Can China prevent a US-style collapse of its manufacturing sector?
Manufacturing’s contribution to GDP has been in free fall since 2006 and alarm bells are starting to ring, experts say. Beijing should learn a lesson from the demise of America’s industrial sector, they say.
As US-China clash endangers our fragile economic recovery, we must do more than just gawk
The worst-case scenario is an arms race that diverts money urgently needed for pandemic recovery and climate change We can all do more to force the two biggest economies in the world to behave, especially the US In a worst-case scenario, the ganging up of the Quad nations against China could increase geopolitical tensions and set off an arms race between China, the US, Japan and other major powers that would divert fiscal resources from urgently needed spending on recovery and climate change. It is difficult to see how President Joe Biden thinks he can finance urgently needed domestic infrastructure spending of reportedly up to US$3-4 trillion, plus other huge social spending, while also running the risk of having to ramp up military outlays. As argued here before, it may be that Biden believes that by provoking China itself into a “Star Wars” scale of spending on arms (by means of sabre-rattling), he can push America’s purported rival hegemon to the brink of bankruptcy. That would be a dangerous war of brinkmanship indeed. Japan naturally bridled when Chinese officials referred to it as a “vassal” of the US ahead of the encounter in Alaska. The choice of word was unfortunate but Japan undoubtedly has a great deal to lose by adhering unquestioningly first to the Trump line and now to the Biden posturing. It is not enough for non-Quad powers to stand on the sidelines wringing their hands in dismay over the increasingly acerbic exchanges between the Biden-constructed alliance of nations and China. The time has come to cry “a plague on all your houses” and push them both (the US especially) to behave more maturely.Anthony Rowley is a veteran journalist specialising in
China’s bold economic plans and modest targets
The annual gathering of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) took place in March, at the usual time this year. Premier Li Keqiang’s speech and government documents presented showed confidence about past achievements. China’s management of the pandemic and its standing as the only major economy to achieve positive GDP growth in 2020, at 2.3 per cent, were high on the list. The sectors that China seeks to promote innovation in have not changed much since the Made in China 2025 initiative. No doubt the plan will receive some headwind, but the tide on industrial policy is turning worldwide. The United States now actively promotes a return of critical supply chains and the European Union seeks to revive its integrated circuit production. This is one area where China can claim to have set global standards. On balance, the Two Sessions confirm that China’s economic policy direction is raising the quality of growth and managing risk rather than maximising growth. Dual circulation is the new strategy that should get China there, while capabilities in basic research and consumer demand are likely to remain bottlenecks for some time.
Malign or benign? China–US strategic competition under Biden
In late 2017 China–US relations shifted dramatically when the Trump administration officially labelled China a strategic competitor. For various reasons the Democrats seem to have accepted this label. Many believe strategic competition will continue to define the relationship under the Biden administration, though its understanding of strategic competition may be quite different from the Trump administration’s. Crucially, the Biden administration does not believe that all-out confrontation with China serves US interests. During the presidential election campaign, Biden risked losing popular support by declaring that he perceives China as a strategic competitor rather than an enemy. While endorsing a tough approach toward China, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that Biden’s China policy will be different from his predecessor’s. The new administration will confront China on some issues, while seeking to collaborate in other areas where the two countries share interests.
Although the Biden administration’s approach to strategic competition is quite different from the Trump administration’s, it does not necessarily follow that China–US relations will stabilise and improve. How the Biden administration actually deals with the thorny issues between the two countries is yet to be seen. It will also depend on how China responds to US actions. Given the strong negative pubic sentiments toward each other, and their increasingly divergent domestic political practices, a truly benign strategic competition still remains difficult if not impossible to achieve.
China’s national carbon trading market eyes June debut in Shanghai
Exchange anticipated to have up to 10,000 participants by 2025 Authorities may potentially counter speculative trades by guiding low-value transactions. One trick would be to grant carbon credits in generous volumes, but that would sabotage the effectiveness of curbing emissions. Market watchers speculate that a carbon credit will initially trade at about 50 yuan ($7.64) on average, which is a far cry from prices on the European futures market, where values exceed 40 euros ($47). Steps will have to be taken to ensure faith in carbon trading. Previously, authorities were often reluctant to fine polluters due to the impact it would have on the local economy and jobs. The government faces a choice of pivoting toward market mechanisms or sticking with a compliance regime marked by guidance and discretion.
