China Press Review – January 20, 2020

Press review

Donald Trump really is Xi Jinping’s friend. The phase one US-China trade deal proves it
Pressure from the US president has helped China in a way its leaders would not want to acknowledge publicly This deal strengthens the hands of Beijing’s pro-reform officials and kick-starts long-delayed liberalisation nearly 20 years after China joined the WTO

With US trade deal, China kicks the can of economic reforms down the road – at greater cost to itself
Chinese’s promises to buy more from the US simply do not add up, while US tariffs remain on many Chinese imports and the tech war continues unabated. Chinese hopes to lift market sentiments with the deal will be short-lived. Its true path lies in economic independence and reforms

China’s 2020 growth rate prediction raised to 6.0 per cent by IMF after US trade war deal
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised up its gross domestic product (GDP) prediction from 5.8 per cent in October after the phase one deal was signed last week IMF cuts global GDP forecast for 2020 to 3.3 per cent from 3.4 per cent, with ‘lion’s share’ of the downward revision due to weaker growth in India

With US trade deal, China kicks the can of economic reforms down the road – at greater cost to itself
Chinese’s promises to buy more from the US simply do not add up, while US tariffs remain on many Chinese imports and the tech war continues unabated. Chinese hopes to lift market sentiments with the deal will be short-lived. Its true path lies in economic independence and reforms

US, China Sign Phase One Trade Deal: How to Read the Agreement
On January 15, 2020, the US and China signed the much-anticipated phase one trade deal (US-China Economic and Trade Agreement) in Washington DC. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) later released the full text of the deal in English and Chinese. This initial trade deal is perceived as the first sign of de-escalation in the protracted US-China trade war. Now going over 18 months, it has witnessed the world’s two biggest economies battle crises followed by back-and-forth negotiations week-on-week – not to mention a tit-for-tat tariff war, introduction of foreign technology restrictions, and cases being fought at the WTO.

US-China trade rapprochement round one
The conclusion of phase one of the trade negotiations between the United States and China has been welcomed by global markets because it has brushed off many uncertainties caused by the tense relationship between the world’s two largest economies over the past two years.

US-China trade rapprochement round one

Tenuous US-China trade deal comes as Beijing and Washington remain on a permanent collision course
China is stepping up the narrowing of its U.S. trade imbalance to reduce dependence on dollar-denominated transactions and a dollar-dominated world financial system. Beijing apparently sees that as the only way to protect its interests while remaining on a permanent collision course with the U.S. on war-and-peace issues, such as Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and China’s contested maritime borders. Washington should compete and vigorously defend its economic interests on the basis of free, fair and reciprocal trade and investment rules.

China tries to reassure European Union on trade amid discontent over US deal
Top diplomat Yang Jiechi says Beijing will work with bloc to ensure success of key goals as countdown begins in earnest to summit in September On sidelines of Libya conference in Germany, Yang says China is willing to work with international community on restoring peace to country divided by years of civil war

EU Won’t Meet China Halfway in Investment Talks-EU Trade Chief
The European Union wants to agree a deal with China this year to protect foreign investment and increase investment market access, but it will not meet Beijing halfway, EU trade chief Phil Hogan said on Monday. Hogan told a conference held by business lobby group BusinessEurope that the EU wanted to see “concrete progress” from China on opening up its markets.

Why China’s currency reserve managers must pay attention to the euro in 2020
The euro could be a major winner in the currency markets this year, as world trade and the German economy get back on track. If the euro rallies against the dollar, there are important implications for China’s currency reserve management

Even the Rat won’t create a jump for China
Soon, it will be Chinese New Year, and as always, many hope for a prosperous year- though it looks more like another year of hard work for China in order to move on, also at the political top-level.

Trade war: China’s US imports under phase one deal not ‘one-sided obligation’, Chinese scholars say
China agreed to buy additional US$200 billion worth of American goods and services over the next two years as part of the deal signed in Washington last week Scepticism remains over whether China can deliver the promised purchases as the ‘framework is based on the principles of the market economy’

China’s top economic planner approves investment projects worth 194 bln USD in 2019
China’s top economic planner said Sunday that it has approved 157 fixed-asset investment projects with combined investment totaling 1.33 trillion yuan (US$194 billion). A large part of the investment has gone into transportation and energy projects, according to Meng Wei, a spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Pork markets to become a big winner in the US-China trade truce
Just a day after the United States and China signed a phase 1 trade deal, The US Department of Agriculture released a report that delivers another optimistic message to US farmers: Chinese demand for pork is likely to boost the US pork markets in 2020.

