U.S. tells China it does not seek conflict; but will stand up for principles, friends
The Biden administration began its first high-level in-person talks with rival China on Thursday, saying that Chinese actions threaten a global order based on rules and vowing that Washington would also stand up for its friends. “We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition, and we will always stand up for our principles, for our people, and for our friends,” the U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said at the start of talks with Chinese counterparts in Alaska.
How to deal with China
The challenge from China will subject them to their greatest test since the early days of the cold war. What is more, as the economy of Hong Kong also shows, China is more tightly coupled with the West than communist Russia ever was. This presents the free world with an epoch-dening question: how should it best secure prosperity, lower the risk of war and protect freedom as China rises? Greater resilience allows openness and a tough stance on human rights. By articulating an alternative vision to totalitarianism, liberal governments can help sustain the vigour of open societies everywhere in a confrontation that, if it is not to end in a tragic war, will last decades. It is vital to show that talk of universal values and human rights is more than a cynical tactic to preserve Western hegemony and keep China down. That means firms acting against enormities by, say, excluding forced labour from their supply chains. Whereas Western amorality would only make Chinese nationalism more threatening, principled advocacy of human rights sustained over many years may encourage China’s people to demand the same freedoms for themselves. China’s rulers believe they have found a way to marry autocracy with technocracy, opacity with openness, and brutality with commercial predictability. After the suppression of Hong Kong, free societies should be more aware than ever of the challenge that presents. They now need to muster a response—and to prepare their defences for the long struggle ahead
We Can’t Let China Eat Our Lunch
Last week, China made a bold move in its quest to become an innovation superpower, unveiling a five year plan to grow the country’s economy by six percent, increase spending on technology, and weaken the pro-democratic opposition in Hong Kong. Closer to home, President Biden warned that without sufficient investments in infrastructure China is a threat and issued an executive order to strengthen U.S. supply chains. To win the economic race against China, America’s business must revive stakeholder capitalism. It worked when America was the world’s industrial leader and created our middle class as the world’s largest economic market. Today, it’s working again in many familiar companies: Microsoft MSFT -0.6%, Delta, Costco, Home Depot HD 0.0%, Mastercard MA -1.1%, and many others. A reimagined and more democratic, as well as more just, America—with a dramatically improved educational system—will provide fuel for a new wave of entrepreneurial innovation. We can win the economic race with China. The challenge is for us to get in the game and begin playing for the long-term, with wisdom, caring and fairness. At our best, that’s who we are
Alaska talks: Is the US trying to turn China into a pariah?
China tried to frame its first high-level meeting with the Biden administration as a step towards mending ties. But the US has been clear it wants to rally a global alliance to confront “threats” from Beijing.
Top U.S., China diplomats have public spat as Alaska summit opens
The contentious on-camera exchanges were a clear departure from the light pleasantries traditionally offered before diplomatic discussions.
Alaska summit: US and China trade barbs in tense start to talks – but Beijing still hopes for progress
The meeting in Anchorage began with a series of testy public exchanges, but the mood reportedly improved once the two sides sat down behind closed doors The sniping between senior officials, including China’s foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had largely been expected
The U.S.-China Talks: A Meeting of Friends and Foes
What, exactly, are the political stakes? We asked our correspondent David Sanger for a rundown.
Relations between the countries are as complicated as they are consequential. Conflicts have arisen recently over the Trump administration’s trade war, China’s increasingly authoritarian policies in Hong Kong, its campaign of internment and mass sterilization against Uyghur Muslims and its suspected role in cyberattacks against the United States. The run-up to this meeting has only brought those tensions into clearer focus. Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, traveled last week to visit the two closest American allies in Asia, Japan and South Korea, but pointedly did not meet with Chinese officials. Instead, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, and a top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, arrived on U.S. soil on Thursday to meet with Blinken and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, for the first time.
Certainly the Biden team has not walked away from the instruments of power exercised by Trump; I think it realizes that Trump accurately identified the importance of addressing the China challenge. The Biden camp just believes he confronted it the wrong way. Trump thought he could ban Chinese technologies, and impose sanctions on the country until it came to the bargaining table. But China is too big to sanction effectively. And at the end of the day, the U.S. has to innovate and produce competitive products. To the Biden team, that means we need our own answer to 5G networks, because right now there is no American-made alternative. It means we need to make advances in semiconductors and artificial intelligence, even if that requires some innovative, government-backed industrial policy.
