Op-Ed: Xi is positioning China as the world’s indispensable economy — and Biden’s greatest challenge
China’s President Xi Jinping will deliver his keynote address at the World Economic Forum’s first global virtual meeting on Monday. Xi’s timing is designed for global impact, coming just five days after Biden’s inaugural. His message will leave little doubt that managing relations with China will be both President Joe Biden’s most immediate and most defining foreign policy challenge.
China’s provinces set confident economic growth targets for 2021
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong all forecast at least 6 per cent rise for year ahead But as in 2020, central government is unlikely to set a nominal goal for GDP growth, policy advisers say “Employment is the biggest issue of livelihood and the foundation of economic development, we must stick to an employment priority policy,” he said. The event was held to solicit the opinions of businesspeople and economists on drafts of the government’s 2021 work report, 14th five-year plan and 2035 vision, all three of which will be formally presented at this year’s National People’s Congress (NPC), according to a statement issued by the State Council on Saturday.
China’s export hub Guangdong remains cautious on economic outlook after tough 2020
Province sets relatively modest growth target of ‘over 6 per cent’ and avoids setting specific trade goals Last year saw the provincial economy increase by 6 per cent despite the impact of Covid-19, annual legislative meeting told
China’s Hubei targets 10% GDP growth after virus-ravaged year
Central China’s Hubei Province, once hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic, set its gross domestic product (GDP) growth target at more than 10 percent in 2021, Governor Wang Xiaodong said Sunday.
China’s state-led growth model to intensify in 2021 as ambitious provinces lay out growth targets
China is celebrating its 2.3 per cent economic growth rate in 2020 having bounced back from the impact of the coronavirus at the start of the year Over the last few days, China’s provinces have outlined their economic and social development plans for the year ahead, including growth rate targets
Why China’s economy is less healthy than it looks
Chinese GDP figures represent real economic activity, but it is not all productive economic activity. “GDP means something very different for China than it does for most other countries,” Michael Pettis, professor of finance at Peking University, told me. “In China, GDP growth is a target that, as long as it has debt capacity, [the government] can always achieve by forcing local governments to spend. In 2020, the Chinese economy performed badly, like the economies of the rest of the world.” China’s economy is currently unbalanced due to inequality, low levels of consumption and a heavy reliance on exports, and last year’s growth was made possible by increasing its debt levels – something the Communist Party had hoped to avoid.
Wuhan marks its anniversary with triumph and denial
Wuhan has long since recovered from the world’s first outbreak of Covid-19. It is now being remembered not as a disaster but as a victory, and with an insistence that the virus came from somewhere – anywhere – but here.
New Covid infections pose challenge to China’s growth and Xi’s leadership
The leader has declared victory over the virus, but a fresh outbreak is complicating the narrative
China’s vegetable prices hit record highs ahead of Lunar New Year due to cold winter, coronavirus lockdowns
A daily wholesale price index of agricultural products developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs surged to an all-time high on Monday The price of cauliflowers and cabbages rose more than 90 per cent last week compared to a year earlier, while the cost of eggs also rose
Fighting Covid-19 ‘like trying to catch rats in a china shop without breaking the plates’, says Chinese expert
Zhang Wenhong, one of the country’s best-known experts, said the world faces a ‘protracted war’ to stay on top of the disease without closing down completely China reported 80 new cases, plus 92 asymptomatic ones, on Sunday as it continues to battle the latest wave of infections The country has already vaccinated more than 15 million people as it prepares for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February. The travel season is usually the world’s largest annual human migration as people travel home to see their families.
China’s Economy Is Mostly Unfree and Likely to Stay That Way
The People’s Republic of China often pays lip service to reforming its bloated, inefficient state-owned enterprises. Unfortunately, reforms rarely pan out. China has not fared well in Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom, which measures economic governance in key areas related to economic growth and prosperity. Rated “mostly unfree,” the Chinese economy lags behind the majority of other countries in maximizing opportunities for growth.
China’s big three airlines put off Boeing and Airbus deliveries
State carriers took every plane ordered from domestic maker COMAC China’s three major state-owned airlines put off delivery of over 100 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus last year — but kept every single order from Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, in a show of support for the domestic manufacturer during the coronavirus pandemic.