Donald Trump tells US farmers that China trade deal will open way to big exports
With an eye on November’s polls, president says he will enforce phase one agreement that will lead to major purchases of US produce Trump uses farm convention address in Texas to take swipe at looming impeachment

Donald Trump’s campaign against Huawei is a symptom of digital orientalism, ignoring similarities in Chinese and Western surveillance
The US’ targeting of Huawei is rooted in long-standing fears that China might challenge the idea of civilisational superiority on which the West constructs itself Focusing on Chinese surveillance effaces the threat posed by Western tech giants

Tencent to broaden overseas investments, target smart retail activities
There are currently more than 800 companies in Tencent’s investment portfolio More than 70 of these firms are listed, while more than 160 are unicorns or start-ups with a market value of US$1 billion

Marco Rubio: Investing in China Is Not a Good Deal
It will result in American capital flowing to a regime that undermines our country. This is not a win.

If GDP doesn’t add up, how is the world to measure well-being and progress?
The world’s fixation with GDP has been questioned since the 1970s by Bhutan, which started measuring Gross National Happiness instead. Maryland is counting truly precious items like leisure. How can Apec contribute to the discussion? Blind and indiscriminate use of the GDP measure to suggest economic success – recall China’s mechanical ambition for the past three decades to ensure GDP grew at 8 per cent or higher – ignores the bad stuff that GDP includes, as well as the good and important things that it misses.

Chinese provinces lower growth targets after central government takes over task of compiling GDP figures
Revision follows move to address long-standing problem of combined provincial total exceeding national figure So far two thirds of local growth targets have been cut amid a renewed focus on ‘high-quality’ growth

Is China addicted to coal?
China is a country caught in the middle of a global struggle: to develop but also be green. It currently uses about as much coal as the rest of the world put together but it’s also a world leader in wind and solar production. According to the International Energy Agency, between 2019 and 2024 China will account for 40% of the global expansion in renewable energy.

China’s Cheap Electric Vehicles Could Disrupt Global Markets
While Western automakers race to capture market share in the world’s biggest electric car market, China, hundreds of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers have sprung up in recent years to snag a piece of the EV pie too. But China will continue to support its EV market, analysts say. China has more than 450 EV manufacturers who compete for a share of a market of 1.8 million vehicles at best, according to a recent analysis by the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).

How Technology will Change the Game for Luxury Brands
The next generation of luxury consumers was born into a digital world, so brands must provide them with seamless digital experiences or risk becoming obsolete.

How Technology will Change the Game for Luxury Brands

China’s retail sales grew by 8% in 2019; online up 16.5%
In 2019, the total retail sales of consumer goods in China reached 41,164.9 billion yuan (US$6,010 bn), up by 8.0% year-on-year (nominal growth rate). The real growth rate was 6.0%. Of the total, the retail sales of consumer goods excluding automobiles reached 37,226.0 billion yuan, with an increase of 9.0%.

China unveils sweeping plan to reduce single-use plastic by 2025
By the end of this year, non-degradable plastic bags will be banned in places such as supermarkets and shopping malls in major cities China will also significantly reduce the use of disposable plastic in e-commerce, express deliveries and takeaway food by 2022

China Intensifies Campaign Against Plastic Pollution
Though experts describe the new policy as a “milestone,” they also believe encouraging the use of biodegradable plastics is equally damaging to the environment. China plans to ban the production of certain single-use plastic items by the end of this year to curb the amount of waste clogging the country’s landfills and waterways.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton dismisses fears of 5G delays due to strict security rules
Breton dismissed claims that relying on European companies to build a 5G network would delay its roll-out He warned policymakers that 5G will require more stringent security rules than previous generations

China opposes ‘politicisation’ of 5G technology as US lobbies allies to exclude Huawei
Beijing says it opposes the politicisation of 5G technology and it is an exaggeration to link Chinese products with national security concerns The Trump administration has been urging Britain to ban Huawei from its future 5G networks on the grounds the equipment could be used for spying

China’s AI industry will be worth $30 BILLION by 2022
The artificial intelligence (AI) industry is growing steadily in China as Beijing aims to become the leader in the technology by 2030. China is leading the way in computer vision and language recognition, which is expected to boost the industry by more than $8 billion by 2022, according to a report by the Chinese Institute of Electronics. It projects that China’s AI industry will amount to $30 billion within two years, saying that talent is the key to AI development.

