The end of European influence in Asia
EU proving increasingly irrelevant in a region dominated by China Europe’s declining significance is also demonstrated by its marginal role in the financing of Asia’s infrastructure investments. Compared with China’s Belt and Road Initiative or Japan’s Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, the European Union’s Euro-Asia Connectivity Strategy, or EACS, is limited in size and scope. And reflecting the changing balance of power between China and the EU, the EACS seems more focused on limiting further Chinese encroachment into Southeast Europe than on infrastructure development in Asia. It can be seen, therefore, as a defensive reaction to China’s rise rather than a positive commitment to Asian engagement.. In fact, instead of being potential partners to counter China’s rise, European countries are more focused on their economic relationships with the Asian superpower as they are captured by its expanding importance. This was reflected by the EU’s recent haste to agree to an investment treaty with China. This single action demonstrates just how rapidly the balance of economic power between Europe and China has changed over recent decades. And this balance, or growing imbalance, is only likely to shift further in China’s favor given Europe’s internal issues and lack of economic dynamism. As George Orwell foresaw in “1984,” the world is splintering into three distinct economic and geopolitical blocs. Europe may have relatively strong economic and political relationships with the Americas, but its role in Asia is already weak and fading fast. Asian countries looking for partners in the face of China’s rise should therefore not be looking to Europe, but rather to their immediate neighbors. That in itself raises numerous challenges but the future of Asia is China and any significant relevance Europe once had in the region is now a relic of history.
How to Expand Your Business Internationally
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The sun isn’t setting on the office in the post-Covid-19 world, if Asia is any guide
Several major Asian cities already benefit from mature decentralised business hubs, which provide modern buildings better suited to the post-Covid-19 leasing landscape The longer lockdowns and social restrictions remain, the clearer it is that most people miss office life Asia is expressing occupier and employee sentiment towards the office in the clearest possible way. This vote of confidence in corporate real estate is the canary in the coal mine. Even in London and New York, it is becoming increasingly apparent that employees miss the face-to-face collaboration, mentoring and managing that a Zoom meeting cannot replicate. The longer lockdowns and social restrictions remain in place, the clearer it becomes that well-located and high-quality city centre offices not only have a future, but have a crucial role to play in facilitating social interaction, career advancement and increased productivity
The current state of the Chinese economy
It is not unusual for even serious economists to look at the same economy from very different angles “China has cemented its position as the primary driver of what has been dismal global economic recovery.” Prasad’s comment was made after Beijing released the latest economic data. He was of the view that a stronger renminbi “will take more than currency appreciation to get the China-US relationship back on even keel, although this certainly removes one of the potential flash points,” for the new Biden administration. But some economists pointed out that China’s recovery, while impressive at first glance, belied a return to old tactics that China had hoped to shift away from; debt fueled spending on infrastructure and reliance on dirty heavy industries, including state-owned coal and steel production and retail that could help the middle class. For them although the numbers were good, the state of the economy appeared fragile. Real wages had stagnated compared to GDP. “Growth last year came from real estate and infrastructure investment which is a kind of bad growth that China for years has relied on,” said Michael Pettis, a professor of finance at Peking University. Yes, some things did turn out well, economic activity grew, and unemployment was brought down, but many other indexes performed very badly.
Global economy to grow 5.5 per cent in 2021 after 3.5 per cent contraction in 2020, IMF forecasts
China’s economy seen growing 8.1 per cent in 2021 as economic recovery continues, while United States economy could rebound to 4.3 per cent growth, according to revised estimates by the International Monetary Fund IMF praises US, European Union and Japan economic stimulus measures but warns that recovery is contingent on control of the coronavirus
China should stop setting annual GDP targets, central bank adviser says
China should stop setting annual economic growth targets and instead focus on stabilising employment and controlling inflation as its main macroeconomic policy goals, an adviser for the country’s central bank said.Ma Jun, in a transcript of remarks he made at a forum in China published on Monday (Jan 25), said the central bank should also actively consider relaxing some measures on foreign exchange outflows to alleviate the upwards pressure on its currency and further efforts to internationalise the yuan. The world’s second largest economy grew 2.3 per cent in 2020, when the country decided not to set an annual growth target due to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
China’s GDP growth targets should be scrapped to help put cap on local government debt, top central bank adviser says
Local governments are under pressure to meet unrealistic economic growth goals, and it is driving them deeper into debt, warns former chief economist with People’s Bank of China Suggestion by Ma Jun comes after Beijing opted not to set an annual GDP growth target last year for the first time in three decades
China is rehearsing for when it overtakes America
)China wants to lead the global recovery from the pandemic and become more influential on the world stage than ever before. It might just have the momentum — and the confidence — to pull that plan off. The world’s second largest economy shrugged off much of the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic last year, and its ability to keep growing while the world crashed into recession could mean its GDP exceeds that of the United States later this decade, years earlier than expected.
