to find opportunities.
Chinese court puts HNA Group into bankruptcy administration
A Chinese court has placed HNA Group and many of its affiliates into administration in response to a creditors’ petition for a bankruptcy restructuring of the sprawling corporate empire.The People’s High Court of Hainan Province, where HNA is based, has appointed a team to manage the group’s affairs, according to stock exchange disclosures on Wednesday and Thursday by about a dozen affiliated companies listed in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. The eight carriers under the wing of Hainan Airlines Group operated 346 aircraft as of Dec. 31. In the wake of the filing of the creditors’ petition on Jan. 29, the three companies had disclosed the discovery following an investigation ordered by Beijing in October that more than 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) of their combined assets had been siphoned away by HNA Group and other affiliates. Hainan Airlines, the fourth-largest mainland Chinese carrier, will enter restructuring against the background of an aviation sector already highly stressed by the coronavirus pandemic. a more fundamental restructuring, which was probably already taking place before the COVID-19 crisis Observers believe a court-administered restructuring will be positive overall for HNA’s businesses.
With 200 UK academics to be probed over China links… why we have only ourselves to blame, writes
Chinese spies have been looting British universities for years. That is one scandal. The other – even more outrageous – is that we are only now waking up to it. The fact that almost 200 leading UK academics are being investigated for their unwitting connections to Chinese weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programmes is scarcely surprising. As the think-tank Civitas details in its new report, 20 British universities have relationships with 29 military-linked Chinese universities and nine military-linked firms.
Chinese spying fears revived by security probe into Australian universities
An inquiry into foreign interference in Australia’s higher education sector, which relies heavily on exchanges with China, will report its findings in July Universities Australia and academics have cautioned against overreach, warning that driving political agendas could result in an ‘own goal’
Biden announces new Pentagon task force to evaluate China-related strategy, tech and operations
President describes US-China rivalry as ‘the competition of the future’, expresses concern about ‘growing challenges’ posed by Beijing Task force, which will also examine intelligence and alliances, will deliver its recommendations to Austin within four months
Taiwan envoy’s meeting with Biden official a sign of how US regards Taipei and disregards Beijing’s warning
Hsiao Bi-khim not only met US acting assistant secretary Sung Kim but both sides declared it publicly on social media Biden may regard US-Taiwan relations and US-China relations separately, without one affecting the other, says analyst
India-China Conflict: Has China Bitten Off More Than It Can Chew?
Have the Chinese ‘backed off’? Because the other option for them would have been to escalate the situation.
After Mekong, China focuses to take control over Brahmaputra’s water
In yet another example where China has run into rough waters with its neighbours, the country has planned to build the world’s biggest dam on River Brahmaputra – a 60-gigawatt mega-dam in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), reported Al Jazeera.
South China Sea: why stormy reactions to China’s new coastguard law are overblown
The Chinese coastguard’s functions are similar to those of its counterparts in the region and the US, and provisions in the law on the use of force and weapons neither violate international law nor exceed current state practices
China-Australia relations: allowing coal ships to dock on humanitarian grounds not seen as softening of import ban
China unofficially stopped importing Australian coal – both thermal coal used for electricity generation and coking coal – in October amid escalating tensions Eight vessels have been given permission to dock at three northern ports in China on humanitarian grounds with some ships having been at sea since June
Myanmar coup latest: Protesters gather around Chinese embassy
NLD lawmaker welcomes US sanctions; military spokesman has ‘nothing to say’
India and China Use Vaccines as Diplomacy Tools
India, China, the U.A.E. and others dole out donations in countries where they seek sway. In some cases, they are sending doses despite pressing needs at home.
The newest diplomatic currency: Covid-19 vaccines
India, the unmatched vaccine manufacturing power, is giving away millions of doses to neighbors friendly and estranged. It is trying to counter China, which has made doling out shots a central plank of its foreign relations. And the United Arab Emirates, drawing on its oil riches, is buying jabs on behalf of its allies.
Why One Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine, in Particular, is Poised to Have a Huge Impact in the Developing World
A new Chinese-made vaccine emerged from late-stage clinical trials this week, well-positioned to help overcome a number of the obstacles that have hampered large-scale distribution of COVID-19 jabs to the world’s poorest countries, including many in Africa.
Monday’s announcement by Pakistani health advisor Faisal Sultan that CanSino Biologics’ vaccine emerged from late-stage clinical trials with a 65.7% efficacy rate. That by itself is encouraging, given that it’s far above the 50% rate required by the WHO for certification. But more importantly, the CanBio jab has a number of features that make it especially appealing for developing countries:
The WHO Should Be More Wary of China
From the recent investigation in Wuhan and beyond, the WHO is staking its credibility on the word of a malicious actor.
Chinese turn to on-call coronavirus testing during holiday travel rush
Tests are compulsory for many travellers to rural areas, and that could be a boon for private firms offering personalised services Swab tests at home or work can be booked on mobile apps to avoid long waits at test centres or hospitals
China’s coronavirus fears curb migrant worker travel over Lunar New Year, but small factories to stay shut
China’s annual Lunar New Year exodus of migrant workers from big cities has been put on hold this year as authorities encourage workers to stay in place Employers say with more workers staying in big cities, recruitment after the holiday will be easier and businesses will be able to rapidly resume operations
Shanghai Normally Empties for Spring Festival. But Not This Year.
As the Lunar New Year holiday begins, the Chinese city remains surprisingly busy, with COVID-19 concerns causing many to cancel their travel plans.
New year as festive as ever for those in Wuhan
People thronged the streets of Wuhan this week, as they made final preparations for the Lunar New Year to bring the curtain down on a year marred by the coronavirus pandemic that killed thousands. The outbreak, which first emerged in Wuhan in late 2019, prompted authorities to enforce a complete shutdown between the end of January and early April last year, as hospitals overflowed with the sick and dying.
ALIBABA ECOSYSTEM GOES ALL-IN FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR
Separated families, like the Wangs, have fueled a surge in e-commerce gifting ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday. On Feb. 4, when preparations for CNY traditionally begin, consumer searches for “gifts for parents” on Tmall jumped fourfold from the daily average. Popular purchases ranged from health-test appointments for seniors and noodle-making machines to electric toothbrushes and robotic vacuums.
To support this spike in delivery demand, Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao Network pledged to maintain operations over the period across more than 200 cities. Close to 50,000 of its Cainiao Post stations nationwide will also stay open for consumers to collect their parcels, including through contactless technologies such as self-serve pick-up machines and driverless carts. Some stations also offer community services, like grocery group-buying and pet-sitting.
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