China Press Review – July 14, 2020

Press review

China’s trade economy roared back to growth in June, as coronavirus lockdowns eased abroad
China’s exports rose by 0.5 per cent in June from a year ago, while imports rose by 2.7 per cent, showing a big recovery in trade    Easing lockdowns overseas helped support a recovery, while a surge in imports suggests improved demand in China

China’s trade with Europe seen as key amid US frictions after June imports, exports suggest recovery from coronavirus
Chinese exports returned to growth last month, with a rise of 0.5 per cent from a year ago, while imports in US dollar terms also rose by 2.7 per cent in June    China-US trade frictions are seen as unlikely to improve ahead of November’s election, but the European Union is seen as a key variable to China’s coronavirus recovery

Alibaba, Like China’s Economy, Keeps Trending Up
The trajectories of Alibaba and China have become inextricably linked. The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group released its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report on Friday, detailing the company’s performance, developments, and milestones during the 12 months ending March 31 — including how it reached $1 trillion in gross merchandise volume for the first time. Alibaba’s net income rose 75 percent from the previous year to $20 billion (140 billion yuan), while revenue rose 35 percent from the last financial year. Its body of active users crept up to 700 million, which is roughly half the population of China.

E-commerce Will Continue to Grow in Importance Post-COVID
As we enter the second half of 2020, the global COVID pandemic seems to be slowing down in some places and taking wing in others. Through all the waves, however, one thing is becoming certain: we still have quite a while to go until things go back to “normal.” For businesses, this brings a host of challenges. Although there’s a necessity to flatten the curve, economies cannot halt for the next year or so until scientists (or nature) come up with a solution. Ultimately, this means that some form of adaptation is necessary.

Huawei 5G kit must be removed from UK by 2027
The UK’s mobile providers are being banned from buying new Huawei 5G equipment after 31 December, and they must also remove all the Chinese firm’s 5G kit from their networks by 2027.

Huawei faces ban in Britain, uncertainty swirls over timing, extent
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to ban Huawei from Britain’s 5G network on Tuesday   The United States has pushed Johnson to reverse his January decision to grant the Chinese company a limited role in 5G

Britain toughens stance on China as it eyes US
Concerns about alleged espionage by Chinese firms and human rights abuses have given rise to demands for complete rethink of UK’s position    Beijing might put London in ‘diplomatic doghouse’ after expected 5G ban on telecoms giant Huawei

UK chairman of Huawei Technologies John Browne resigns ahead of expected ban
John Browne, the former BP boss and a member of the House of Lords, gave two months’ notice of his resignation in the last few days, according to a report   The news comes hours before the UK government’s expected announcement of a ban on the Chinese tech giant’s equipment in Britain’s 5G networks

Is the UK’s ‘golden era’ of relations with China now over?
China and the UK have clashed in recent months over a draconian new security law in Hong Kong and the Chinese tech company Huawei. The Guardian’s Tania Branigan examines whether a much-promoted ‘golden era’ between the two countries is at an end

5G focus for China’s Guangdong as manufacturing hub pledges to build 20 hi-tech industrial estates by 2022
President Xi Jinping promised unprecedented spending on ‘new infrastructure’, including 5G networks, in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus    Huizhou, one of the ‘outer ring’ cities in the Greater Bay Area development zone, will host seven of the new industrial estates

Payment Practices Deteriorating Across Asia
COVID-19 is causing an unprecedented interruption in business activity across Asia as global trade is projected to plummet by as much as 15%. Businesses are up against major liquidity constraints. As a result, payment practices are deteriorating. The Payment Practices Barometer survey of businesses in the region by trade credit insurer Atradius reveals a concerning trend of rising payment default risks, bad debts and insolvencies

Singapore’s economy shrinks by over 40 per cent in Q2, entering recession
The city state’s economy, seen as a bellwether for the region, was hit by the coronavirus lockdown and weak external demand, the Trade and Industry Ministry said   Analysts see some signs of a recovery, but these could be affected by low consumer confidence and uncertainty over what would happen when stimulus funds run out

Hong Kong, China markets slide as concerns rise about overheated stocks, cases of coronavirus growing in US
Macau casino stocks shoot up as Guangdong province eases travel restrictions that have clobbered gambling traffic   Hot stocks like Tencent and Alibaba see profit taking after huge recent surge

Financial havoc from coronavirus pandemic spares no one, causing losses for seven in 10 global investors, UBS survey says
For the longer-term, 65 per cent believe they will have reduced retirement savings while 54 per cent worry about leaving not enough money for their children, UBS survey shows   Income inequality is set to worsen substantially, with Covid-19 could be the calm before the storm of a global food crisis in the coming years, Nomura says

