China Press Review – March 10, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus forces Europe to confront China dependency
Mounting supply chain problems are fuelling arguments for greater independence from Beijing’s manufacturing might      Outbreak has already caused Chinese exports to plummet, falling by 17.2 per cent in January-February compared with a year ago

A China-Centric Global Recession?
The Covid-19 outbreak has dramatically increased the risk of a global recession. According to the IMF, the global economy expanded by only 2.9% in 2019, barely above the 2.5% threshold below which signals a global recession. The economic impact of Covid-19 could easily plunge the global economy into one. If this happens, it will be a China-centric global recession in how it had started, how it would progress, and how it may end.

Coronavirus: Donald Trump to propose economic measures to help people and companies affected by outbreak
Payroll tax cut and help for beleaguered travel industry are among the steps to be offered Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the administration can deal with the situation and predicts the ‘economy will be in very good shape a year from now’

US Fed rate cut alone won’t steady a global economy shaken by the coronavirus
The dramatic spike in demand for safe-haven 10-year Treasuries, raising the spectre of an inverted yield curve, is a sign that markets expect more from the Fed    The central bank must ensure access to US dollar liquidity remains open, at a time spooked consumers stockpile certain goods and banks stockpile US dollars

American companies in China count costs of trade war
Fewer report profits and only a minority record revenue growth for 2019

The Impact of the Coronavirus on U.S. Trade Proceedings
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an undisputed impact on health and travel around the globe during the past two months. It has also stifled trade with China, where it originated. The pressure from tariffs and the ongoing trade war is beginning to shift to pressure from supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus. Importers and manufacturers that source from China have been particularly affected, as have maritime, construction, and global supply chain entities. But as trade with China has taken a hit, how have U.S. agencies handled the administration and enforcement of ongoing proceedings involving China?

Coronavirus: China export slump ‘on par with global financial crisis’ as surprise trade deficit concerns Beijing
China’s trade deficit in the first two months was US$7.1 billion, the first since March 2018, which could hit recovery hopes from coronavirus shutdown    Analysts suggest that while January-February data were bad, the worst will come later, as other countries’ demand for Chinese exports sags

Coronavirus: China’s inflation remained high in February, pork prices jumped 135 per cent
China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.2 per cent in February from a year earlier, with pork prices jumping 135.2 per cent    China’s producer price index (PPI), reflecting the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, dropped 0.3 per cent year-on-year in February

Coronavirus sends food prices soaring in China
Falling prices for industrial wholesale goods combined with consumer food inflation at a decade high present Chinese policy makers with a worsening dilemma as the coronavirus continues to freeze economic activity in China and around the world.

Infrastructure projects to boost China’s economy
The central government has called for new investments in infrastructure to revive China’s fortunes

As a global economic storm gathers, even Singapore may no longer be a safe haven for investors
Singapore’s commercial property market surged last year, largely because of foreign capital inflows. But this is now a liability, as cross-border investors take a sterner view of the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy

Shanghai Moves to Attract Foreign Investment, Open Up China’s Financial Sector
Shanghai is keen to strengthen its position as a finance and research hub on the mainland – even as COVID-19 has temporarily disrupted development plans.   The eastern megapolis is home to over 1,000 multinational headquarters and foreign R&D centers in China.  New policies target financial opening-up in the Lingang New Area of Shanghai’s Pilot FTZ.

In Malaysia’s Silicon Valley, fortunes flip as virus wrecks trade war gains
Tech firms at Malaysia’s one-time Silicon Valley of the East, swimming in orders from customers fleeing trade war-hit China, have seen fortunes turn again in the space of just a year as the coronavirus outbreak cuts them off from Chinese suppliers.

China’s Economy Is Getting Back to Work After Virus Shutdowns
China’s economy is beginning to revive, as the government signals progress in battling the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 3,100 people and sickened tens of thousands at home.     Government controls and the fear of going outside have curtailed consumer spending, and many factories are still not working at full capacity due to clogged logistics systems, a lack of staff, or limited supplies and raw materials.  The economy was likely running at 70% to 80% capacity last week, according to a Bloomberg Economics report, while China International Capital Corp estimated it was at about 76% as of March 8.  The following data track how much of the world’s second-largest economy remains out of action.

Coronavirus: China’s restaurants and shops suffer ‘sleepless nights’ as business closures surge
Restaurants, shops and other parts of China’s services sector have been forced to close as virus control measures limit customer traffic to a fraction of normal     With revenues drying up, small businesses are struggling to keep up with costs like rent and employee salaries

Coronavirus: China trumpets message of stability amid world turmoil as Beijing senses Covid-19 victory
President Xi Jinping’s trip to Wuhan on Tuesday buoyed stock markets in Hong Kong and Shanghai after Monday’s global free-fall    China also reported its lowest daily number of new infections on Tuesday, including 17 in Wuhan and two imported cases in Beijing and Guangdong

Coronavirus ‘victory in sight’ for Wuhan as Xi Jinping visits front line
President Xi encourages medical staff and patients to be confident the epidemic will be overcome during tour of city at centre of outbreak    Several indicators emerged on Tuesday to suggest Wuhan’s containment measures are paying off

How Italy’s coronavirus lockdown differs from China’s
The measures announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte do not go as far as the steps taken in Wuhan and it remains unclear how they were being enforced

The corona crisis: too little, too late
Virologists in China now admit Wuhan was too late to take their drastic measure and would have saved halved the number of corona patients and related deaths if they had locked down the city five days earlier. But despite those experiences in China, the rest of the world is complacent about the arrival of the virus and resist measures that would stop the virus from spreading.  “Do not shake hands,” is the most drastic solution of the rest of Europe, while there is no sign medics of the rest of Europe are rushing to help Italy to contain the current crisis.  It might be too little, too late. Learning from China could have been a good idea.

Coronavirus: US death rate likely to fall as new rules allow for wider testing
Rule change means independent laboratories will be able to use their own tests, making them available to less severe cases   US fatality rate stands at about 4.5 per cent, compared with 3.9 per cent in mainland China

China shuts all temporary coronavirus hospitals in city of Wuhan – state media
China has now closed all temporary hospitals in the central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, a news website backed by the Shanghai government, the Paper, said on its official Twitter account on Tuesday.

Coronavirus: Hong Kong to put anyone returning from Italy and parts of France, Germany, and Japan under mandatory quarantine
Restrictions apply to arrivals into Hong Kong from all of Italy, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est in France, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, and Hokkaido in Japan   Measures will come into effect from Friday midnight, a source says, adding the government is also monitoring the epidemic situation in Spain and India

Why COVID-19 Is Getting the TCM Treatment
China’s medical system is far more advanced than it was 50 years ago, so why are herbal remedies still a go-to cure?

Will China learn from the COVID-19 epidemic?
When the SARS epidemic ended in 2003, many people in China thought that the government had learned its lesson. SARS was the most serious epidemic the country encountered in the reform era, killing 349 people in China. The government was roundly criticised for its cover-ups in the early phases of the epidemic, leading to some frantic bureaucratic reshuffles, greater transparency and an expensive control and prevention system for infectious diseases. In March 2019 Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Gao Fu confidently predicted that China would never again suffer from another SARS-like epidemic.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
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