China Is Trying to Pull Middle East Countries into Its Version of NATO

Washington Post
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held annual summit last week in Kazakhstan, and the most significant outcome was the announcement that India and Pakistan became its first new members since being formed in 2001.

China Takeover Tycoons' Cash Wall

David Fickling
Bloomberg
These firms' engine isn't profit-making drudge-work selling goods but the art of persuading financiers...

China’s Trump Honeymoon: Unexpected, and at Risk of Ending

Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s assertion that China had failed to pressure North Korea into curbing its nuclear and ballistic missile program means that Beijing must now confront the prospect of a stormier relationship ahead — not just over North Korea but also...

China Shares Get MSCI Nod in Landmark Moment for Beijing

Dion Rabouin, Michelle Price
Reuters
U.S. index provider MSCI said on Wednesday Hong Kong time it would add a selection of China's so-called "A" shares to its Emerging Markets Index .MSCIEF after having rejected them for three years running...

Books

06.20.17

Shadow Banking and the Rise of Capitalism in China

Andrew Collier
This book is about the growth of shadow banking in China and the rise of China’s free markets. Shadow Banking refers to capital that is distributed outside the formal banking system, including everything from Mom and Pop lending shops to online credit to giant state owned banks called Trusts. They have grown from a fraction of the economy 10 years ago to nearly half of all China’s annual 25 trillion renminbi (U.S.$4.1 trillion) in lending in the economy today.Shadow Banks are a new aspect of capitalism in China—barely regulated, highly risky, yet tolerated by Beijing. They have been permitted to flourish because many companies cannot get access to formal bank loans. It is the Wild West of banking in China. If we define capitalism as economic activity controlled by the private sector, then Shadow Banking is still in a hybrid stage, a halfway house between the state and the private economic. But it is precisely this divide that makes Shadow Banking important to the rise of capitalism. How Beijing handles this large free market will say a lot about how the country’s economy will grow—will free markets be granted greater leeway? —Palgrave Macmillan{chop}

Ford to Save $1 Billion Building Focus in China Instead of Mexico

Keith Naughton
Bloomberg
Ford Motor Co. is canceling controversial plans to build the Focus small car in Mexico, saving $1 billion by ending North American production entirely and importing the model mostly from China after next year.

China Imposes 100% Tax on Foreign Star Signings in Bid for World Cup Glory

Katie Stallard
Sky News
The country's President Xi Jinping is hoping the Asian superpower will host - and one day win - the global football tournament...

Alibaba Is Coming to Detroit to Sell Small Businesses the Chinese Dream

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
The Chinese e-commerce giant is pulling out all the stops to impress America at Gateway ’17, its biggest-ever public event in the United States.

China Propels Rise of Electric Ultra-High-Performance Cars

New York Times
Want an insanely fast ride with zero emissions? Startup NIO has the car: An electric two-seater with muscular European lines and a top speed of 195 miles per hour (313 kilometers per hour). The catch: The EP9 costs nearly $1.5 million. NIO, a...

Some Global Investors See Fresh Worries in an Old Problem: China

Michael Schuman
New York Times
While investors have been preoccupied with President Trump and chaos in Washington, nerve-rattling elections in Europe and the uncertainty created by Federal Reserve policy and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, a once-familiar — and...

Conversation

06.14.17

Do Street Protests Work in China?

Mara Hvistendahl, Benjamin L. Read & more
A rare street protest broke out in China’s biggest city and commercial capital on Saturday night, June 10, when residents of Shanghai marched against new housing rules that some residents claimed have caused the value of their property to plummet...

Asia Closes Mostly Lower Following Release of China Industrial Data; Fed Awaited

Cheang Ming
CNBC
Equities in Asia closed mostly lower on Wednesday as China data came in mostly in line with expectations and markets awaited the Federal Reserve's decision on monetary policy...

