China Press Review – October 16, 2018

Press review

China, Belgium set model for China-EU cooperation
Belgium is China’s sixth largest trading partner in the EU. The bilateral trade volume once exceeded 30 billion US dollars.

First tariffs, and now a move to isolate China in global trade. Can the US succeed?
George Magnus says America’s new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada contains two provisions – limiting currency manipulation and trade with a ‘non-market economy’ – drafted with China in mind, and could be used as a template for future accords

Meeting between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump would play ‘key role’ in easing tensions
Chinese ambassador to US Cui Tiankai is optimistic about a potential summit between the two leaders, but analysts do not expect a trade war breakthrough

The Biggest Losers In a U.S.-China Trade War
Will a trade war crush the Chinese economy? Unlikely, said a panel of experts speaking at the Fortune Global Forum in Toronto on Monday.

US-China trade war and mounting debt risk disaster 10 years after the global financial crisis
Alan Bollard says that as the Apec finance ministers gather, they should discuss the factors – such as tariffs, increasing debt and weakening currencies – that risk a repeat of the Great Recession

China may have $5.8 trillion in hidden debt
China’s local governments may have accumulated 40 trillion yuan ($5.8 trillion) of off-balance sheet debt, or even more, suggesting further defaults are in store, according to S&P Global Ratings.

Lost in transmission: China’s small firms get more loans on paper but not in reality
Beijing is keen to show results after four rounds of policy easing, so China’s big banks are playing along, highlighting their efforts to boost lending to cash-starved small firms, offering collateral waivers and setting loan targets.

China must release the renminbi
The uncertainty of the RMB central parity rate determination has increased significantly. No one can figure out tomorrow’s RMB central parity rate until the opening of the market when the theoretical RMB exchange rate can be calculated based on the information available on the dollar index. The central bank is pleased that the new mechanism brings uncertainty, as this can curb shorting activities and reduce depreciation pressure on the RMB.

China must release the renminbi

US$1 for 19.77 yuan? How a bogus social media rumour reveals fear that China is printing money
The yuan should be worth three times its current rate to the US dollar, according to a theory that has been debunked but speaks of a broader worry

China Dominates the World’s Mega-Bank Club
After a decade of runaway credit expansion and regulatory loosening, China’s banking system has swollen more than fourfold and now has more giant institutions than any other country. There are 13 banks with at least $500 billion of assets, more than Japan and the U.S. combined, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chinese policy makers are planning to increase the number of financial firms deemed too-big-to-fail, people familiar with the matter said last week.

Government planning crackdown to cull China’s P2P industry
China’s troubled peer-to-peer (P2P) industry could be on the verge of collapse, say industry leaders, as new regulatory restrictions are set to cut the numbers of operating firms from the thousands to as few as 50 in the next year.

Government planning crackdown to cull China’s P2P industry

Beijing’s choking smog is back, and the government is blaming perfume and hair gel
After two months of blue skies, capital is again shrouded in a toxic haze

Can Chinese state firms compete fairly? Beijing claims ‘competitive neutrality’
The label is being adopted to justify China’s preferential treatment of such companies, viewed as unfair internationally – but trade partners are unconvinced

US’ dangerously dreaming of new ‘Cold War’
US policymakers are not entirely witless and blind, of course, they recognize that China is a rapidly rising global superpower. They see the obvious fact that China has four times the population of the United States. They also admit-grudgingly-that China’s industrial base is now vaster than that of the United States, and that China now runs a very healthy and impressive annual balance of trade surplus with the rest of the world.

Can China be a force for good?
Beijing wants to convince the world it can play peacemaker in regional conflicts

The EU Commission’s “EU-Asia Connectivity Strategy” Omits China
The European Commission has just released a report “Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy” within which it lays out a basic framework for “a strategy on connecting Europe and Asia.” In the document are numerous passages highlighting the successes the EU has already had, and loosely describes future potential for dialogue with “Asian partners”. It also highlights the amount of trade the EU has with Asia, (without specifying what it means by “Asia”).

‘Made in China 2025’: How 5G could put China in charge of the wireless backbone and ahead of the pack
The fifth instalment of a series on China’s hi-tech industry development master plan looks at 5G mobile technology and how it could create a more advanced digital foundation for the world’s second-largest economy

5G offers world’s biggest mobile market a gateway to the industrial internet
Since 2015, China has outspent the US by US$24 billion in wireless communications infrastructure, according to a Deloitte study. It found China’s three network operators have built 350,00 new cell site, while the US has set up fewer than 30,000 in the same time frame. China, which has the world’s largest smartphone market and internet population, has projected 5G mobile network investments to reach about US$405 billion from 2020 to 2030.

China wants to further boost ties in Central, East Europe
An official says China wants to further boost cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe where it is already financing infrastructure and other projects as part of a wider bid to increase global influence. Transport Minister Li Xiaopeng spoke Tuesday at a meeting with officials from 16 countries from the region that focused on transport links. The initiative is part of China’s wider “New Silk Road” plan to boost influence in Europe and elsewhere in the world through investments and closer economic relations.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: The Sum of Messy Parts
China’s largest high-technology companies have already made forays into the region.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: The Sum of Messy Parts

To solve China’s Belt and Road financing problem, Hong Kong looks to infrastructure loan-backed securities
The Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation is planning to securitise infrastructure loans and channel funds into China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the chief of the city’s de facto central bank has said.