Alaska and beyond
China and the US held their first high-level talks of the Biden administration this week in Alaska, and appropriately for the location, the atmosphere was frosty. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan kicked off by saying: “We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition, and we will always stand up for our principles, for our people, and for our friends,” while Sec of State Blinken said the US side would shortly outline its “deep concerns” about Chinese actions in various spheres. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi responded by accusing Washington of using its financial and military might to squeeze other countries and said that abusive US national security policies threatened the future of global trade.
Why Biden’s China Policy Faces an Obstacle in Germany
The city of Taicang illustrates the tight ties between the countries — and how difficult it could be for President Biden to win allies in his campaign to isolate Beijing.
Biden’s China policy won’t be Europe’s China policy
What the first weeks of US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s, geostrategic toe-dipping has shown is that Biden’s China policy won’t be Europe’s China policy, as the Biden Administration probably expected. And that’s not because Europe is weak, but because it simply doesn’t see what’s in it for it. Europe’s approach to China includes seeing the giant as a partner, competitor, and an adversary, but also to a great extent viewing China in a neutral fashion, especially when it comes to vital defense and security. Chinese policemen and drones patrol across Serbia in the EU’s back yard, but China poses no defense threat to the European Union. China doesn’t finance terrorism. There is no need for Europe, which still faces the Covid and economic crises, to artificially create a new “boogie man” only to humor the United States and prove loyalty. Encircling China militarily right at its door step is just asking for trouble. Thanks, but Europe will sit this one out.
US lawmakers reintroduce bill to revoke China’s trade relations status
The legislation would require the US president to approve regular trade relations annually ‘It’s time to protect American jobs and hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their forced labour camps,’ lawmaker says
China, Russia to stand ‘back to back’ as tensions with US rise, observers say
Neighbours will look to cement ties so they can ‘jointly respond to the shift in US policy towards’ them, academic says Foreign ministers Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov will ‘share opinions on international and regional issues of common concern’ when they meet in Beijing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman says
China Still a Tier-3 Manufacturer in Global Rankings
Industrial reforms needed to boost manufacturing efficiencies Country to embark on a 30-year program of improvement Status identifies areas of potential foreign investment interest
Covid-19 and digital economy changes
China’s changing digital economy includes market saturation for higher end products and services, the erosion of foreign premium and the explosive growth of live-streaming. There are two additional areas of change which foreign businesses need to consider both for existing businesses and new ventures in China. A Tmall store front, a WeChat and QR code link and product promotion based on market success and consumer demand in a foreign country is no longer enough for any competitive advantage in the China market.
Chinese workers fear job discrimination will rise under plans to increase mandatory retirement age
Workplace bias is already widely considered a problem in China’s labour market, and letting people work longer could make finding and keeping a job even more difficultder employees in white-collar private jobs could end up forced out of long-held roles, especially as competition for jobs among new university graduates intensifies every year
China to ‘tap policy brakes’ amid global commodity price rebound, but will look to ‘avoid a policy cliff’
Iron ore, copper and oil have recorded steep price gains this year due to abundant liquidity worldwide as well as the impact of the US$1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan China is set to ‘tap the policy brakes’ and adopt a more restrained policy stance to rein in debt, but analysts remain ‘bullish on commodity prices’ “While a quick rebound is on the way this year worldwide, it’s artificially fuelled by fiscal and monetary stimulus,” added Tao from Credit Suisse. “This isn’t sustainable beyond 2021.” But until then, it seems, it is game on. The International Monetary Fund sees the global economy growing 5.5 per cent this year after a 3.5 per cent contraction in 2020. It sees the US expanding 5.1 per cent this year after contracting 3.4 per cent in 2020. “China won’t really shift policies enough to undo the commodity cycle,” said Alicia Garcia-Herrero, chief economist for Asia-Pacific at Natixis in Taipei. “A growth rate of 7 per cent for China, added to the US at a similar level, should be enough for the commodity cycle to continue on an upbeat tone.
Beijing sharpens focus on deepfake use, social audio apps as it pushes security review at Big Tech companies
Group of 11 major internet firms has been asked to perform a sweeping security assessment of their apps and services China’s internet watchdog is closely monitoring the use of deepfake technology and social audio apps The regulators’ action comes amid Beijing’s efforts to toughen internet censorship in the world’s second-largest economy. Chinese authorities have been tightening their grip on the internet in recent years, broadly censoring content it deems inappropriate, including pornography, gambling, fake news and political dissent. Authorities are closely watching developments in the use of deepfake technology on the mainland, according to the CAC statement. That focus stems from the existence of apps like Quyan, translated as “go act” in Mandarin, which lets users swap their own faces with those from actors in a film clip. It is similar to Zao, a face-swapping app that went viral in China in 2019, which sparked concerns over how it stored and used facial data.