China’s Hainan free-trade port plan off to fast start as duty-free shopping soars in first week
Tourists, the vast majority of whom were Chinese, spent 450 million yuan (US$64 million) on imported goods at Hainan’s four duty-free malls in the first week of July    The annual per person tax-free limit increased to 100,000 yuan (US$14,300) on July 1 to attract Chinese tourists in particular to spend money at home rather than abroad

Australia exports to China remained strong in May despite rising political tensions
Australia’s exports to China, excluding services, climbed 8 per cent in May despite higher barley tariffs, a ban on beef from four abattoirs and the impact of coronavirus lockdowns    Political tensions started in April after Canberra proposed an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus

Yangtze flood passes peak in eastern China but no time to relax
Communities on the river delta in Jiangxi province continue to sandbag against further flooding    Numerous waterways continue to rise at levels not seen since the great deluge of 1998

Will an African candidate be China’s choice for WTO chief?
With the trade body brought to a standstill by the US-China trade row, much will depend on whether the nominee can break the deadlock, Chinese government adviser says  Beijing will also be looking at each contender’s stand on national security exemptions, analyst says

Japan to let some foreign residents back into country in August
Measure to accommodate only those who left the nation before April 3

With new student visa rule, Donald Trump is making America small again
International students at US universities are a core arsenal of American soft power. By closing its doors, the Trump administration undermines America’s stature as a responsible stakeholder in global affairs   The way it is going now, I might have been wrong. The professor had written a good book on America and China but smudged it with a snarky title: Destined for War . The addition of a simple question mark (“Destined for War?”) might have eased the melodrama and lowered our blood pressure. But maybe the Harvard man was onto something?

Harvard and MIT seek injunction to block ICE bar on foreign students living in the US
US District Court in Boston set to rule on universities’ challenge to order banning students taking online-only classes from staying in America    Around 60 other colleges have backed the case, which could affect around 1 million foreign students, including hundreds of thousands from China

US officials targeted by Beijing shrug off sanctions but vow to keep pressing on human rights
‘We must continue to stand with the Chinese people against an increasingly authoritarian Chinese government,’ says a lawmaker who was singled out    Beijing retaliates against Washington’s sanctions of Chinese officials for their suspected role in human rights abuses in Xinjiang

‘No plans’ for maritime empire in South China Sea: Beijing hits back at US claim
Foreign ministry blasts Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s challenge over sovereignty in disputed waters   Washington urged to honour its commitment not to take sides and sow discord in the region

South China Sea: What’s China’s plan for its ‘Great Wall of Sand’?
Despite all the other issues demanding China’s attention this year – the virus, its trade war with the US, Hong Kong’s national security law, and a host of economic woes – the South China Sea has been revived in recent months as an arena for serious tensions.

Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward Cold War
Relations are in free fall. Lines are being drawn. As the two superpowers clash over technology, territory and clout, a new geopolitical era is dawning.

Beijing says it will sanction Lockheed Martin after US gives green light to Patriot missile deal for Taiwan
The US aerospace giant is the chief contractor in a US$620m deal to upgrade the island’s defences   Beijing says move is retaliation for State Department’s approval for deal – the seventh signed off by the Trump White House

Japan accuses Beijing of pushing East China Sea, South China Sea claims amid pandemic
Annual defence white paper describes ‘relentless’ intrusions in waters around Senkaku/Diaoyu islets and claims China spread coronavirus disinformation  Analysts say the superpower has become a longer-term and more serious threat to Japan than volatile nuclear-powered North Korea

South China Sea: key moments in a decades-long dispute
Beijing set out its expansive claim more than 70 years ago with a few lines on a map  Washington has confronted the assertions head on, saying they are unlawful

EU preparing measures against China over Hong Kong
The EU is preparing counter-measures on China in response to Beijing’s new security law on Hong Kong, the bloc’s top diplomat said on Monday (13 July), but envoys stressed the likely steps will not amount to economic sanctions.

Opposition ‘primary’ signals internal conflict
Despite large turnouts, ‘loser’ candidates, especially those with a long track record as lawmakers, are unlikely to accept the results in favour of radicals who face disqualification anyway

Like coronavirus fight, time for Hong Kong to adapt to national security law
The freedoms that are perceived as having been lost are gone and are most likely not coming back under the present regime    Getting on with our lives and doing what we can to stay safe is the price of being a Hongkonger in these challenging times

China leadership critic Xu Zhangrun sacked one day after release, friends say
Tsinghua University is understood to have dismissed the outspoken academic who was released on Sunday    Xu wrote a number of articles critical of the Communist Party before he was taken away by police for nearly a week

Why China believes it should be a superpower, and history as the Chinese see it
China’s meteoric rise is restoring the country to a position it considers the normal and proper state of affairs, explains author Michael Schuman   In Superpower Interrupted, he tells Chinese history as the Chinese learn it – a story, he says, that few in the West really know

Hunger Games
Though almost unheard of 20 years ago, eating disorders are silently maiming a generation of young Chinese

Alain Gillard
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