China generated over half world’s coal-fired power in 2020
China generated 53% of the world’s total coal-fired power in 2020, nine percentage points more than five years earlier, despite climate pledges and the building of hundreds of renewable energy plants, a global data study showed on Monday, reported Reuters. Although China added a record 71.7 gigawatts (GW) of wind power and 48.2 GW of solar last year, it was the only G20 nation to see a significant jump in coal-fired generation, according to research from Ember, a London-based energy and climate research group. China’s coal-fired generation rose by 1.7% or 77 terawatt-hours, enough to bring its share of total global coal power to 53%, up from 44% in 2015, the report showed.
Suez Canal blockage: China to see minor raw material disruptions, but accident further exposes ‘risks’ of global supply chains
The Suez Canal blockage will have limited impact on China’s economy, but may prompt firms to once again consider diversifying global supply chains The ultra-large container ship Ever Given has broken free from the banks of the Suez Canal after a five-day salvage effort, but the rescue mission is still under way
US-China tension brings both a risk of chip dependency on Taiwan
Policymakers and industries alarmed by semiconductor shortage The actions taken by the U.S. against Huawei and SMIC have caused a concentration of chip production in Taiwan, creating uncertainty and disruption for the global semiconductor supply chain. The shortage has been particularly disruptive for automakers because the production of vehicles relies on dozens of computer chips for electronic components that control engines, transmissions and other systems
Europe Has a Better Lever Against China Than Sanctions
As tensions escalate and the U.S. seeks allies in its rivalry with China, the EU should reconsider its investment deal with Beijing. The weakest part of the agreement, however, is a vague commitment by China to move toward — maybe, one day — ratifying the conventions of the International Labor Organization that ban forced labor. Why not just ratify? The issue here is Xinjiang, where Beijing brutally oppresses the large and mainly Muslim population of Uyghurs. Chinese equivocation on this point was a deal breaker for many members of the European Parliament even before the most recent sanctions.
As ever, the problem in the EU is that member states have diverging interests. Germany, in particular, cares a lot about its business and commercial links — for five years in a row, China has been its largest trading partner, ahead of the U.S. (although America is still the biggest recipient of German exports).
Merkel has said she wants to avoid choosing between the U.S. and China, lest the world revert to rigid blocs as they existed during the Cold War. In this respect, her goals overlap with Xi Jinping’s. His objective is to keep the U.S. and the EU from ganging up against China. So he made a few concessions to get an investment deal he views as a gateway drug to other pacts. But this geopolitical motivation also means China has more to lose than the EU if the agreement fails — an asymmetry Europe can use.
Germany and the rest of Europe should remember what’s at stake: a conflict between value systems pitting Western notions about rule of law and open societies (however imperfectly those may often be observed in practice) against a Chinese model of overt autocracy. Europe cannot pretend to remain neutral in this contest. A good way to explain this to Beijing is for the EU to hold the investment deal to ransom.
Should Germany follow China’s ‘dual circulation’ strategy?
Beijing has ample scope to achieve 6 per cent growth in the coming years, but Germany, dependent on trade with its European Union partners, has poorer prospects Germany could take its cue from China’s new gambit to turn inwards and focus on domestic-led recovery to thrive
China’s new “dual circulation” development paradigm
To sustain growth, China is pushing a “dual circulation” development paradigm, which has been mentioned as a guiding thought in a blueprint for its development in the next five to 15 years. “China will advance the building of a strong domestic market and a strong trading nation in a concerted way, based on the domestic circulation,” read the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035. What is the new development paradigm? Why did China put forward it in 2020? How will the country foster it? Here are some explanations.
How has E-Commerce Adapted During the COVID-19 Outbreak?
By far, food and groceries were sold the most via online channels Even with this spike in online sales, most purchases, in fact, over 80%, still happened in stores.
