China Press Review – September 2, 2019

Press review

Trump Is Following Bush’s War Playbook
The president opposed the Iraq war as a candidate. Now he’s using Bush’s bad arguments to support his trade war

China tariffs backfire on Trump — and threaten global growth
Japanese and other Asian economies hurt by slowing Chinese exports to US

Trade war: US set to hit China with new wave of tariffs
The US is due to impose fresh tariffs on a range of Chinese goods, in a sharp escalation of a bruising trade war. On Sunday, the US is expected to hit billions of dollars worth of Chinese products with 15% duties, in the first of two rounds of new tariffs.

China concessions to US would be ‘grave error’ in any trade deal
Beijing urged to continue the trade war struggle until victory achieved Don’t be weak in face of bullying behaviour, Communist Party mouthpiece says

China-US trade war: latest tariffs take effect as sides seek to get talks back on track
Washington levies punitive duties on US$110 billion of Chinese goods as first tranche of Beijing’s tariffs on US$75 billion of US imports take effect at noon on Sunday Donald Trump says negotiations will resume in US capital this month but China yet to confirm such a plan

China’s economic achievements over the past 70 years point to a strong future, even amid the US trade war and slowing growth
China’s reforms have completely overhauled its economy, urbanised society and improved living standards. The trade war and slowing GDP growth aside, the country’s fundamentals suggest good long-term prospects

Tariffs could throw US sporting goods firms for loss as trade war escalates, companies say
On Sunday, 15 per cent tariffs are set to hit a variety of sports equipment, including baseballs, footballs and lacrosse sticks New duties will hurt American firms but have ‘little to no impact’ on Chinese suppliers, Sports & Fitness Industry Association says

China plans more support for economy
China plans to provide more support for its economy, including investing in infrastructure projects and regional development, while maintaining a prudent monetary policy with “reasonably” ample liquidity, the State Council said on Sunday. As the world’s second-largest economy weathers its biggest slowdown in decades, the State Council said the government aimed to better integrate fiscal, financial and monetary policies, deepen capital market reforms and further open up the financial sector.

Trump’s face-changing used to rattle China, but time is now on Beijing’s side
To Chinese observers, the US president’s rapid flip-flops on Xi Jinping and the imposition of tariffs are giving off hints of desperation China has learned its lesson by not dancing to Trump’s tune, and instead can afford to hunker down for a drawn-out negotiating process

The Heat: US-China trade tensions
The trade dispute between the US and China takes another turn on Sunday with a major new round of US tariffs.Billions more in Chinese goods will be hit with tariffs on September 1st. This time around the target is consumer products. US President Donald Trump already plans to further increase import duties on $250 billion of Chinese products in October. Meanwhile, China has announced that it will introduce a smaller set of tariffs on US goods. And, as all of this plays out, there is potential for more talks between the sides in Washington.

The Heat: US-China trade tensions

Hong Kong truck drivers working in taxis and firms consider relocating factories to survive US-China trade war
Freight and manufacturing companies in Hong Kong report plummeting revenue, with industry leader warning ‘worst is to come’ Drivers transporting containers working half the days they previously would in a week

China’s factories had a surprisingly good month. But there’s trouble ahead
China’s massive manufacturing industry unexpectedly expanded last month, according to a closely watched private survey. But the country’s economic outlook is still cloudy as the US-China trade war intensifies.

China Turns to Argentina for Soybeans
China is buying significantly more soybeans from South American counties as imports from the U.S. dwindle amid a prolonged trade war with Washington that has lasted more than a year.

Is Germany Going Soft on China?
For Macron, a return by Germany to a business-first agenda with China would be a slap in the face after months of French disappointment with Merkel’s cooperation on reforming euro zone finances and EU defense policy.His entourage has been waiting for a signal from Merkel that Germany is prepared to put European unity before German business interests, as she has done on Brexit and Russia. If she fails to deliver, Mathieu Duchatel, head of the Asia Program at the Institut Montaigne in Paris, worries that Macron’s decision to invite Merkel and Juncker in March may be seen in Beijing as a sign of French weakness rather than one of European unity or strength.The wild card ahead of Merkel’s trip is the situation in Hong Kong. Following the arrest of several prominent pro-democracy activists earlier this week, protestors clashed with police on Saturday in one of the most intense days of conflict since the marches began in June. If the violence continues, it could become difficult for Merkel to make the trip at all, let alone focus on business ties. On this, even German diplomats seem to agree.

Changes in China’s Purchasing and Import Trends between 2019 and 2024
The EU is China’s largest bilateral trade partner and exported about US$232 billion in goods and services to China in 2018. The growth in exports from the EU to China is also growing, and specifically in the services industry. Growth in goods is currently hindered by the lack of an EU-China Free Trade Agreement. The relationship has leaned in particular on the trading of manufactured goods, which made 84 percent of the EU’s exports to China in 2018, specifically that of machines and vehicles, according to statistics released by Eurostat. Export growth is currently running at about four percent per annum. The departure of the UK in terms of EU trade with China accounts for about four percent of the EU total volume and is not expected to slow down the intrinsic growth rate in EU-China exports. However, the EU faces increasing competition from ASEAN nations selling products to China, which has already begun to sell more products and will sell twice as much to China than the EU in five years’ time – unless the EU can deal with its lack of progress on a China FTA.