The strategic thinking behind the EU-China investment deal
Washington was understandably perplexed that a China-EU investment agreement was concluded a few weeks before the Biden administration, especially a president who has been advocating for multilateralism and the restoration of trust and an alliance with the EU. Some analysts argue the agreement is a big win for China by breaching the transatlantic partnership, while some scholars contend that Beijing has made historical concessions to Brussels, indicating the future lucrativeness of European business in China. Both are valid to some extent, but the strategic thinking of Beijing and Brussels behind the pact may have been overlooked To conclude, both sides made pragmatic decisions to sign the pact. Professor John Mearsheimer, at the University of Chicago, argued a few years ago that liberal dreams are great delusion facing international realities. China has executed a realist foreign policy since Deng Xiaoping’s reform, and this time, the EU may have woken up, because this deal signifies that geopolitical calculation has overtaken ideological divergence.
EU-China ‘friendship group’ suspended, its chair says
Group faced concerns from European Parliament officials that it could be too close to Beijing.
Joe Biden expected to sign executive order countering Asian-American discrimination
Asian-American community has made an all-out push to end the Trump administration’s controversial ‘China Initiative’ Biden’s expected executive order aimed at countering Asian-American racial discrimination will be part of a themed ‘Equity Day’ scheduled for Tuesday
Joe Biden to work with allies to stop China’s ‘economic abuses’
Pledging ‘an approach of patience’, White House press secretary says Biden will evaluate the tariffs currently in place Deliberations over the ban on investment in companies including China Mobile are being undertaken by the State and Treasury departments, says the spokeswoman
China-US tensions: meet us halfway to build trust and ease conflict, former Chinese vice-premier urges Biden
Zeng Peiyan tells Hong Kong forum confrontation between the two global powers need not be inevitable Hong Kong chief executive appeals for new US administration to view the national security law ‘in a fair manner’
US rejects Hong Kong request for WTO panel over ‘Made in China’ labelling row
Hong Kong requested a dispute settlement panel over US decision to force the city’s locally made goods to be labelled ‘Made in China’ US rejection cited change in administration, with row simmering since Donald Trump removed Hong Kong’s special trading status last summer
US-China tech war: Beijing’s top policy official lays out strategy to address Washington’s ‘stranglehold’ over China
It was Beijing’s ‘inevitable choice’ to seek a greater level of tech independence when the US was imposing restrictions on China, said policy chief Jiang Jinquan The article, published just days after US President Joe Biden took office, sheds light on the Chinese leadership’s thinking about the country’s tech future
TikTok rival Kuaishou to raise up to $6.3 billion in Hong Kong IPO
Chinese livestreaming and short video group Kuaishou is set to raise up to $6.3 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering in a test of investor appetite for China’s tech sector as it faces growing regulatory scrutiny, reported the Financial Times. The deal could value Kuaishou, which competes with ByteDance’s TikTok, at up to $61.7 billion and would be the largest tech IPO since ride-hailing company Uber went to market in 2019. The listing will raise between $4.9 billion and $5.4 billion, but that could rise to $6.3 billion if bankers exercise an overallotment option to increase its size, according to a term sheet seen by the Financial Times. Shares are expected to price on Friday between HK$105 ($13.55) and HK$115 ($14.84) and begin trading on February 5. Kuaishou, which is backed by Chinese internet group Tencent, reported an operating loss of RMB 9 billion ($1.4 billion) on RMB 41 billion in sales during the first nine months of last year, reported the FT.