Books

06.13.17

Fortune Makers

Michael Useem, Harbir Singh, Liang Neng, Peter Cappelli
Fortune Makers analyzes and brings to light the distinctive practices of business leaders who are the future of the Chinese economy. These leaders oversee not the old state-owned enterprises, but private companies that have had to invent their way forward out of the wreckage of an economy in tatters following the Cultural Revolution.Outside of brand names such as Alibaba and Lenovo, little is known, even by the Chinese themselves, about the people present at the creation of these innovative businesses. Fortune Makers provides sharp insights into their unique styles—a distinctive blend of the entrepreneur, the street fighter, and practices developed by the Communist Party—and their distinctive ways of leading and managing their organizations that are unlike anything the West is familiar with.When Peter Drucker published Concept of the Corporation in 1946, he revealed what made large American corporations tick. Similarly, when Japanese companies emerged as a global force in the 1980s, insightful analysts explained the practices that brought Japan’s economy out of the ashes—and what managers elsewhere could learn to compete with them. Now, based on unprecedented access, Fortune Makers allows business leaders in the United States and the rest of the West to understand the essential character and style of Chinese corporate life and its dominant players, whose businesses are the foundation of the domestic Chinese market and are now making their mark globally. —PublicAffairs{chop}

Why China No Longer Fears the Fed

Tom Mitchell
Financial Times
In 2016, the People's Bank of China got a reprieve from the U.S. Federal Reserve. This year it needs no such help...

Trump’s Trade Restrictions Could Miss China And Slam Everybody Else

David Francis
Chicago Tribune
Any restriction on imports of the key metals would likely fall on friendly U.S. trading partners, rather than on China, the ostensible target of the administration's concern about steel and aluminum imports...

China Auto Sales Fall 2.6 Pct in May; SUVs up 13.5 Pct

Associated Press
China's auto sales shrank for a second month in May amid weak demand following a rise in the sales tax, an industry group reported Monday...

Netizens Say One of the Chinese Cities Just Upgraded to 'First-Tier' Doesn't Deserve the Label

Cheang Ming
CNBC
Fifteen Chinese cities joined Shanghai and Beijing in boasting "first-tier" status in a recent study, but the one of the latest additions to that category might not quite fit the bill, according to some...

Viewpoint

06.08.17

Can China Really Lead the World on Climate?

Isabel Hilton
On Wednesday, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, found himself, not for the first time, with more in common with Chinese President Xi Jinping than with the president of his own nation, Donald Trump. Just days after President Trump announced...

West Underestimates China’s New Silk Road, German Envoy Says

Channel NewsAsia
Western countries are underestimating China’s new Silk Road project, which is an important scheme, despite concerns it is too China-centric and so far lacking in opportunities for foreign firms, Germany’s ambassador to China said on Thursday.

Alibaba Predicts Strong Sales in a Sign of Strength from China

New York Times
The Alibaba Group signaled on Thursday that for all the global worries about China’s rising debt and bloated state industries, its economy still enjoys a strong pillar of support: online shoppers.

China Won’t Beg India to Join OBOR: Chinese Media

Ananth Krishnan
India's primary concern about the initiative is the “flagship” China Pakistan Economic Corridor leg that runs through Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Despite this concern, an OBOR white paper in May declared CPEC as a flagship project...

China Is in the Middle of Diplomatic Spat With One of Its Oldest Allies in Africa

Lily Kuo
Quartz
Zambian authorities have detained 31 Chinese citizens on suspicion of illegal copper mining, according to Chinese officials who have formally complained about the arrest.

China’s Reserves Rise For 4th Month

Joe MacDonald
Associated Press
China's foreign currency reserves rose again ahead of a possible U.S. interest rate hike that might put new pressure on Beijing's exchange rate controls...

Trump Lies. China Thrives.

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
While Trump is a serial liar, his broad complaint that China is not playing fair on trade and has grown in some areas at the expense of U.S. and European workers has merit and needs to be addressed — now.

Chinese Debt in Africa: How Much Is Too Much?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China now owns more than half of Kenya’s external debt, and that figure is likely to grow even higher as President Uhuru Kenyatta turns to Beijing to finance large infrastructure projects across the country. Most recently, China completed the first...

China Doesn't Want To Be the Only World Leader, Says State Council Counselor

Akiko Fujita, Huileng Tan
CNBC
Rather than fully stepping into a global leadership vacuum that could be left by an increasingly isolationist U.S., China is looking to be but one of the world's leaders...

U.S. Presses China to Free Activists Scrutinizing Ivanka Trump Shoe Factory

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Experts warned that the detentions could make it more difficult for other Western companies to take a clear look at the practices of their Chinese suppliers.