US-China relations: Blinken condemns China’s ‘baseless sanctions’
Beijing’s efforts ‘contribute to the growing international scrutiny of the ongoing genocide’ in Xinjiang, US secretary of state says US stands ‘in solidarity with Canada, the UK, the EU, and other partners and allies around the world’, he says
US-China relations: trade talks will take place ‘when the time is right’, says new US Trade Representative Katherine Tai
Asian-American Katherine Tai was confirmed as the new US Trade Representative earlier this month Former US president Donald Trump placed tariffs on around US$370 billion of Chinese goods, with Joe Biden already saying he would not make any ‘immediate moves’ to lift the tariffs
Chinese boycott against Nike and Adidas over Xinjiang cotton appears to be losing steam
The two international sportswear brands remained visible on major e-commerce sites and a special Nike offer sold out quickly Celebrities have cut ties with firms that expressed concern about forced labour, but the country’s national soccer team has not followed suit
Xinjiang cotton dispute: the ‘era of bullying China’ is over, officials warn the West
China has come a long way since the ‘century of humiliation’, says Xinjiang government as it asks firms such as H&M to ‘distinguish right from wrong’ Cotton worker quoted in state media saying sanctions imposed by the West intended to ‘smash the rice bowls of Xinjiang cotton workers’
Huawei removes Nike and Adidas from its app store amid Xinjiang cotton controversy
A nationwide consumer boycott against foreign brands is sweeping the country in response to their previous statements about refusing to use Xinjiang cotton A Tmall sale offering the latest Nike women’s shoes for 699 yuan (US$107) on Friday night attracted 350,000 subscribers, and the product sold out immediately On Monday morning, Nike and Adidas apps on Huawei’s app store were not available to download, with search results for the two brands on Huawei phones greyed out. Huawei did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Separately, a number of celebrities, including Hong Kong Canto-pop star Eason Chan, have publicly cut their ties with the sportswear giants. However, the boycott has not affected their sales in China. As of Monday, the brands could still be found on major Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD.com and Pinduoduo, and consumer demand remains high.
China cuts taxes to spur semiconductor Growth
China has declared tax breaks to spur expansion of its semiconductor industry after U.S. sanctions that cut off access to American processor chips for tech giant Huawei and some other Businesses
H&M Stores Shuttered in China as Backlash Over Xinjiang Grows
Hennes & Mauritz AB stores in some parts of China are being closed by their landlords as fallout from the fashion retailer’s statement about forced labor in the contentious region of Xinjiang continues to spread. At least six stores in the lower-tiered cities of Urumqi, Yinchuan, Changchun and Lianyunang have been shut down by the owners of the properties, according to mall operators in those areas who were contacted by Bloomberg. Local media have reported more closures, with pictures showing H&M’s brand billboards being removed. China is one of the five biggest markets for H&M in terms of revenue with 5.2% of the group’s total sales in 2020. “We can’t tolerate any forces bringing shame on and tarnishing the pure and flawless Xinjiang cotton,” Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, said at a briefing on Thursday. “Chinese consumers have acted in response to the so-called business decisions made by some companies based on false information. We hope the relevant companies will respect market laws, correct wrong practices, and avoid the politicization of commercial issues.” While China realizes it’s unlikely to silence criticisms from the West by fighting back, its more aggressive stance is mainly to show a domestic audience that the Communist Party is “the best and most determined defender of China’s interests,” said Shi Yinhong, director of Renmin University’s Center on American Studies in Beijing.
Beyond cotton, another thread in Xinjiang supply chain creates new snag for global textile firms
An SCMP examination traces the supply chain for viscose rayon from Finland’s forests to state-run factories in Xinjiang – and then fanning out around the world Analysis reveals viscose producers with links to sanctioned entities and factories within miles of suspected detention camps in Xinjiang
US decries Chinese ‘state-led’ social media campaign against companies cutting Xinjiang ties
Biden administration appears keen to stiffen the resolve of companies that say they will stop working with Xinjiang suppliers because of forced-labour charges Chinese media has called for boycotts of Swedish retailer H&M, sports apparel powerhouses Nike and Adidas; New Balance; Burberry and other brands
Three of China’s Big Five lenders post fourth-quarter profit increase of over 40%
Three of China’s largest lenders on Friday booked a jump in fourth-quarter net profit of well over 40%, the first green shoots since the global COVID pandemic battered borrowers last year, reported Reuters.
During the first three quarters of 2020, Chinese lenders made hefty loan-loss provisions as Beijing urged the sector to step up lending to pandemic-hit sectors, but many have begun to see improvements in earnings in tandem with an economic recovery and are expected to continue to do so throughout the year, said Reuters. “Banks’ average net interest margin is unlikely to narrow further from the 2020 level of 2.1% because of the central bank’s gradual return to a neutral monetary policy stance,” said Moody’s in a March China Banking outlook. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Bank of Communications booked a jump in fourth-quarter net profit on Friday of well over 40%. Meanwhile, China Construction Bank Corp logged a 58% surge in fourth-quarter net profit.
