US trade deficit with China wider than May 2016, when Donald Trump accused China of ‘greatest theft in history’
The US trade deficit with China was 9.15 per cent wider in July 2020 than May 2016, when President Donald Trump accused China of ‘raping’ the US on trade. After narrowing in the early months of the year due to coronavirus shutdowns, the deficit has recovered in recent months.
China may dump U.S. Treasuries as Sino-U.S. tensions flare: Global Times
China may gradually cut its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes, in light of rising tensions between Beijing and Washington, state-backed newspaper Global Times cited experts as saying. With Sino-U.S. relations deteriorating over various issues including coronavirus, trade and technology, global financial markets are increasingly worried if China would sell the U.S. government debt it holds as a weapon to counter rising U.S. pressure.
MOFCOM: China’s economy has become more focused on service trade
China has entered a time where service trade plays the main role in economic development, officials of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Thursday. The comment was made at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, the day before the commencement of the high-profile service trade fair – China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS). There is a huge demand for various services in China and the import of services has been growing quickly for the past few years, leading to a large number of trade deficits for the country, said Xian Guoyi, an officer from the Ministry of Commerce. “China will gradually decrease its holdings of U.S. debt to about $800 billion under normal circumstances,” Xi Junyang, a professor at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, was quoted as saying on Thursday, without giving a detailed timeframe.
The Chinese consumer: Resilient and confident
On this episode, we’ll be zooming in on a huge and growing part of the consumer sector: the Chinese consumer market. China is the world’s second-largest economy, and Chinese consumers have grown in buying power for the past decade. And today, of course, much of the business world is looking to China for lessons on recovery, China being the first to experience the COVID-19 outbreak and the first to come out of lockdowns and reopen businesses, stores, restaurants, and so on.. So I think that the rapid recovery and bounce-back that we see in China can be replicated in other marketsOne other thing that is important to note is that none of the trends we’re seeing right now in China are actually new. If we would have spoken a year ago, we would have spoken about the same trends. The difference is that the Chinese consumer trends we’ve been seeing in the past year have been massively accelerated and amplified in importance.When we did the research, consumers told us that generally they were not canceling their purchases. This is good news, because these purchases fall under what we typically call discretionary spending. There is, however, likely to be a certain amount of pragmatism and trading down. For brands, more good news is that consumers want to stay within their brand of choice. But in order to trade down, they would either buy a cheaper product within the same brand or a product on promotion.. Everybody in China is aware that China right now is propping up global consumption—that is, the share of consumption coming from China has increased substantially over the past months for every multinational company. So what’s on people’s minds right now is growth and how to get the growth. I think there are three priorities: digital, digital, and digital. It is just incredibly important for every Chinese company to tap into the new ways of digital engagement, as well as digital commerce. There are elements like social commerce, which emerged back in February, that we believe are here to stay. When I talk to my consumer clients, what’s top of mind is the impact of a prolonged, global downturn. And if that happens, obviously, that affects consumer confidence and consumer spending and ultimately has an impact on companies that are based in China. So that’s the number-one concern. And based on what’s going on in the US and Europe, I will admit, the picture is probably mixed at best right now. “China is the next China.” China still has massive opportunities to drive productivity, and as a result of that, we will see a continued increase in salaries. Even in 2019–2020, China has seen an increase in salaries, and that’s lifting people into the middle class and the upper middle class. China remains a middle-class, consumption-driven economy, so the prospects for consumer companies to drive consumption and revenues are unparalleled. I don’t see any other economy in the world driving the same level of consumption growth over the next five years.
China’s yuan gains foothold in iron ore deals, could increase Chinese self-reliance, analysts say
Australia’s Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals, as well as Brazil’s Vale, recorded their first yuan-denominated transactions in China in the last year. More yuan-prices transactions will increase the internationalisation of the Chinese currency and also help the economy in line with the new ‘dual circulation’ strategy.
WeChat users want to see evidence behind Trump’s ban on app
The Trump administration is arguing the US WeChat Users Alliance is not entitled to any evidence because the executive order has no legal effect on them. President Donald Trump’s order is expected to go into effect on September 20 when the US Commerce Department will delineate what transactions with the app are prohibited.
Hong Kong’s exit from recession is in the market, space, jobs and labour force of the Greater Bay Area, financial secretary says
A HK$100 million grant to fund start-ups is still up for grabs for Hongkongers to establish businesses anywhere in the GBA. As at the end of last year, 69,292 Hong Kong companies set up in GBA with investment at US$344.37 billion (HK$2.67 trillion), with Guangzhou ranked top.
The sky is the limit, when it comes to airlines inventing ways to make money out of the global travel slump and closed borders
Nothing is off limits for airlines mired in their worst-ever crisis. From fresh vegetables to peanuts and pyjamas, they’re selling almost anything to make it through the pandemic.