Will take care of debt issues of Belt and Road projects: China
China’s Vice Finance Minister Zou Jiayi has acknowledged debt issues with some of its ‘Belt and Road’ projects, saying the government will strengthen macro-supervision on the debt sustainability aspect of its overseas investments, the Reuters reported on Saturday.

Will take care of debt issues of Belt and Road projects: China

Caution, Cancellations, Protests as Concerns Grow on China’s Belt and Road
Concerns about debt diplomacy on China’s expansive infrastructure megaproject — the Belt and Road — have become an increasing source of debate from Asia to Africa and the Middle East. In recent weeks, more than $30 billion in projects have been scrapped and other loans and investments are under review

Chinese mercenaries are tightening security on the Belt and Road
Chinese private security companies (PSCs) are increasingly going global. Not so long ago they focussed mostly on providing bodyguard services for China’s rich and famous, and guarding facilities in China. But now, China’s growing global footprint has driven this sector to start operating beyond China’s borders.

Chinese mercenaries are tightening security on the Belt and Road

Suspected African swine fever outbreak at farm linked to China’s top animal feed maker
Dabeinong says affiliated firm culled nearly 20,000 pigs, state media reports

For Chinese Mothers, Even Doing It All Isn’t Always Enough
Why working motherhood can feel like crossing a tightrope without a safety net.

To solve China’s Belt and Road financing problem, Hong Kong looks to infrastructure loan-backed securities
Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation to acquire infrastructure loan assets from next year and will not limit itself to Belt and Road projects

Dutch battery company to build 1.6 billion euro plant in China
Lithium Werks BV, a startup founded by Dutch entrepreneur Kees Koolen, said on Tuesday it had signed a 1.6 billion euro ($1.85 billion) deal to build a new storage battery plant in China.

Chinese stocks hit fresh four-year low on lingering economy and trade fears
Mainland Chinese stocks reversed to declines on Tuesday afternoon, to post a fresh four-year low that spilled over to Hong Kong equities, because of ongoing worries that a deepening trade war with the US will affect China’s economic growth.

Shareholders who vetoed HNA unit’s sale of Beijing office building to China Vanke want ‘better deal’
Shareholders may have blocked the deal in rare move because the US$190 million price tag was too low, even as the embattled firm fights to trim debt

How China’s video game crackdown caused a $200 billion stock wipeout for Tencent
China’s crackdown on video games has hammered one of its most valuable companies. And it’s unclear when the situation will improve. Shares of Tencent (TCEHY), a huge technology and entertainment conglomerate, are down about 40% from their peak in January. Its epic stock plunge has wiped out more than $230 billion in market value.

China’s panicked upper middle class are easy picking for offshore real estate scams
The combination of Chinese anti-corruption reforms and currency controls has China’s storied “middle class” (a nebulously defined category whose size and wealth are the subject of multiple, conflicting accounts) scrambling for ways to get their money out of the country and to establish bolt holes to escape to, should the situation suddenly worsen.

China’s panicked upper middle class are easy picking for offshore real estate scams

China Establishes Committee To Set Up Standards For Chinese Space Station
China is establishing a technical committee for setting up standard for its planned space station, reports China Manned Space Engineering Office in Beijing. The technical committee will be responsible establishing national standards, as well as military standards, for the research and development of manned space technology, its applications and related services.

China Establishes Committee To Set Up Standards For Chinese Space Station

China’s middle class spend less as they scrimp and save for their children’s education
Parents prioritise school fees and tutoring costs but forgo other spending that the government is counting on to stabilise economic growth

China’s cheaters cheated by illegally prying private eyes
Private investigators are banned on the mainland but that didn’t stop them targeting suspicious partners and tailing women to catch them having extramarital sex in cars, hotels

Beijing warned to prepare for more US ‘provocations’ in South China Sea
Report by think tank affiliated with State Council also urges Chinese authorities to do more to win over Southeast Asian countries because it faces ‘long-term’ struggle to counter US influence

Are US hawks talking tough on China because of this book?
Three years ago, an analyst predicted Washington could use The Hundred-Year Marathon to push for a tougher China policy. Now the author, Michael Pillsbury, is a White House adviser

How Trump’s Trade War Is Driving China Nuts
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has reacted to American pressure with a level of desperation that is good for neither Washington nor Beijing.

Xi Jinping risks undermining everything that has made China exceptional: Report
“For decades, the country managed to avoid most problems suffered by dictatorships. Now Xi Jinping’s personal power play risks undermining everything that made China exceptional,” Jonathan Tepperman, editor-in-chief of the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine said in the latest issue of the magazine.

China expels two top former generals from Communist Party for corruption
China expelled two disgraced former generals from the Communist Party for corruption – one of them posthumously – saying the pair’s disloyalty and greed had damaged the military, state media said on Tuesday.

China’s Great Leap Backward
For decades, the country managed to avoid most problems suffered by dictatorships. Now Xi Jinping’s personal power play risks undermining everything that made China exceptional.
China’s Great Leap Backward

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