Chinese energy giant Sinopec bets future on hydrogen as it looks to reach decarbonisation goals ahead of time
The world’s largest oil refiner has set a target for carbon emissions to peak by 2025, and will aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, chairman Zhang says The company plans to have 100 hydrogen refuelling stations this year, which will be expanded to 1,000 by 2025
China’s 14th five-year plan: Hong Kong’s opportunities in 2021-25 blueprint to be discussed at panel meeting
The Hong Kong-based One Country Two Systems Research Institute will host an event on Tuesday examining China’s 14th five-year plan that was approved at the National People’s Congress earlier this month Hosted by former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying, the event will be streamed on scmp.com, and will also feature former Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing chief executive Charles Li
China EV war: investors curb their enthusiasm for NIO, Xpeng, other Tesla rivals as earnings test follows US$124 billion market drubbing
Market pacesetters NIO, Xpeng, Li Auto face a myriad of challenges with losses still to snowball in 2021 and analysts grow weary of short-term outlook Automotive chip shortage will add to other lingering market concerns about US-listed Chinese stocks and outlook for central bank policy tightening
China and India must stop rivalry and begin to reform the Third World
As I have mentioned above, economic needs of a country decide the way of a country where to go in International arena. To say in simple terms, economics dictates politics while politics dictates law. So, to achieve new International legal order, should develop economic capability of the Third World. As I have said before, the leader of the Third World China and one of the largest economies of the world India both must put an end to frontier disputes and initiate a campaign for three essential goals that I have already mentioned. The first and primary essential goal is to mobilize non-western nations to fight for decolonization of west made International law. China and India both alone would never achieve this great achievement. All non-western nations are required to be mobilized to work for decolonization through reformation of the Security Council. The second primary agenda is to fight for new Global Economic Order, which protects the natural rights of states like sovereignty over all their natural resources. The final and concluding agenda is to encourage industrial growth in Third World states, which would decrease the dependency of states with each other. Finally I reached to the end and I would conclude by stating a great remark that International law is never separated from International politics while International politics is never separated from the global economic policies which are framed and monitored by the Bretton Woods Institutions.
China-Russia alliance can never work, despite US rivalry, observers say
Beijing and Moscow are keen to boost cooperation and reduce their reliance on the US dollar, but ‘forging an alliance with Russia is not the best choice for China’, academic Cheng Yijun says ‘We should not forget that China’s rise is also a threat to Russia,’ he says
Perspectives | China’s Central Asia strategy in the age of ‘extreme competition’
New pressure from Washington will make China look even closer at Central Asia. The high-level meeting between Chinese and American officials in Alaska this month laid bare the fundamental gulf separating the two and served as the opening salvo in a new chapter of tensions in Asia.
China signals possible greater Middle East engagement
Two initiatives send the clearest signal, yet, that China may be gearing up to play a greater political role in the Middle East. Touring the region this week, Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out five principles Middle Eastern nations would need to adopt to achieve a measure of regional stability.
Could a chill in China’s ties with the West put its Polar Silk Road plans on ice?
Beijing will need more than support from Moscow to realise its Arctic trade ambitions, observers say Chinese entities have had ‘mixed results at best’ in the region
Joe Biden suggests plan to rival China’s Belt and Road during call to Boris Johnson
The US president raised the idea of an infrastructure programme for democratic states while speaking to the British prime minister The leaders also discussed climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and China’s retaliation against Western sanctions over Xinjiang
Iran–China strategic agreement could be a game-changer
The signing of a 25-year cooperation agreement between the oil-rich and regionally influential, but US sanctioned, Islamic Republic of Iran and the globally powerful, but US pressured, People’s Republic of China inserts a new strategic pincer in the Middle East for the United States and its allies. Former US President Donald Trump must bear most of the responsibility for this development, which President Joe Biden now has to handle.
Dealing with a China that’s not like us
The public clash between top US and Chinese officials, Anthony Blinken and Jake Sullivan and Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi, at their high-profile meeting in Alaska on 18–19 March was a stark reminder of how the world has changed, permanently. Blinken castigated China’s increasing authoritarianism and assertiveness, ‘at home and abroad’. He claimed that allies of the United States were united in this view. Blinken called out China over its human rights record in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong as well as voiced concerns over Taiwan, ‘assertiveness’ in the South China Sea, the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber-attacks on the United States and economic coercion ‘of our allies’, presumably Australia though it was not named. He declared that these issues threaten ‘the rules-based order that maintains global stability’. Taking Chinese frustrations out on Australia with trade sanctions, for example, is not the answer, no matter what offence Australia’s insults and missteps may have caused. Massive vaccine diplomacy, maintaining economic growth, continuing reform and signing up to and honouring international treaties to further embed the market are better approaches that will provide evidence of China’s reciprocating and demonstrating mutual respect. The United States would serve its own democracy and democracies globally best by self-improvement, and demonstrating how a great democracy can self-repair and improve. The creation of exclusive clubs of democracies, when many are faltering, will only lead to deepening polarisation and unstable geopolitical disequilibrium.
