China Press Review – June 16, 2020

Press review

EU plans dialogue with the US to deal with China’s ‘growing assertiveness’
EU foreign policy chief’s suggestion comes just days ahead of Monday’s EU-China summit, amid an ensuing lack of commitment by Beijing on widening market access     His proposal was a surprise to some, as his recent blog post seemed to suggest that the EU would not form a transatlantic alliance with the US on China

Virus crisis torpedoes foreign investment: UN
Global foreign direct investment flows are likely to plunge by 40 percent this year due to the coronavirus crisis, the UN said Tuesday, with worse expected in 2021. FDI will shrivel from its 2019 value of $1.54 trillion to below $1 trillion for the first time since 2005, said the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. FDI — a measure of cross-border private sector investments — is forecast to decrease by a further 5 to 10 percent in 2021 and only start a recovery in 2022, UNCTAD said in its World Investment Report 2020.
pdf full report

China’s giant Canton Fair goes virtual, with teething pains
China’s oldest and biggest trade expo opened online for the first time this week to make up for lost face-to-face trading in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, though some buyers and sellers complained of teething problems.

Did London Fashion Week connect with China’s Netizens?
Despite the participation of a healthy representation of Chinese designers and retailers, the event itself received a disappointing volume on social media in China. The lack of physical attendees from China undoubtedly impacted negatively on the event’s ability to capture fans online. Previous LFW’s have spawned hashtags on Weibo for celebrities like actor and singer Kris Wu as well as actress Zhou Dongyu; these two alone have received 470 million and 82.5 million views respectively

While Canton Fair Goes Online, COMPUTEX 2020 Is Cancelled
One of the largest annual trade events on the ICT and IoT industry, COMPUTEX 2020 has been cancelled, with event organisers postponing the trade fair until 2021.    COMPUTEX organisers Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taipei Computer Association (TCA) cited the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as the cause for the cancellation.

US tech firms to remain involved with Huawei on 5G standards as Washington eases hard line
The Trump administration announced a rule change on Monday that ensures US tech firms can work with Huawei in international 5G standards-development activities    That marked a rare move from Washington to allow continued cooperation with Huawei, which was put on the US trade blacklist last year

Asia’s renewable energy push is a bright spot amid coronavirus gloom
With solar and wind power now cheaper than coal and technical problems such as intermittency being solved, investing in renewable energy makes economic sense     Taiwan’s wind energy development and China and India’s solar energy initiatives are encouraging examples

EV industry grapples with consensus as sales fall further in May
While China’s overall auto sales have rebounded strongly following the Covid-19 outbreak, the electric vehicle market cratered with a double-digit decline in May. New energy vehicles (NEV) sales dropped 23.5% year on year to 82,000 units in May, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), while total auto sales leapt 14.5% on an annual basis. The decline continues a nearly year-long dropoff since Beijing announced in July cuts in EV subsidies of up to 60%. The world’s biggest EV market recorded its first-ever annual decline last year, with 1.2 million units sold.China’s top industry regulator in 2017 set a 2020 goal of 2 million EVs, to reach 20% of new car sales by 2025. Whether China will be unseated as the world’s biggest electric vehicle market seems unlikely, yet bleak auto sales figures are a stark reminder of the chasm between Beijing’s near-term goals and actual sales

Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific stocks rally, following US gains on latest bond-buying step by Federal Reserve to boost confidence
New economy stocks surge in Hong Kong    China equities advance even as Beijing wrestles with outbreak of coronavirus

How design thinking’s user-centric approach helps Hong Kong embrace a cashless future
While many Hong Kong residents prefer paying in cash, multinational bank HSBC has been leading the change with PayMe, a popular mobile payment app   Experts say the app’s success is rooted in its design thinking approach, which places user-centricity at the heart of product development

Coronavirus: next three days ‘crucial’ to contain Beijing market outbreak
China’s chief epidemiologist says response in the capital was timely and effective as cases rise to 106 since Thursday     32 new cases in the country linked to Xinfadi market as Sichuan province traces contacts of woman who travelled from Beijing

China’s economic recovery from coronavirus in doubt as Beijing outbreak forces businesses to ‘wait and see’
China has reported over 100 cases that can be traced back to the sprawling Xinfadi food market since Thursday, forcing Beijing into a ‘wartime’ contingency mode    Coronavirus outbreak came at the same time data appeared to be showing signs of recovery within the world’s second largest economy