China’s power generation growth continues to accelerate in 2020
China saw its growth of power production continue to accelerate in 2020, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. In 2020, China’s power generation hit 7.42 trillion kilowatts hours (kWh), an increase of 2.7 percent year on year. In December alone, the country’s power output rose 9.1 percent from a year ago to 727.7 billion kWh. The growth rate was 2.3 percentage points higher than that in November.
China retail sales growth expected to exceed 10 pct in 2021: report
China’s consumption will see a rapid recovery this year on the back of a firming economy and pro-consumption measures, a report predicted. The growth in the country’s retail sales of consumer goods will likely exceed 10 percent this year, the China General Chamber of Commerce said in a report
China’s forex reserves grow by over $100 BILLION in 2020 despite Covid-19 pandemic
The head of the China Forex Investment Research Institute, Tan Yawen, explained to the Global Times that the strengthening of non-dollar currencies, notably the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar over the past year, has resulted in higher yields and increased China’s foreign reserves. The jump was also due to the country’s fast-paced work and production resumption, he said.
Who’s who of mainland financiers in Hong Kong as Mandarin becomes the common tongue for Central’s investment bankers
Mainlanders take up about 60 per cent of all investment banking jobs in Hong Kong, up 10 percentage points from 2015, and their share may widen to between 65 per cent and 70 per cent over the next four years Chinese banks have increased their share of Hong Kong’s deals, making up seven of last year’s top 10 IPO bookrunners
China to toughen regulation of commercial banks’ debt quality
China’s banking and insurance regulator will strengthen regulation of commercial banks’ debt quality by clarifying the core elements over the problem.
China’s c.bank to examine fintech firms for illegal unlicensed credit scoring business
China’s central bank will look into and punish illegal unlicensed personal credit scoring businesses, a central bank official said on Monday, as the government tightens regulation on fintech firms who collect and use personal data in financial services.
Where Will Alibaba Be in 1 Year?
The Chinese tech giant still faces unpredictable headwinds this year. Alibaba currently trades at just 20 times forward earnings, compared to forward P/E ratios of 29 and 21 for Tencent and Baidu, respectively. Alibaba’s stock certainly looks cheap, but it arguably faces more regulatory headwinds than Tencent and Baidu. Tencent’s recent mergers and fintech businesses are being scrutinized, but its core gaming, social media, and advertising businesses remain fairly secure. Baidu is widely considered an underdog in China’s evolving tech market, despite owning the country’s largest search engine, so it isn’t a major antitrust target either. I believe Alibaba’s valuation will limit its downside potential this year, but I also believe it will underperform Tencent, Baidu, and other Chinese tech stocks as China’s antitrust regulators find new ways to rein in its dominant e-commerce and cloud businesses. Therefore, it’s still a decent long-term play on China’s growing tech sector, but investors shouldn’t expect it to generate big market-beating returns this year.
US leads world on artificial intelligence but China is catching up: study
China last year had more of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers than any other nation, according to researchers Nations that fall behind in development and use of AI risk losing competitiveness in key industries, their report says
Chinese infrastructure firms more scared than hurt in 2020, see surging contracts despite COVID-19 hit
Value of new domestic contracts surges in 2020, several companies successful overseas as well
Chinese Cities Vow to Better Protect COVID-19 Patients’ Privacy
Beijing and Shanghai have said they will not release detailed personal information for contact-tracing purposes under a new “only mention locations, not people” rule.
Coronavirus: Taiwan to quarantine thousands in effort to curb latest outbreak
The authorities have ordered 5,000 people to isolate after a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Taoyuan The island has so far managed to limit the spread of Covid-19 thanks to strict controls
China’s Covid-19 vaccines in demand, but will efficacy data affect its diplomacy goals?
Beijing could make ‘vaccine diplomacy’ gains by providing doses to developing countries in short supply But the release of efficacy data in Brazil for the vaccine of Chinese firm Sinovac served as a reminder that such efforts rely on medical credibility
Coronavirus: a Wuhan dissident’s lockdown has lasted nearly 400 days and counting
Zhu Tao’s anti-state sentiment has alienated his in-laws and neighbours, he has been detained, subjected to surveillance and censored As he self-quarantines, bracing for another wave of infections, he wonders how it’s possible that people are carrying on with life as usual
Taiwan asks TSMC and other chipmakers to help ease global crunch
US, Japan and Europe seek aid as automakers scramble for semiconductors
China to build 30 ‘fully connected’ 5G factories by 2023
China aims to build 30 “fully connected” 5G factories in 10 key industries by 2023, as the country has fast-tracked industrial Internet development through integration with 5G technologies.