Iran, China sign ‘strategic’ deal in Tehran
The signing of the “strategic cooperation pact” follows uproar in Iran’s Parliament about executive-level “secrecy” and China’s call to boost bilateral trade tenfold.
South China Sea: US, Japan and Indonesia ramp up pressure on Beijing
Japanese and Indonesian defence ministers agree to joint exercise in response to reports of Chinese militia at disputed reef US Secretary of State Antony Blinken takes to Twitter to express support for the Philippines which last week lodged a formal protest with Beijing
The ‘China dream’ a nightmare
When Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in 2012 coined the term “China dream,” he set the goals to rejuvenate the nation and bring happiness. During a meeting with then-US president Barack Obama in California in 2013, Xi said that the China dream is about peace, development and cooperation, and would be a win-win situation for both countries, as it is connected to the American dream. Nearly a decade later, Xi has proven that his words should be read in an Orwellian twist of sense and that his China dream is about threats and suppression. It is not impossible that China might one day realize its dream to become the world’s leading power, and Taiwan might even benefit. However, before it can come closer to its goals, it should realize that people around the world, regardless of race, gender, or national or ethnic identity, strive for prosperity and dignity, not disasters and nightmares.
The myth of China’s ‘debt-trap’ diplomacy must be put to bed once and for all
The Belt and Road Initiative stems from China’s recognition of its own strategic vulnerability, rather than being aimed at global hegemony Yet the difficulties of managing big infrastructure projects provided traction for the Trump administration’s ‘battle against evil’ narrative
Coronavirus: China piles on pressure to get vaccinated as country targets 10 million injections a day
The goal of getting 40 per cent of the population inoculated by June will require a major increase in the number of doses administered Some public servants have been warned they will face disciplinary action if they refuse to receive the injections
WHO and China: A Healthy Relationship?
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) relationship with China has been under the spotlight since day one of the pandemic — and faces even more intense scrutiny after the Covid-19 origins report became public on Monday. Critics believe Beijing has given the WHO the runaround throughout the crisis, and suggest China has been less than forthcoming with data that could help solve the mystery behind the global crisis.
US-China relations: Beijing’s plan for aviation supremacy faces bumpy ride as American export controls show no signs of easing
Since taking office, the Biden administration has not loosened buying restrictions on US aviation products imposed on China As a result, China’s plan to accelerate development of its aviation and aerospace industries faces enormous challenges, analysts say
Taiwan stops scrambling jets for every PLA incursion
Taiwan’s air force is no longer scrambling each time People’s Liberation Army aircraft encroach on its air defence identification zone but tracks the intruders with ground based missiles instead to help save resources, a senior official said on Monday. Taiwan’s air force has repeatedly scrambled to intercept PLA jets in recent months, and the United States approved in July a possible US$620 million upgrade package for Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Taiwan..
China is now home to two-thirds of the world’s top women billionaires, four times more than the US, Hurun research institute reveals
A report by Hurun Research Institute found that the country minted 24 new female entrepreneurs last year, four times as much as America China had 85 billionaires as of January, 2021, which is nearly two-thirds of the global female billionaires
podcast The Future of Things
John Delaney, CEO of Revolution Acceleration Acquisition, discusses the appeal of SPACs as well as opportunities in AI, robotics and automation. Plus, Hayden Brown, CEO of Upwork, on the future of the office post-Covid.
Is China Really Ready for Black Stories?
Chinese audiences don’t necessarily reject Black-themed or Black-led films out of hand, but they’re missing much of what makes them powerful. Since hitting Chinese theaters last December, the Oscar-nominated Disney-Pixar film “Soul” has pulled in more than 360 million yuan ($55.4 million) nationwide. Some people in the United States have cited this as evidence that the world — or at least China — is ready for movies featuring Black stories.
Service Asie Pacifique
Place Sainctelette 2
Tél 02 421 85 09 – Fax 02 421 87 75
Copyright © 2020 awex, All rights reserved