Wet markets in China: more than a shopping venue, they’re a way of life
Xinfadi market in Beijing leads in the value and volume of goods traded among over 4,600 farm produce wholesale markets in the country     With 600 million people in China living on less than US$5 a day, such markets are a hub for canny shoppers

Could Beijing’s Jump in COVID-19 Cases Set Roadblocks to Luxury Recovery?
Prior to the new outbreak, Beijing was on its way to a strong recovery, with malls and stores filled with eager shoppers emerging from months of lockdown. Now, however, Beijing’s recovery appears less rosy, and the potential impact of Beijing once again in lockdown would have devastating effects for global luxury brands counting on Beijing’s recovery, as well as China’s overall economy and its rising domestic travel market. Already posts cancelling airline tickets to Beijing for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival have emerged online. Added to that, multiple provinces have started to enforce a 14-day self-quarantine to those traveling from Beijing. Is this the start of China’s second wave?

Who’s a ‘bad actor’ on the world stage?
Washington says it’s China but, from arms control to human rights, America poses a far greater threat

Former Hong Kong envoy chosen as new British ambassador to China
Caroline Wilson was consul general to Hong Kong and Macau between 2012 and 2016, which included the Occupy Central movement    She is expected to assume the role in September, taking over from Barbara Woodward

Hong Kong’s Gen X has a duty to help the city and its youth forge a better future
The generation that spans Hong Kong’s colonial past and post-2047 future has a duty to help the city’s angry, disenfranchised youth out of the crisis so they can see a way to a better future. Hong Kong’s fate depends on it

Hong Kong and US protests are different – in how police brutality claims are treated
Unlike in Hong Kong, public outrage over the allegations of police violence is taken seriously in the US
While being deaf to protesters’ demands, Hong Kong and Beijing officials are busy calling out the US for double standards

Coronavirus: Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne says China is spreading ‘disinformation’
‘Troubling that some countries are using the pandemic to undermine liberal democracy’, the top diplomat says during major foreign policy speech     She says the disinformation includes Beijing’s warning that Chinese tourists and students should avoid Australia due to racist attacks

Karm Gilespie’s case cannot be separated completely from strained Sino-Australian relations
The case highlights rise of ‘hostage diplomacy’, when one country detains a foreign citizen as retaliation for actions that might have displeased it     Unfortunately for those like Gilespie who are arguably caught up in a wider political game, there is little sign of tensions easing

China’s socialism beats capitalism, Communist Party ideology veteran says in ‘bid to shore up support’
President’s ideas are the Marxism of this century and China is enjoying ‘the most wonderful chapter of world socialism in 500 years’, article says     Propaganda campaign aims to project the country’s confidence and Xi’s grip on power after the Covid-19 outbreak, observers say

In Xi Jinping’s effort to make China No. 1, he’s forgotten the basics
Xi Jinping has set China the goal of leading the world in cutting edge technology, but has overlooked the very basics. While the regime is pursuing quantum computing, artificial intelligence and space dominance, it has neglected one of the founding concepts of physics. Isaac Newton’s third law says that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.     As Xi pushes harder and harder for global dominance, he is provoking a growing pushback. Not just from the US. A growing number of people, countries and organisations are realising that Xi’s China is not the China they thought they knew.

Could the China-US conflict evolve into two competing spheres of economic influence?
New economic initiatives from China and the US point to competition between a ‘belt and road order’ and ‘liberal international order’, analysts say      US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi on Wednesday to try to de-escalate growing tensions

Trump’s America and Xi’s China are dangerously stuck in a rut
Both Beijing and Washington are retreating to old patterns – of US-bashing or China-bashing. The two countries must move away from rivalry and understand their differences as problems that have solutions       The suspicion that the US and China are destined for war is defeatist and amoral. In such a war, there would be no winner. Our so-called superpowers would be dumb and dumber to risk going at it, and I don’t know who’d be the dumber of the two. But this is what you get when you embody the lockdown mentality: when you are among the self-damned living in bunkers of limited thinking.

India-China border news live updates: 5 died on Chinese side, 11 injured in Ladakh, reports say
India-China border tension live: An Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh; check realtime latest updates on India-China border face-off, tensions

China-US close encounters ‘raise conflict risk in South China Sea’
Warships from both countries came within 100m of each other in April, Chinese military insider says   Washington and Beijing need to find a way to stop such incidents escalating and going out of control, maritime analyst says

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