What will the next big tech trend be? ‘Go back in time’ with China
With China accelerating past the US in 5G deployment, the Chinese consumer internet could be viewed as a new investment ‘time machine’ Betting on the firms copying successful China models could prove a lucrative investment strategy Today, with China accelerating past the US in 5G deployment, the Chinese consumer internet could be viewed as a new investment “time machine”. China’s prospective 5G leadership is important because not only will it create future investment opportunities, it will also set the standards that will guide the global development of 5G, especially in emerging markets.
China seeks to boost rust-belt province as a ‘golden place’ for technology development
Vice-Premier Liu He and top economic policymakers headed to Liaoning province this week to solicit opinions on the region’s next stage of development A previous revitalisation plan for the economically struggling rust-belt region in 2003 failed to lift the region out of its economic doldrums
China Tech Investor: Chinese Antritrust Exceptionalism, with Angela Huyue Zhang
Recorded live on Clubhouse, Elliott chats with University of Hong Kong professor Angela Zhang about her new book “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism.” They explore the unique structural and cultural frameworks that distinguish China’s antitrust approach from that of other prominent nations, how China may use antitrust in its competition with the US, and what investors can learn from Ant Group’s halted IPO.
China’s EV makers to incorporate battery recycling as Beijing looks to tackle growing waste
A total of 7.05 million tonnes of EV lithium-ion batteries are expected to go offline between 2021 and 2030, according to Greenpeace China is keen to prevent unchecked and unregulated disposal of lithium-ion batteries as the extraction of lithium and other materials could harm the environment “In many ways China has a very modern system, much better than most other countries, including the European Union. China also is host to some of the best recyclers in the world like GEM, Ganzhou Highpower and Brunp,” said Melin. “In China, batteries are recycled because there is a demand for the materials in the battery value chain, while in Europe and the US they are recycled because we believe it’s waste,” he added.
Why Fed’s determination to reboot US economy should calm investors’ taper jitters
The central bank’s work is far from done, despite the better-than-anticipated economic recovery, as unemployment numbers must continue to come down Bond investors will continue to test the Fed, but the near-zero interest rates on short-dated Treasuries indicate there’s little pressure to raise rates for now For some time now, the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic has ceased to be a key determinant of sentiment, mainly because of the vaccine breakthrough in November last year, but also because of increasing anxiety about the adverse financial consequences of a stronger-than-anticipated economic recovery. According to the results of the survey, for the first time since the pandemic erupted in March last year, respondents no longer viewed the virus as the biggest threat to markets. Instead, a stronger-than-expected surge in inflation and a disorderly sell-off in bond markets were perceived as the most important “tail risks”.
What Lies Behind China’s Belt and Road Initiative?
Although popular perception views the Belt and Road Initiative as an offensive project, it is a defensive venture by China to safeguard its international trade, the source of its growing wealth.
Hoping to Make Reforms Stick, China Bolsters School Evaluations
New guidebook forbids schools and governments from making education too competitive. To make it harder for schools and local governments to ignore reforms aimed at making education less competitive and curricula more well-rounded, China’s central government on Thursday made public new evaluation standards.
Diplomats barred from trial of detained Canadian
China was expected to open the first trial Friday for one of two Canadians who have been held for more than two years in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a senior Chinese telecom executive. Canada said its consular officials were not given permission to attend the proceedings despite several requests.
EU plan for digital green certificates does not exclude Chinese vaccines
Member nations waiving restrictions would have to accept all vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency, but the proposal leaves the door open for other products Vaccine roll-out in EU has so far been dominated by Pfizer and BioNTech, which account for over two-thirds of the nearly 65 million doses distributed
Has the Vatican lost its voice in China?
China should be treated like any other country and play by the same rules as others. With increasing Chinese influence on the world scene, there is a risk that ‘Chinese characteristics’ may be applied outside China, twisting and turning universal values and principles. There needs to be an international coalition between Christians, and perhaps other religious groups, to put pressure on China. Here the Vatican could play a central role with its strength and experience, which would also benefit the achievement of the ‘pastoral’ aspects sought with the current Sino-Vatican agreement. True dialogue includes frank criticism and is the key to making real steps forward in relations with China.
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