Weakening yuan piles pressure on highly indebted Chinese property developers
The yuan, which has depreciated by 3.84 per cent in August, is bound to hurt mainland developers that have US$19.3 billion of offshore debt maturing in the 12 months to July 2020 Foreign currency debt now accounts for 25 per cent of Chinese developers’ total debt, up from 20 per cent at the end of June 2018, according to Moody’s

The Changes Luxury Brands Need to Make in China
Very few brands tell their story right, and even fewer are excellent in providing a “branded experience” along all touchpoints of the customer journey. China has become the most important luxury market in the world. Some analysts attribute up to 40 percent of global luxury sales to Chinese consumersinside and outside of China, with a recent growth rate of 20 percent overall for the luxury sector. If the consumers of one country are responsible for almost half of the world’s luxury sales, companies should listen. But there’s more: No other major country has as many young consumers ad China does, and no other country is more digital. Looking at consumers in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou, you can see the future: They are digital natives who want instant gratification and demand the best.

The Changes Luxury Brands Need to Make in China

What Chinese women wear: debate reveals battle between freedom and tradition
When Kazakh actress Reyizha Alimjan arrived in Shanghai last month wearing jeans and a camisole it reignited a long-running debate over who gets a say on how Chinese women should dress Fashion choices that would be regarded as unremarkable in Europe or North America are often seen as outrageous in the world’s most populous nation

China’s spending on research and development up 11.8 per cent to US$275 billion in 2018
Total represents 2.19 per cent of nation’s gross domestic product, but government actuary says investment has yet to yield any ‘breakthrough’ results Report by OECD, based on figures for 2017, says China still lags average of its 36 members in terms of R&D spending as a percentage of GDP

US firms that leave China on Donald Trump’s ‘order’ will only hurt themselves, experts say
World’s most populous nation offers economic opportunities that cannot be matched anywhere else, analysts say Missing out on future growth ‘would weaken the competitiveness of US industry’ and harm its domestic interests, business leader says

Chinese Belt and Road plan ‘may result in 2.7C warming’
Without green policy controls, $12tn programme could promote development that would compromise the goals of the Paris Agreement, report finds

Chinese Belt and Road plan ‘may result in 2.7C warming’

China’s Communist Party elite to meet in October after a year’s delay
Central Committee was expected to meet last autumn but gathering was put off amid trade war and Hong Kong unrest Postponement suggests lack of consensus on big issues, observers say

Can Hongkongers be made to love China? Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped Beijing or the Hong Kong government from trying
The Hong Kong government have tried forcing through national education, an anthem law and now an extradition bill. Maybe, instead of asking why Hongkongers don’t love China, they should ask whether love is something that can be forced

Beijing says Donald Trump’s attempts to use Hong Kong as ‘bargaining chip’ will fail
Commentary on state broadcaster CCTV says US president contradicted himself in latest remarks and that trade issues should not be politicized Trump on Friday claimed China’s response to anti-government protests had been restrained because it didn’t want to jeopardise trade talks

Is China using Hong Kong protests to chip away at city’s economic freedoms?
Hong Kong’s future as international financial hub brought into question as Beijing pressures companies to toe Communist Party line on protest crackdown Flagship carrier Cathay Pacific, as well as a host of developers, have already disassociated themselves from the demonstrations

Developers’ cosy ties with politics may explain Hong Kong’s biggest woe: widening income gap in the least affordable city on earth
In a series of in-depth articles on the unrest rocking Hong Kong, South China Morning Post goes behind the headlines to look at the underlying issues, current state of affairs, and where it is all heading In this latest instalment, the Post looks at the cosy ties between Hong Kong’s business elites and politics in the city and in Beijing

Hong Kong protests: Demonstrators defy ban on march
Hong Kong police have used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to disperse crowds as tens of thousands marched in the city, defying a ban.

How China’s Economic Boom Eclipsed Hong Kong [Infographic]
Despite the economic eclipse, a move to deploy the PLA on the streets of Hong Kong would be risky for China. Many observers believe such a crackdown would cause the city’s stock market and housing sector to crash. That would in turn prompt an exodus, sending economic aftershocks rippling through the mainland at a time when the Chinese economy is vulnerable due to the ongoing trade war with the United States. A crackdown would also result in an immense diplomatic fallout, given Hong Kong’s large expatriate population and status as a global financial hub. As the military buildup continues, the stakes are unimaginably high.

Hong Kong is a Nation
The tragedy today is that Xi Jinping and the Communist Party are unable to recognize in the budding nation the rebellion their policies have created on China’s southern flank, any more than they would be able to recognize an equally separate nation in Taiwan or Tibet. The grim outlook is for more police, a growing presence of the People’s Liberation Army, more tear gas and more truncheons against a city equally determined to maintain its independence. This cannot end well.

Hong Kong is a Nation

Chinese state media warns ‘end is coming for those attempting to disrupt Hong Kong’
Xinhua commentary doesn’t threaten specific action but warns of three bottom lines ‘that must not be crossed’ Official news agency again labels protests a ‘colour revolution’ but does not mention right to intervene

‘Ball is in Beijing’s court’ on South China Sea after Rodrigo Duterte puts focus on international law
Philippine president raised contentious 2016 tribunal ruling with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing, but Xi Jinping said he would not accept it Observers say historically prickly issues are unlikely to get in the way of closer ties between the two nations

Should China be worried about the US-Asean sea drill?
Scope of the Asean-US Maritime Exercise next week will be limited, to avoid giving Beijing any wrong idea about Southeast Asian countries joining a US-led China-containment scheme But it still sends a political signal about how Southeast Asian nations will approach South China Sea issues with Beijing

Chinese scientists ‘make first perfect replica’ of tooth enamel
New material is almost identical in structure to human enamel, which does not regenerate itself Crystal-like mineral can grow on teeth and last permanently, researchers say

Novel treatment for depression leaves China laughing online
Researchers find faecal transplants lessen depressive symptoms in mice

Eight+ Things to Read About China and Other Things, Part 15

Eight+ Things to Read About China and Other Things, Part 15

Alain Gillard
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