China Press Review – July 3, 2020

Press review

Economies revving up recovery from coronavirus should expect many detours
Governments and central banks’ commitment to nurse the global economy back to health is reassuring, but the virus won’t be so quickly tamed    Sectors which can operate with some social distancing policies are likely to do better than industries heavily reliant on the free flow of people

Between the coronavirus, trade war and more, financial markets have had an extraordinary six months. What’s next?
The year has so far been one where narrative finance, rather than a command of economic or financial fundamentals, has guided asset prices    There is no reason the third quarter should be as extraordinary as the first two, but it would take a brave investor to bet on it being uneventful

Confucius technology and power consolidation under Xi Jinping
As China inches towards techno-authoritarianism, Xi Jinping is drawing upon Confucious values and combining them with new apps which seek to teach Xi Jinping thought and track and rate citizens. Under Xi, Confucianism is experiencing a revitalisation as he attempts to re-introduce the classic Chinese philosopher in attempts to consolidate and legitimise his power and leadership in China.  From the end of December 2019 until March 2020, the National Museum in Beijing held an exhibition on Confucius. The exhibition was a curation of Confucian artworks and texts, aiming to demonstrate his global impact. This is the first time such an exhibition has taken place in the national museum. Under Mao Zedong, Confucius was one of the “Four Olds” denigrated during the Cultural Revolution. Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Confucian thoughts are undergoing a revitalisation as Xi attempts to consolidate his power amongst Chinese citizens and within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Xi’s Confucius Revitalisation is a part of a broader attempt to re-introduce Chinese traditional culture. As a part of a long cycle of neo traditionalism, Xi is attempting to revive old cultures and values for modern-day political use. Chinese traditional culture has seen a revival since the turn of the century, but under Xi this has been amplified. Whilst Mao saw traditional culture as “old society”, Xi sees it as the “soul” of the nation. Xi’s neotraditionalist push is a part of his ‘China Dream’ which sees the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. Xi seeks to return China to a place of national glory, with territorial and economic goals. Indeed, Xi’s ‘China Dream’ has seen him reintroduce traditional values and reinforce authoritarianism in China.

Coronavirus infection numbers take a back seat as optimism drives markets
Covid-19’s fallout is still causing anxiety, but investors take comfort from central banks’ massive liquidity injections and signs of US economic recovery     However, the resurgence of the virus in some parts of the US should not be ignored

Hong Kong security law: China doubles down on support for city as finance hub as concerns mount over its future
China is expanding financial schemes in Hong Kong to cement its status as a commercial gateway to the rest of the country     Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law on the city has raised the risk of US financial sanctions and prompted questions over its future

Hong Kong national security law: how will it affect businesses? Uncertainty over overseas funds, foreign offices
Commerce chambers warn companies to tread carefully, with lawmaker advising operators to adopt wait-and-see approach      Concerns centre on operations such as dealings with foreign branches or entities, with penalties ranging from fines to confiscation of funds

Intel resumes sales to Chinese server giant Inspur after suspension over US laws
Semiconductor maker Intel paused supplies to Inspur earlier this week, citing the need to ensure compliance with US laws    The move comes after the Pentagon listed Inspur and 19 other companies as owned or controlled by the Chinese military

Improved hygiene, contactless deliveries and mobile payments surge will be lasting legacy of Covid-19, says Gojek co-CEO
Founded a decade ago as a motorcycle ride-hailing call centre, Gojek has since evolved into a super app, offering over 20 services to 170 million users in Southeast Asia   Gojek can now offer a ‘full stack’ to help merchants bring their businesses online – from payments, marketing and promotion, to analytics and delivery – all on one app

China manufacturers struggling to keep up with surge in global bike demand amid coronavirus fears
China exported 4.6 million bikes in May, up 11.4 per cent from a year earlier, reversing a decline of 19 per cent in April    China’s production of bikes in May also increased by 44.6 per cent from a year earlier to 4.25 million units as consumers seek alternatives to public transport

Gucci, Cartier, Prada, Chanel and Louis Vuitton may still dominate fashion in China – but the new ‘Made in China’ tag is winning the hearts of local millennials
Whether it’s a love for Gucci Padlock handbags, puckering up with Hermès lipsticks or enjoying splurges at Cartier, Chinese consumers are continuing to power the global luxury market. The love of luxe in China has been one of the most visible features of the nation’s unprecedented development this century. While a mere three decades ago luxury brands were out of reach for the vast majority of the population, today Chinese consumers make up almost half of global luxury retail sales.

Coronavirus: WHO will send ‘advance team’ to China in hunt for source of Covid-19
Animal health expert and specialist in epidemiological field investigations to be part of ‘scoping mission’    World Health Organisation says a larger international inquiry is expected to follow

Q&A: China’s Travel Ban Policy and Visa Issues for Foreigners
 (MOFA) announced it will suspend the entry of most foreign nationals into the country from March 28, 2020. Many foreigners holding a residence permit and who work in China are now unable to return. Naturally, the most commonly asked questions are how they would be able to re-enter China and how to manage the status of their visas, work permits, and residence permits.