Caixin Media

06.05.17

China to Boost Checks on Overseas Spending

China is stepping up supervision of the use of bank cards overseas, a move the foreign-exchange regulator says is needed to fight money laundering, terrorist financing, and tax evasion.Starting September 1, banks will be required to report on a...

As China Pulls Trade from North Korea, Russia Gets Cozy with Kim Jong Un

USA Today
Trade between Russia and North Korea increased by 73% during the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period the year before, boosted mostly by increased coal deliveries from Russia, according to Russian state-owned news site Sputnik.

China PM’s ‘Dream Team’ Should Be Asia, Not Europe

CNBC
Last Thursday (May 29), Mr. Li Keqiang’s “dream team” became “golden partnership” as he presented in Berlin a glowing report card on a lucrative alignment between “Made in China 2025” – an innovation-driven manufacturing – and Germany’s “Industry 4...

Russia and China Are Bulking Up in the U.S.’s Backyard

Ezra Fieser
Bloomberg
Putin and Xi are working to win over small, poor countries with promises of aid, military support, and investment, even as Trump scales back.

China and Europe Are Moving Forward without Trump

CNN
Beijing is in prime position to capitalize on major policy fissures that have emerged between Europe and the Trump administration on climate, trade and defense. The new dynamic will be on full display on Thursday in Brussels, when Chinese Premier Li...

China, Russia Share Much to Expand Economic Cooperation

China Daily
Roughly three months ahead of a BRICS summit to be held in China, Russian analysts saw immense potential to increase and diversify economic cooperation between Russia and China.

China Has a Huge Debt Problem. How Bad Is It?

CNN
Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded China this week, warning that the country’s financial health is suffering from rising debt and slowing economic growth. It’s the first time the agency has cut China’s rating in nearly three decades.

China’s Downgrade Could Lead to a Mountain of Debt

Bloomberg
The downgrade of China’s debt by Moody’s Investors Service may push Chinese companies to borrow even more money from domestic banks as overseas debt becomes more expensive, increasing risks for the nation’s finance industry.

Larry Summers: Trump’s ‘China Deal’ Is Only a Good Deal for China

Washington Post
It is true that a ludicrously hyped squib of a deal is much better than a trade war. So perhaps we should be pleased that the president and his commerce secretary are so easily manipulated. Perhaps our officials know how bad a deal they got and are...

What Do Trump’s Views on Europe Mean for China?

Paul Haenle & Tomáš Valášek from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
President Trump will travel to Europe in May for his first time since taking office to meet with European Union (E.U.) leaders, attend a NATO meeting, and visit the organization’s headquarters in Brussels. Although he has walked back some of his...

Reports

05.24.17

China’s Social Credit System: A Big-Data Enabled Approach to Market Regulation with Broad Implications for Doing Business in China

Mirjam Meissner
Mirjam Meissner
Mercator Institute for China Studies
Under the catchphrase “Social Credit System,” China is currently implementing a new and highly innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behavior of market participants. The Social Credit System will have significant impact on...

Why Soft Power Could Be the Real Value of China’s Massive Belt and Road Project

Justina Crabtree, Cheang Ming
CNBC
The real benefits of OBOR to China could be the international clout it stands to gain as its attempts to spearhead international policy and improve relations with OBOR partner countries.

‘The New York Times’ on China, from on the Ground in Namibia

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Western news coverage of China’s engagement in Africa often is confined to the business section, generally focusing on loans, resource deals, or other financial dealings. Moreover, ambitious international feature reporting, particularly from Africa...

What Belt and Road Snub Means for Singapore’s Ties with China

BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS
South China Morning Post
China’s decision not to invite Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to last weekend’s Belt and Road Forum highlights the still-strained ties between the two countries, observers say, though officials in the Lion City have tried to shrug off...

China’s Strength and Its Shopping Lift Alibaba’s Results

paul mozur
New York Times
Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, will host a conference in Detroit next month to help small businesses learn about the company.

China’s Silk Road Project Shows Putin Needs Xi Way More Than Trump

Kenneth Rapoza
Forbes
There are more U.S. multinationals in Russia than there are Russian multinationals in the U.S.. Moscow and Beijing are nowhere near as close as Beijing is to Washington, but Russia stands more to gain by the Silk Road than the U.S. if not for...