Huawei moves into smart vehicles as US sanctions stymie 5G and semiconductor ambitions
Huawei’s ambitions became more obvious last November when the company merged its smart vehicle business into the consumer segment that handles smartphones The telecoms specialist is up against fierce competition from rival Chinese tech giants eyeing the same opportunity in smart vehicles and autonomous driving
Huawei in talks to sell premium smartphone brands P and Mate: sources
The P and Mate series are among the top players in the higher-end smartphone markets in China and overseas Shipments of Mate and P Series smartphones were worth US$39.7 billion between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020
China EV war: Evergrande raises US$3.35 billion in plan to dominate Tesla, NIO and other home rivals
Company to sell 952.4 million new shares to six Hong Kong and mainland tycoons at a 9 per cent discount to Friday’s closing price Stock has risen 307 per cent over the past 12 months despite huge losses in recent years
Electric car makers NIO, Xpeng, Tesla tap China’s shopping mall footfall with ‘experience’ stores
Electric vehicle (EV) makers now have a presence in 47 of Shanghai’s 93 shopping centres tracked by JLL, an unprecedented number The surging number reflects a desire by the manufacturers to capitalise on the growing popularity of ‘green’ cars among Chinese motorists, say analysts
China — 9.4% Plugin Vehicle Share In Another Record Month
While the overall Chinese auto market ended the year on a positive note (+12% YoY), plugins ended with a record month, growing by 50% YoY in in the last month of the year to a record 224,000 units, and this time it was plugin hybrids (PHEVs) that grew faster (+108%) than full electrics (+42%). Despite this recent uptick from plugin hybrids, full electrics (BEVs) ended up owning 80% of the market, which, incidentally, was the same score as 2019. So, it seems plugin hybrids have found their corner of the market, especially in higher end models.
Shares of Evergrande EV unit surge 50% after raising $3.4 billion
Evergrande debuted its six Hengchi-branded EV models on August 3, 2020. (Image credit: Evergrande)
Shares of the electric vehicle unit of Chinese property giant Evergrande surged nearly 50% on Monday after announcing that it had raised $3.35 billion from six investors in an add-on share sale to support its plan to become “the world’s largest EV maker.”
Listed companies on China’s ‘new third board’ raised 33.85 billion yuan in 2020
Launched in 2013, the NEEQ intends to offer small and medium-sized enterprises a new financing channel with low costs and simple listing procedures. Companies listed on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ), also known as the “new third board,” raised 33.85 billion yuan (about $5.22 billion) in 2020, up 27.91 percent year on year, a report from the exchange said.
Why Luxury Brands Must Radically Rethink Sustainability
Younger generations are much more concerned with sustainability than previous generations have been, and it’s time for luxury to address their needs wholeheartedly. An important trait of Generation Z, today’s most influential and trendsetting consumer group for luxury brands, is that they perceive themselves as brands. When they broadcast their lives through social media, the brands they associate themselves with are extensions of their personal brands. Therefore, sustainability is important to most of them, and they will only associate themselves with brands that are sustainable at their core. That means “greenwashing,” aka sustainability lip service, is not convincing to these consumers, and they are increasingly voting with their wallets for the brands that back up their talk.
China Bolsters Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Review Framework, Identifies New Areas of Security Concern
The People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) established a foreign investment security review in 2011 that focused exclusively on the merger and acquisition of domestic companies by foreign investors in a notice issued by the State Council (the 2011 Notice)1. On December 19, 2020, the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) jointly released the Measures on Foreign Investment Security Review (the Measures) that expand the scope of such reviews. The Measures have taken effect from January 18, 2021, and will be enforced by a “working mechanism” to be jointly established by NDRC and MOFCOM (the Working Mechanism).
China largest recipient of FDI in 2020, but ‘effects of coronavirus on investment will linger’
China’s US$163 billion in inflows last year compared to the US$134 billion attracted by the United States, according to a report released on Sunday Overall, global foreign direct investment (FDI) collapsed in 2020, falling by 42 per cent to an estimated US$859 billion, from US$1.5 trillion in 2019
China overtakes US as world’s leading destination for foreign direct investment
China overtook the US as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic amplifies an eastward shift in the center of gravity of the global economy, reported the Wall Street Journal. New investments by overseas businesses into the US, which for decades held the No. 1 spot, fell 49% in 2020, according to UN figures released Sunday, as the country struggled to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and economic output slumped. China, long ranked No. 2, saw direct investments by foreign companies climb 4%, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said. Beijing used strict lockdowns to largely contain Covid-19 after the disease first emerged in a central Chinese city, and China’s gross domestic product grew even as most other major economies contracted last year, said the FT.