Shenzhen Schools Scrap Final Exams, Class Rankings
The move is consistent with similar initiatives by other provinces to protect students from stress and anxiety.

China’s lawmakers review draft data security law as digital economy grows
Legal experts say it aims to protect individual privacy but also to promote the use of government data through ‘controllable open platform’     Beijing is pushing sectors like artificial intelligence and big data, but industry experts say regulation is lagging behind

National security law: China won’t be ‘threatened’ but is braced for US financial sanctions, top bank official says
Hong Kong adopted the national security law on Tuesday which criminalises behaviour and acts under the four categories of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign power   US lawmakers on Thursday passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act that requires sanctions against individuals and banks over the erosion of the city’s autonomy

National security law: Germany’s Angela Merkel says right of asylum available to all, including Hongkongers
Chancellor sees ‘no need’ for additional measures to help relocate Hongkongers amid concerns over new legislation passed by Beijing     Merkel says Europe must continue dialogue with China because of its importance in the world

As Hong Kong sanctions bill moves to Donald Trump’s desk, analysts parse his previous reluctance to use sanctions
Hong Kong Autonomy Act is awaiting Donald Trump’s signature, but analysts point to previous reluctance to sanction China and Russia     Individuals and banks could face sanctioning, with experts expecting surgically targeted sanctions to avoid widespread economic blowback

Senate Sends Trump a Bill to Punish Chinese Officials Over Hong Kong
The legislation would impose sanctions on officials responsible for instituting and enforcing China’s new security law targeting Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Zheng Yanxiong: China appoints hard-line Hong Kong security chief
China has appointed a hard-line figure as head of its new security agency in Hong Kong.

Britain may offer citizenship to BN(O) Hongkongers but what happens if China refuses to recognise it?
If China does not accept dual citizenship or nationality, Hongkongers returning home may still be classed as Chinese citizens, says observer    Article 38 of the law covers offences by non-permanent residents of HK outside the city, so discussion of citizenship issues may be irrelevant: researcher

China speaks in tongues over Taiwan
While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) bellows at Hong Kong, it is relatively low-key on cross-strait relations. Three economic signals and a pair of political statements make Beijing’s tone down of threats against Taiwan perceptible.      First was the reintroduction of Chinese smartphones in Taiwan. Vivo, a Chinese tech firm, is set to introduce two smartphone models into the Taiwanese market. The comeback was made after the National Communications Commission (NCC) of Taiwan started restricting technology devices containing ‘sovereignty-degrading’ substance in November 2019.

Chinese academic accused of being an Australian spy slams ‘outrageous slander’ in Beijing-run tabloid
Feng Chongyi, an academic accused by the Global Times of being an Australia spy, slammed ‘propaganda machine of the Chinese Communist Party’ for tabloid splash    State media story is the latest in a series of accusations of espionage from both Australia and China, as geopolitical tensions creep up

China-India border fight latest in long and troubled history between the Asian giants
With both sides accusing the other of ignoring agreements struck over past 30 years, experts say situation is complex     One problem is lack of demarcated border, just a traditional line formed gradually over thousands of years

India’s rising infections and falling economic growth
On 2 July 2020, India’s Ministry of Health announced 226,947 active cases of COVID-19, with 17,400 lives lost. India is unfortunately now among the world’s top five infected countries. As a country with one of the highest population densities in the world and a creaky public health system, India has experienced exponential growth in the number of infections. As a result, in addition to the health crisis, India’s economy has been brought to a standstill.   The Indian economy will suffer from significant gaps between supply and demand in almost all sectors due to disruptions caused by the virus. A recent report by CRISIL, an S&P Global company, initially reduced its GDP growth forecast for 2020 from 3.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent. After the lockdown was extended for a fourth phase until 31 May 2020, CRISIL raised the alarm by noting that the Indian economy would shrink by 5 per cent in the fiscal year 2020–21.

It’s True That Democracy in China Is in Retreat, But Don’t Give up on It Now
The ideas of rule of law, civil society, freedom, and democracy have been deeply planted in the hearts of Chinese people. As I see it, engagement is right, the Chinese people need it. Interaction with governments, international organizations, civil society organizations, scholars, and media has had a deep effect. And it should be allowed to continue to deepen. I believe only democracy can make China change

How China’s Restaurants Are Adapting to a Post-Coronavirus World
COVID-19 has turned up the heat on fine dining establishments everywhere, including in China. But Chinese restaurateurs aren’t ready to sell burgers just yet.

US, Vietnam and Philippines accuse Beijing of ‘unlawful maritime claims’ with five-day drill in South China Sea
Exercises near the Paracel Islands break pledge not to militarise contested maritime region, says US Department of Defence    Vietnam’s foreign ministry says ‘violation of sovereignty’ may harm China’s relationship with Asean

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