China’s Xi Positions Himself as Free Trade and Climate Champion

James Griffiths
CNN
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the world to reject protectionism and promote free trade in the latest attempt by Beijing to take up the mantle of globalization since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Conversation

05.16.17

How Big a Deal is the New U.S.-China Trade Deal?

Wendy Cutler, Zha Daojiong & more
Last week, the United States and China announced a new trade deal on the eve of China launching a sweeping conference to promote its One Belt, One Road development and infrastructure investment initiative. How good are the terms of the Washington-...

Sinica Podcast

05.16.17

America’s Top Trade Negotiator in 2001 Looks at China Today

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Charlene Barshefsky was a name you couldn’t avoid if you were in Beijing in the late 1990s. As the United States Trade Representative from 1997 to 2001, she led the American team that negotiated China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO...

India Boycotts China’s Global Trade Jamboree

Rishi Iyengar
CNN
India’s main objection is the partnership China is developing with Pakistan. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a key component of One Belt, One Road -- passes through the disputed region of Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in its...

China’s New Silk Road Promises Trade and Riches, with President Xi at Helm

Ben Blanchard, Sue-Lin Wong
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping and 29 other heads of state on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to build an open economy and ensure free and inclusive trade, under the ambitious Belt and Road initiative led by Beijing.

Why China Will Never Put America First

J. Michael Cole
National Interest
The Trump administration will eventually awaken to the fact that Beijing cannot, and has no desire to, deliver on North Korea.

Kenya President Urges Rebalance of China-Africa Trade

David Piling
Financial Times
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has called on China to rebalance an increasingly skewed trade relationship between Africa and the rising superpower, arguing that Beijing must do more to tackle a widening trade deficit.

Trump’s Pretty Good China Deal

Wall Street Journal
Wilbur Ross made some startling claims after Thursday’s announcement of a 10-point agreement with China on trade. The U.S. Commerce Secretary boasted that the “herculean accomplishment” was “more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China...

China Pledges More Than $100 Billion in Belt and Road Projects

sophia yan
CNBC
China is pledging more than $100 billion to finance projects under its “One Belt, One Road” strategy, an ambitious initiative to strengthen the world’s second-largest economy’s investment, influence and trade links to the rest of the globe.

China’s Summit for Its New Silk Road Is Missing 44 Heads of State from the 65 Nations Involved

zheping huang
Quartz
World leaders are gathering in Beijing this weekend for a big summit touting China’s infrastructure spending spree to connect Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The project, known as the Belt and Road Initiative—or “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR...

Sinica Podcast

05.12.17

What It Takes to Be a Good China-Watcher

Kaiser Kuo & Bill Bishop from Sinica Podcast
China-watching isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, the field of international China studies was dominated by a few male Westerners with an encyclopedic knowledge of China, but with surprisingly little experience living in the country or...

Western and Japanese Snub of China’s Belt and Road Summit Is a Missed Opportunity

Jean-Pierre Lehmann
South China Morning Post
The conspicuous absence of the heads of state from the major Western economic powers and Japan at the belt and road summit this month in Beijing is a big mistake and a missed opportunity for enhancing dynamic and cooperative globalisation.

China Appears to be Losing Interest in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Beijing-based investment attorney Kai Xue joins Eric and Cobus to discuss why he thinks Africa is no longer appealing to Chinese companies. Kai Xue is a longtime Sino-African affairs analyst and carefully monitors trade, foreign direct investment,...

China’s Big Play for Middle East Oil

Bloomberg
China’s Middle East energy footprint has been expanding. In February, it made a deal for a stake in Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil. In March, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz travelled to China to strengthen trade ties, and now a Chinese consortium...

China Says Silk Road Plan Is Not Tied to Presidency

Reuters
China’s President Xi Jinping initiated the ambitious “Belt and Road” development plan but it has become a world plan not tied to his presidency, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday, days before Xi hosts a global forum on the initiative.

North Korea Expected to Ask China for a Break at Summit

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
North Korea is expected to press China to tone down its economic sanctions when its delegation attends an infrastructure and trade summit in Beijing on Sunday, observers said.