China Press Review – September 5, 2019

Events, Press review

China’s latest efforts to focus on fine tuning ‘weak economic links’ as downward pressure mounts
State Council calls for more subsidies for low-income consumers and more special purpose bonds to fund additional spending on infrastructure and other projects It also wants a timely cut in market interest rates and the amount of money that banks are required to hold in reserve at the central bank

Chinese companies report slowed second-quarter profit growth as weaker economy, US-China trade war bite into earnings
Second-quarter profit growth slowed to 6.5 per cent from 9.4 per cent in the previous quarter Growth might bottom out in third quarter based on inventory cycle and policy easing, Haitong Securities say

China economy woes owe more to domestic issues than trade war, experts tell Washington hearing
China’s domestic economic issues are more problematic for policymakers in Beijing than the trade war, experts warn US congressional hearing Victor Shih, University of California expert on China, warned that ‘it would take a truly massive economic shock to threaten’ Chinese President Xi Jinping’s power

Trade war: Chinese and US negotiators agree to meet in early October
The two sides hold first top-level phone call since August 13 They agree to meet in Washington and to create positive conditions for dialogue

Chinese tariffs hit US food exporters, leaving other nations to make hay while the sun shines
US food exports to China have been hit with higher tariffs on soybeans, pork, wheat and frozen seafood in retaliation to Donald Trump’s levies on Chinese goods Brazil and Argentina for soybeans, Canada for wheat and lobsters, Germany and Spain for pork are reaping the benefit

Xi Jinping rallies China for decades-long ‘struggle’ to rise in global order, amid escalating US trade war
Chinese president used a word translating from Chinese as ‘struggle’ almost 60 times in a speech summary published by state media Xi did not directly refer to the US-China trade war, but made clear Beijing will not make concessions over ‘core issues’ or change its model of governance

Donald Trump says the US does not want to discuss Huawei ‘national security concern’ with China
The US president has said in the past has that he would be open to including Huawei in talks to reach a trade deal with Beijing

Sieren’s China: Back to business
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to strike the right balance on her upcoming trip to China amid mass protests in Hong Kong. But this should be an easy task for her, says DW’s Frank Sieren.

Merkel’s China challenge – distance but engagement
It’s time for Germany to match its rhetoric about the need to ‘Europeanise’ approaches to China with concrete actions. The EU’s ambition of forging a forceful, coordinated and competitive China policy can only be fulfilled if Berlin demonstrates its willingness to act as its guarantor while continuing to test China-policy alignment with more reliable partners in the US. Moderate disengagement from China also needs to be among the cards for European governments to play. A realist, nuanced and incremental European approach to China would then have the chance of proving itself a credible alternative to Donald Trump’s gunboat economic diplomacy

Merkel Has Made a U-Turn on China But It May Be Too Late
The chancellor must maintain a hard line, but it comes at a high risk for Germany’s export-dependent economy.

Battered by trade war, Merkel begins controversial China trip
Critics fear Germany could put European unity on the line.

German investment in China up 62.7 pct in first 7 months
Germany saw its newly added investment in China grew by 62.7 percent year on year in the first seven months of this year as bilateral trade and investment continued growing, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday. During the period, German investment reached 1.17 billion U.S. dollars and bilateral trade went up 2.4 percent to nearly 107 billion dollars, MOC spokesperson Gao Feng told a news conference

Expert sees great potential for cooperation between German, Chinese companies under BRI
A German expert with Hamburg Chamber of Commerce believes that there is a lot of potential for cooperation with Chinese partners under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China’s New Company Tracking System: Comply, Comply, Comply
Once the system goes live, foreign companies doing business in China will need to collect and submit their data to the government. Chinese government authorities will also conduct their own inspections to gather data,

China’s New Company Tracking System: Comply, Comply, Comply

Chinese companies report slowed second-quarter profit growth as weaker economy, US-China trade war bite into earnings
Second-quarter profit growth slowed to 6.5 per cent from 9.4 per cent in the previous quarter Growth might bottom out in third quarter based on inventory cycle and policy easing, Haitong Securities says

Stocks Blog: Hong Kong’s big gainers on ‘olive branch’ Wednesday slide; US, China to talk trade in October
China to implement cuts in amount of cash banks must hold — the RRR — ‘in a timely manner’ Shanghai breaks through 3,000 for first time in two months

How gold has become a hedge against a ‘weaponised’ US dollar for countries like China, Russia and others
Amid an escalating trade war, both Beijing and Moscow have diversified away from US dollar holdings to reduce Washington’s economic leverage and minimise future exposure to tariffs and sanctions. For them, and others, gold remains a safe haven

Central bank to include troubled P2P lending industry in credit system
The People’s Bank of China headquarters in Beijing. (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Yongxinge)
China’s central bank will include the country’s troubled online peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in its credit reference system as the clampdown on illegal financial services continues, Chinese state-run media reported on Wednesday.