China Tech Digest: Tencent Market Value Near $1 Trillion
The market value of Tencent Holdings exceeds HK$7 trillion, surpassing China’s six state-owned banks
Huawei ramps up wearables effort with focus on health care amid push into new growth areas
China’s largest technology company is undertaking three health research programmes for its wearables business These are focused on hypertension management, body temperature and coronary heart disease
Huawei’s exit from premium smartphone market ‘a last resort’ amid US sanctions, analysts say
Speculation swirled on Monday about Huawei potentially selling its high-end smartphone brands to a Shanghai government-backed consortium The company said it remains ‘fully committed’ to its smartphone business, vowing to ‘deliver world-leading products’
Ant Group’s IPO could be revived after ‘problem solved’, hints China’s central bank governor
Yi Gang said Ant Group situation is a ‘complicated issue’, noted its payments business continues as normal PBOC governor said there needs to be more international cooperation on regulating fintech, particularly on consumer data
A Year Since Lockdown: China in 5 Charts
So, what did 2020 look like for this powerhouse economy? We look at the China story of in five charts:.
1. GDP Comes Back Strongly 2. 2020 Crash Makes Little Impact 3. China Bond ETF is a Best Seller 4. Gold-Rated China Funds Outperform 5. China Travel Giant Had a Tough Year
SPC Interpretation on Food Safety: E-commerce Platforms Operators’ Liabilities in China
On October 19, 2020, with the purpose of correctly hearing civil disputes related to food safety, and protecting the health and safety of the public, the 1813th meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) discussed and passed the Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Laws in the Trial of Civil Cases Involving Disputes over Food Safety (“Interpretation”) that will be implemented on January 1, 2021.
Climate change offers US and China a chance to cooperate. Will they take it?
Beijing is believed to be willing to participate in a summit that Joe Biden is reportedly planning for Earth Day in April But observers believe it may be asked to do more to cut emissions by providing funds and technology to other countries
China’s Guangzhou airport crowns itself the world’s busiest for 2020
Hong Kong traffic seen to tumble further with aircrew quarantine order – Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport declared on Monday that it had become the busiest among its global peers in 2020.
India to impose permanent ban on 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok
India’s ministry of electronics and information technology has issued fresh notices to make permanent a ban imposed on video app TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps in June, Indian media reported late on Monday, reported Reuters. When it first imposed the ban, the Indian government gave the 59 apps a chance to explain their position on compliance with privacy and security requirements, the Times of India reported on Monday. “The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now,” business newspaper Livemint quoted a source familiar with the notices as saying. It said the notices were issued last week.
The ministry’s June order stated that the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.
China-Australia relations: wheat shipments to grain-hungry China surge as total 2020 exports just shy of record high
Australian goods exported to China reached A$145.2 billion for 2020 despite a year rife with tariffs and trade restrictions, according to preliminary figures Australia shipped 600,000 tonnes of wheat to China last month – the largest-ever monthly wheat export total from Australia to any single country
China-New Zealand relations: upgrade to free-trade agreement eliminates nearly all trade tariffs
Pact widens existing trade deal between Beijing and Wellington that was last upgraded in November 2019, after a similar review between China and Australia failed to manifest last month All New Zealand dairy exports to China will also be tariff-free by 2024, while wood and paper products from New Zealand get a boost from the revamp
US, Chinese militaries’ South China Sea posturing continues into Joe Biden era
Both countries send warplanes to area south of Taiwan, and Chinese military announces drill coinciding with US aircraft carrier group’s arrival Risk of accidental clashes, observers say, with neither side seeming willing to soften its stance on the disputed waters
China to conduct military drills in South China Sea
China said on Tuesday that it will conduct military exercises in the South China Sea this week, just days after Beijing bristled at a US aircraft carrier group’s entry into the disputed waters.
The World Is Dangerously Dependent on Taiwan for Semiconductors
Taiwan, which China regards as a province, is being courted for its capacity to make leading-edge computer chips. That’s mostly down to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest foundry and go-to producer of chips for Apple Inc. smartphones, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.
It’s time to reduce the world’s trade dependence on China
Covid-19: Five days that shaped the outbreak
A year ago, the Chinese government locked down the city of Wuhan. For weeks beforehand officials had maintained that the outbreak was under control – just a few dozen cases linked to a live animal market. But in fact the virus had been spreading throughout the city and around China.
China’s Flight Prices Plummet After Holiday Travel Discouraged
Amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, authorities are urging people to refrain from traveling over the Lunar New Year holiday unless absolutely necessary.
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