Why the Federal Reserve’s bid to boost US inflation is good news for Asia
Fed’s switch to allowing inflation above 2 per cent means US rates will stay lower for longer, boosting demand for higher yielding bonds, particularly in emerging markets.
China’s Mega Banks Are in Mega Trouble—And So Is the Chinese Economy
From the author: “As everyone in Beijing leadership circles knows, the failure to move to a consumption-based economy risks a debt crisis and a debt crisis risks the banks.”
US, Taiwan seek ‘like-minded’ democracies to remake global supply chains and shift from reliance on China
US representative in Taipei says supply chains of the future will be reinvented by parties with shared values such as freedom of press and religion. Trump administration steps up its support for island even without formal diplomatic ties.
Why Are the Indian and Chinese Economies Decoupling?
India has strong geopolitical, historical and economic reasons to disentangle itself from China’s arms. Many experts argue India is the weaker power unable to take on China. In an article in Foreign Policy, James Crabtree argues that a trade war with China would be a bad idea for India. In his view, India’s “military is inefficient, underequipped, and dogged by procurement corruption scandals.” To develop its military strength, India needs a dynamic economy, and an “inward economic direction” would only benefit China in the long run. Therefore, an India–China decoupling is a terrible idea.
India’s latest ban of Chinese games like PUBG Mobile opens door to home-grown alternatives, experts say
Almost a third of the Chinese mobile apps affected by India’s latest ban were games, such as PUBG Mobile and Arena of Valor. This will open up opportunities for Western or Indian home-grown apps to fill the void, analysts say.
US elections: whether Trump or Biden wins, China policies won’t change much, experts say
Joe Biden and his Obama-era advisers wouldn’t likely hit a reset button on dealings with Beijing. Little trust exists in the US now toward China, and both campaigns recognise the tense new reality.
China’s rare earth exports to the US could fall by a third as global demand drops 5 per cent this year amid coronavirus, analysts say
‘As a major consumer of China’s lanthanum, the US oil refining industry is leading the demand fall,’ says Adamas Intelligence managing director. This year has seen a large decline in demand for rare-earth magnets as the pandemic has crushed demand for things like electric cars and smartphones.
Broken and Barred: On Personal Tragedy in a Closing World
The US-based software engineer and former Shenzhen factory worker nearly lost it all this year. But she won’t let anything — not a pandemic, personal grief, immigration restrictions, or the worst job market in years — destroy the life she built.
As China’s international schools reopen, teachers and students are still stranded overseas
Many staff and pupils left the country for Lunar New Year holidays as the coronavirus spread – and many remain abroad due to travel restrictions. Authorities have begun processing visa applications, but there is only a limited number of international flights available.
Mystery surrounds China’s launch of reusable experimental spacecraft
Launch in Inner Mongolia is shrouded in secrecy with those attending warned not to film the lift-off or discuss the project. One source hints there may be similarities with America’s X-37B, a reusable space plane that operates like a mini-shuttle.
China’s Farmers Have a Feral Hog Problem. What Now?
With the porcine pests now protected under a national wildlife regulation, there’s little farmers can do to stop them from devouring their precious produce.
COVID-19 and China’s information diplomacy in Southeast Asia
Amidst growing attention in the United States to authoritarian foreign influence operations, China has been actively developing and mounting its own information campaigns in an attempt to shape global narratives. Such narratives are not only propagated through official channels and traditional state media propaganda — including what have come to be known as “wolf warrior”-style diplomats — but also amplified through the manipulation of social media platforms. Especially in response to recent crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Hong Kong protests, Beijing appears to have partially adopted Moscow’s disinformation playbook.
Australia as an Asian power leaves no room for economic fantasy
For Australia to join the great decoupling from China that some Americans and Australian security officials demand would bring devastating costs to Australia and to economic and political security across Northeast Asia. It fails to appreciate that exorcising our trade with China would also decouple trade from Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. The opportunity remains (though perhaps not for long) for Australia to navigate the growing contest between the United States and China, in a way that secures economic prosperity and political stability in Asia. Some may think this is the present course: Australia ‘punching above its weight’ to push back against China’s more aggressive ambitions. But effective middle power diplomacy needs to create strategic policy space in Asia to allow engagement of both the United States with China and which also works for Japan, ASEAN, South Korea, and India as well. Comparisons with the 1930s have some relevance but a big difference between the 1930s and now is Australia’s deep integration into Asia’s economy, reflected in strong commodity prices that are cushioning the downturn, and our geopolitical engagement with the region. Over three-quarters of a century later, Australia’s location in the middle of Asia’s, and China’s, industrial transformation, has permanently changed our circumstances and interdependence with Asia.
South China Sea: Beijing warns Asean members against backing ‘troublemaker’ US in region
Luo Zhaohui, deputy foreign minister for Asian affairs, makes remarks ahead of crucial talks on a code of conduct for the disputed waterway. He also takes aim at Washington’s partners in the Indo-Pacific, describing the Quad alliance as ‘an anti-China front line’.
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