How China’s state-owned enterprises milk listed subsidiaries
Party, military and government interests override those of the shareholder

China’s per capita disposable income up 5.8% to US$4,488 in 2019
In 2019, the per capita disposable income of Chinese residents was 30,733 yuan (US$4,488), an increase of 8.9% in nominal terms over the same period of last year, and a real increase of 5.8% after deducting price factors, according to National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s financial credit database of 1 billion people, 28 million companies gets an upgrade
Latest version of central bank system, which lenders use to assess creditworthiness, provides more comprehensive profiles of firms, individuals, PBOC says Improvements part of Beijing’s broader plan to create a ‘credit society’ this year

China’s plan to slash health care costs sees global pharmaceutical firms crowded out of market
Manufacturers having to adjust to a new normal in China, which was once a lucrative market for their off-patent medications Latest bidding round sees Bayer cut the price of its diabetes drug acarbose by 80 per cent

New China virus: Cases triple as infection spreads to Beijing and Shanghai
The number of people infected with a new virus in China tripled over the weekend, with the outbreak spreading from Wuhan to other major cities. There are now more than 200 cases, mostly in Wuhan, though the respiratory illness has also been detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

TikTok creator ByteDance said to be ramping up video games challenge to Tencent
The games pipeline of ByteDance includes massively multiplayer online games with Chinese fantasy elements

Three Keys to Getting Paid When Selling To China
With Phase One of the US-China Trade deal requiring China to purchase large quantities of goods and services from the United States, it makes sense to write how to ensure payment when selling to China. When our China lawyers represent a client that will be providing products or services to a company in China, we usually start by asking about payment terms. If the Chinese company will be paying our client the full amount upfront, the contract provisions do not need to be too specific. But full upfront payment virtually is rare.

Three Keys to Getting Paid When Selling To China

Thawing China-Japan relations may have hit a cold front with latest World Trade Organisation move
As the two countries prepare for the Chinese president’s first state visit to Japan, their slowing economies should motivate greater cooperation However, Japan teaming up with the US and EU to push for WTO rules that strike at the heart of China’s economic model presents a challenge to closer ties

How investors can ferret out risks from US-China trade conflict and the Iran and North Korea crises for a prosperous Year of the Rat
The smart investor will do well to loosen risk appetites for the first and final quarters, when trade war truce and US election results are likely to boost markets, but watch for heightened uncertainty in the second and third quarters from Iran and North Korea, and US electioneering

China ‘will continue to oppose Taiwan independence’ after Tsai Ing-wen’s election victory
Senior official Wang Yang tells Taiwan Affairs Office situation will be ‘more complex and grim’ following president’s landslide election victory Beijing says it continues to favour the ‘one country, two systems’ model that Tsai has already rejected

Meet the Chinese robot worm that could crawl into your brain
Scientists in Shenzhen are developing a machine that sounds like a form of ancient black magic because it could enter the brain and send signals to the neurons Magnetically controlled device could be used to deliver drugs or interact directly with computers

Book Review – Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China
Betraying Big Brother is a necessary read to understand the role of women in Chinese society and why the feminist movement may be one of the few social movements to overcome the Chinese government’s persecution. Make no mistake, Fincher is not a neutral observer; she admits as much in the Introduction stating that she is a convert to the cause and friends with many of the women she writes about. But this doesn’t hinder her scholarship; she finds sufficient evidence to support her arguments. Fincher believes that China’s feminist movement will achieve its goals: there is broad discontent among women in China that crosses class lines and the creativity of these activists give them the uncanny ability to constantly influence public opinion even in light of the government’s crackdown. But while Betraying Big Brother is full of hope, Fincher is not naïve. She knows that the Chinese government will not give up without a fight and that things are going to get a lot worse for these activists before they get better. Huang Xueqin is a recent case in point.

Book Review – Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China

Chinese Communist Party’s ‘chauvinism’ a threat to peace: Japanese counterpart
Japan’s Communist Party is distancing itself from the CCP ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tokyo this year The JCP condemned human rights abuses and ‘hegemonism’ in the East China Sea and South China Sea

China and Russia’s push to develop hypersonic weapons raises fears of arms race with US
China became the first country to announce the deployment of the missiles, but Russia recently announced it had developed a much more advanced version the Avangard Defence analysts say the weapons are not a game changer for now but could give Moscow extra leverage in negotiations with the US

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
Place Sainctelette 2
1080 Bruxelles
Tél 02 421 85 09 – Fax 02 421 87 75
Copyright © 2019 awex, All rights reserved