Central bank to include troubled P2P lending industry in credit system

Are U.S. Treasuries An Assassin’s Mace Or China’s Trump Card? Weaponizing Treasuries In A Trade War
China holds $1.11 trillion of U.S. Treasury securities or about 5% of its GDP. China has been selling Treasuries and a low rate environment allows for a higher price. Sellers can control prices and supply and demand, consider when the semiconductor market was crushed by dumping and the corresponding crash in steel prices. The strategy is to take short-term pain and inflict long term damage. The thought exercise is ‘what are the consequences (to China, to the U.S. and to the global economy) if China dumped a significant portion of their Treasuries?’

The Growing Influence of Little Red Book
Chinese influencers have caught up with the trend and the new generation of KOLs appear to be kind and open. They engage with their audience naturally, similar to how they talk to friends, and they recommend and review products convincingly and in a way that is less receptive to commercial interests. This authentic dialogue is central to RED’s success being unique to the platform. In fact, other social media platforms (think Instagram) support unattainable beauty standards and fake beauty trends. But despite RED’s tranquilizing vibe, influencers still feel challenged by the competitiveness of the platform. In fact, in an interview with Parklu, influencer Kiki said that her aim is to create excellent content because “there are more and more excellent influencers” using RED; consequently, the competition is fierce.

The Growing Influence of Little Red Book

Next Up In China Trade War: Biotech Purge?
Lab technicians at the R&D center of Wuxi Pharmatech in Shanghai. China is gaining on patents, especially in DNA-sequencing drugs and cancer research. Good or bad?

China needs to rev up stimulus measures to repair broken down car sales, analysts say
Sales have fallen for 13 straight months since July 2018, and look set to fall for a 14th in August despite three measures already introduced intended to boost purchases Consumer income growth is slowing and levels of debt are rising as China’s economy slows due to the effects of the trade war with the United States

Beijing to allow autonomous taxis to run tests in city suburb
The Beijing municipal government is developing new autonomous vehicle (AV) testing facilities that will allow robotaxis to run on the outskirts of the city, said a report by The Beijing News, the latest development in a race for leadership in one of the country’s hottest tech sectors.

Beijing to allow autonomous taxis to run tests in city suburb

China Is the World’s Biggest Coal User. Can It Break the Habit?
Getting China’s national climate change policy right is not only important for China’s domestic growth, but will have global repercussions, too. That’s not only because China is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, but because it will also be responsible for the growth trajectories of many developing nations through its signature multi-trillion-dollar investment program, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China CO2 emissions to peak in 2022, ahead of schedule – government researcher
China’s emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases are likely to peak by 2022 even without the introduction of tougher policies, well ahead of an original target of “around” 2030, a senior government researcher said on Thursday.

Home prices in some unlikely Chinese cities now rival London, after a four-year boom in residential property
A four-year property boom in China has elevated a collection of little-known cities and turned them into real estate gold While that’s been great news for speculators, it’s raising concern about whether China’s educated middle-class is quickly being priced out of these so-called second-tier cities

China earmarks site to store nuclear waste deep underground
Researchers will conduct tests at the location in Gansu to see whether it will make a viable facility to store highly radioactive waste safely Scientists say China has the chance to become a world leader in this field but has to find a way to ensure it does not leak

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative Strategic Genius, Arrogant Overreach or Something Else?
The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s bold and risky response to internal tensions and external pressure, but it is not backed by an inspiring idea.

Is China’s Belt and Road Initiative Strategic Genius, Arrogant Overreach or Something Else?

China vows to keep funding African infrastructure projects despite debt-trap claims
China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, tells Kenya’s president that Beijing is committed to partnering with African nations via the Belt and Road Initiative Projects aim to foster intra-Africa commerce and inter-regional trade between Africa and Asia, Yang says

Hong Kong Versus Singapore: What’s Next for Foreign Investment in Asia
Political instability and regional developments have undoubtedly damaged Hong Kong’s reputation as “Asia’s world city”. Some foreign investors may very well now find their needs better served elsewhere in Asia. But all is not lost for Hong Kong. At least not yet. For foreign investors looking for a gateway to access mainland China – Asia’s biggest and most important market – Hong Kong still holds advantages not found elsewhere. While some of Hong Kong’s institutions may be eroding, the unique functions it provides for both mainland Chinese firms and international investors means that it cannot be easily ignored.

Good news for Hong Kong in leaked Carrie Lam tape: a solution to the unrest is at hand
The tape proved that the chief executive and Beijing are both keen to see ‘one country, two systems’ thrive. But it must work both ways For a return to peaceful prosperity, all Hong Kong needs is for Lam to swallow her pride and her financial officials to loosen the purse strings

Xi Jinping singles out Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as major risks for Chinese Communist Party
Chinese leader warns officials to be ready to ‘struggle against’ challenge from the three regions

The ‘OK’ hand gesture that’s rattled China’s authorities
A video showing a Chinese girl using a clever technique to signal she needs help has been widely shared on popular social network TikTok – and is making the authorities nervous.

Is China the target of Japan’s record-busting defence budget?
Tokyo faces myriad threats, from China, North Korea and Russia to cyberattacks on the Summer Olympics And Abe’s golf buddy Trump may not always be around to bail Japan out

Alain Gillard
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