No, the RCEP Is Not All About China
The claim that China is affirming its influence in East Asia through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership should be taken with a pinch of salt. Global media outlets like CNN and Reuters have placed emphasis on the RCEP as a China-backed initiative that excludes the US, driving the narrative that Beijing is affirming itself as the pivotal economic partner for Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Likewise, The New York Times has opined that a regional free trade deal in which China is a major actor stands as a counterweight to Washington’s economic influence in East Asia.
China-EU investment deal allows for arbitration to settle disputes, documents show
Comprehensive Agreement on Investment has been hailed as a breakthrough in the China-EU relationship, which has been fraught with trade disputes Full text of deal also shows introduction of stricter clauses on market access and technology transfers
Europe’s investment initiative with China
On 30 December 2020, all 27 EU member states agreed to the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China after seven years of negotiation. The deal should bring new market opportunities and protections to European investors in China and boost China’s reforms. Both China and Europe should benefit from better access to capital, while technology, market links and competition bring impetus to growth. Chinese investors are likely to find more certainty in Europe as much of the industrial world is becoming more restrictive towards Chinese investment. This agreement shows that commitment to investment and services liberalisation and protection for Western companies in China is possible beyond China’s WTO obligations. It also shows that China can commit to disciplines on state-owned enterprises, transparency in subsidies and labour and environmental standards that many previously thought were negotiating non-starters.Under the CAI, European investors will no longer be required to form joint ventures to invest in some Chinese industries, although they may still choose to do so. China agreed to open investment access to European manufacturing in electric cars, chemicals, telecoms equipment and health equipment with most favoured nation treatment and national treatment obligations. For investment in services, China removed some equity caps and minimum capital requirements and lifted previous investment bans. China also bound its current market access across various sectors, including cloud, financial and environmental services, private healthcare, international maritime transport and air transport-related services. European businesses also gain access to China’s standard setting bodies.
EU-China Investment Agreement: A Step In Right Direction – Analysis
In conclusion, although it does not meet all European demands and there remains a huge normative gap between the two parties (China will continue to have an authoritarian political regime and embrace state capitalism), the CAI seems to be a step in the right direction by offering a normative framework that better defends the EU’s interests and values in its relations with China. Furthermore, it is an agreement that potentially has positive multilateral implications, as its implementation should make China a more open and less opaque country, with higher environmental and labour standards. It is true that this would depend on how the agreement is implemented once it is ratified. This would not be the first time China disappoints when it comes to implementing its international commitments. Hence, the introduction of certain enforcement mechanisms should also be viewed positively, for example, in the sections on sustainable development, as well as the fact that the final scope of the agreement is determined by the level of implementation by the parties, and that the EU has not made geostrategic or normative concessions. On the contrary, despite its limitations, the CAI once again demonstrates to the world that the EU’s normative power is greater than many may assume.
Asian economy looking brighter in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic was a health crisis that morphed into an economic crisis on a global scale, the likes of which we had never seen.
China’s Xi calls for greater role for G20 in global economic governance
China’s President Xi Jinping on Monday called on the world to strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination and bolster the role of the G20 in global economic governance as he pointed to a “rather shaky” recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum – a gathering usually held in a Swiss ski resort – Xi said the global economic outlook remained uncertain and public health emergencies “may very well recur” in future.
China’s Xi warns Davos World Economic Forum against ‘new Cold War’
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned global leaders at an all-virtual Davos forum Monday against starting a “new Cold War”, and urged global unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
China’s Leader Attacks His Greatest Threat
Xi Jinping hasn’t just cracked down on private business—he is targeting individual entrepreneurs themselves.
Davos: China’s Xi urges cooperation to reboot global economy
Chinese President Xi Jinping last took part at Davos four years ago when the Trump administration was levying huge tariffs on its products. Beijing is now calling for a return to multilateralism
The story of Xi Jinping’s oldest friendship in the US, and what it shows
China and the United States have been embroiled in tensions around trade, technology and other practices in recent years, yet there is hope for resolution amid the rhetoric, not least in a small Iowa town.
What Biden’s urgent policy priorities mean for Asia, and the world
The new US president’s focus will be on taming the pandemic at home, not rolling back Trump’s trade measures against China. But the recovery of the US economy, especially the service sector, is critical to boost the global economy
Biden needs balance and engagement in Asia with China
Responsible adults are back in the White House. President Joe Biden sent a clear message in his inauguration that his priority is to heal a divided United States of America. He went on to immediately sign a series of executive orders including one that has the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement. China will be locked into more rules and markets through RCEP and the CAI, and, Armstrong and Shannon explain, that ‘significantly raises the costs of Chinese unilateral behaviour that contravenes those agreements’. That is something the United States should welcome. If the CAI comes into force, the European Union will succeed in locking in major Chinese reforms and concessions, some of which extend beyond those that European investors will enjoy. Chinese investors in Europe will gain certainty while European hosts can still screen investments for security purposes. Chinese President Xi Jinping has also signalled interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would require fundamental reform to state-owned enterprises for any chance at Chinese membership. Chinese reforms and opening up are unequivocally good for China and also for the global community.
America under Biden will take on the China challenge with other countries but unless it finds ways to engage China that don’t damage the interests of allies and finds a way to give allies and partners space to engage with China on reasonable terms, it may find America First will become America Alone.
China-India border dispute: troops saw ‘minor’ clash amid ninth round of talks to resolve row
The Indian Army downplayed a face-off that took place last week in Sikkim, near Tibet, while Indian media reports claimed a brawl left troops from both sides injured Beijing has yet to comment, but Global Times editor Hu Xijin said on Twitter that the reports were ‘fake news’
US-China relations: Washington urges Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan after reports of airspace incursion
US ‘notes with concern the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbours, including Taiwan’, State Department says ‘We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue,’ it says
Greater Bay Area: Guangzhou lures young Hong Kong entrepreneurs to start businesses with rent waivers, subsidies
The city is attracting young Hongkongers by offering generous subsidies on business costs, access to trade officials and a favourable environment to raise capital The Guangzhou government has been at the forefront of establishing incubation hubs for young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
podcast : A ‘more aggressive and hostile’ China will pose many challenges for Australia in 2021
Sky News host Sharri Markson says if one thought 2020 was a year for poor relations with China, 2021 will be even worse as the country becomes more aggressive and hostile. “China is going to dominate the foreign policy debate this year, posing many challenges for Australia, like it did last year,” Ms Markson said. Ms Markson spoke of how China “had the hide” to try to block World Health Organisation investigators from steeping foot in Wuhan to investigate the origins of COVID-19.
China vows unremitting fight against corruption
China’s top disciplinary body on Sunday adopted a communique, vowing to deepen efforts to comprehensively exercise strict Party self-governance, improve Party conduct as well as fight against corruption.
China-US tensions: new American defence chief calls on Japan and South Korea to team up in Indo-Pacific
Soon after being sworn in, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin calls for Asian allies to strengthen military ties American maritime manoeuvres in the South China Sea continue despite change of administration in the US
How Space Became the Next ‘Great Power’ Contest Between the U.S. and China
The Biden administration faces not only waves of Chinese antisatellite weapons but a history of jumbled responses to the intensifying threat.
U.S. reaffirms commitment to Japan to defending islands disputed with China
New U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, during his first phone call with his Japanese counterpart, reaffirmed America’s commitment to Tokyo to defending a group of East China Sea islets claimed by both Japan and China, the Pentagon said.
Germany to send naval frigate to Japan with eye on China
Berlin wary of Beijing’s expansionism but seeks decoupling of politics and trade
The JL-3: the new missile ‘raising the cost’ of a US fight with China
The submarine-launched weapon has a much greater range than previous versions and could put the PLA within striking distance of the continental USA, a report says The missiles are an essential element in the Chinese military’s ability to respond to an attack, analyst says
11 Shandong Miners Rescued After 2 Weeks, 10 Still Trapped
One miner has been confirmed dead after suffering a head injury, and one among those rescued is in critical condition.
Day After Dramatic Rescue, 10 Shandong Miners Confirmed Dead
A total of 22 miners were trapped underground for two weeks. One group was rescued, another group perished, and one miner remains unaccounted-for.
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