Conversation

07.20.17

Should the U.S. Play Hardball with China on Trade?

Tom Hoffecker, Duncan Innes-Ker & more
Last week, United States President Donald Trump suggested that he is considering leveraging tariffs on Chinese steel imports. Trump’s aggressive posture has left diplomatic experts uneasy amid an already divided U.S. diplomatic house in Beijing, and...

U.S.-China Economic Dialogue Ends in a Tiff

Nikkei Asian Review
Negotiators involved in the first U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue here on Wednesday failed to produce concrete results. The U.S. later issued a statement saying China acknowledged a shared objective to reduce the U.S.’s bilateral trade...

CPEC: The Growing Resentment and Resistance among Poor Pakistanis Can Cost China Dearly

Quartz
In Pakistan, there’s no topic hotter than the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar bilateral development project that will officials promised in 2015, “usher in an era of unprecedented progress and prosperity.”

Sinica Podcast

07.19.17

Guo Wengui: The Extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Billionaire Turned Dissident

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
The life and times of Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui reads much like an epic play, so it is fitting that we have included with this podcast a dramatis personæ to explain the many characters in Guo’s story. Scroll to the bottom, below the...

China and the U.S. Are Both Going for Trade’s Nuclear Option

Ana Swanson
Washington Post
As the Trump administration and their Chinese counterparts meet this week to hammer out agreements on trade, they are likely to use the same rationale—national security—to argue for very different goals.

U.S.-China Trade Rifts Resurface Even After Friendly Summit

The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Trump administration risks igniting a trade war by considering slapping tariffs on steel imports.

A ‘Spectacular’ Trend Is Transforming the World’s Second Largest Economy, Stephen Roach Says

Stephanie Landsman
CNBC
China's economy is a lot more resilient than the West thinks, according to one of Wall Street's most distinguished voices on the region...

China Is Increasingly Becoming Key For Israel’s High-Tech Industry

Ferry Biedermann
CNBC
Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.

Despite Ban, Rhino Horn Flooding Black Markets across China

Laurel Neme
National Geographic
The country is pledged to end the trade in elephant ivory this year, but will it take steps to help save rhinos?

China Is Trading More with North Korea but Buying Much Less Coal

CNN
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period last year.

Apple Opens Data Center in China to Comply With Cybersecurity Law

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Apple has set up its first data center in China, setting the tone for how foreign companies will handle a strict new law requiring them to store Chinese users’ information in the country.

In China, Shoppers Buy Bad Loans Online with Their Groceries

Bloomberg
Among the sneakers, diapers, and pet food for sale on Taobao, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, is a listing that may take up a little more space in the online shopping basket.

Modi’s India Beats Xi’s China

Panos Mourdoukoutas
Forbes
India has been on the radar of different international agencies in recent days and has been getting high marks for its reforms and growth prospects—beating China.

China Envoy Says North Korea Trade Growth Picture ‘Distorted’

CNBC
China’s ambassador to the United States has said reports of trade growth between his country and North Korea, in spite of international efforts to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs, give “a distorted picture.”

Books

07.10.17

Destined for War

Graham Allison
China and the United States are headed toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred 16 times. War broke out in 12 of them. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the 17th case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war.In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the 21st century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past—and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today. —Houghton Mifflin Harcourt{chop}

Haley Says China May Face Trade Sanctions If It Continues To “Hold Hands” with N. Korea

Kathryn Watson
CBS News
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.S. is going to “push hard” against China amid threats from North Korea, and that China needs to do more when it comes to the country that just days ago test-launched an intercontinental...

China’s Wanda Signals Retreat on Debt-Fueled Acquisition Binge

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
The Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has epitomized the country’s high-flying deal makers, building a vast global empire of theme parks, real estate developments, and movie theaters across the United States.

Chinese Umbrella-Sharing Firm Remains Upbeat Despite Losing Most of Its 300,000 Brollies

He Huifeng
South China Morning Post
Just weeks after making 300,000 brollies available to the public via a rental scheme, Sharing E Umbrella announced that most of them had gone missing, news website The Paper reported on Thursday.

Environment

07.06.17

Industrial Energy Efficiency Can Improve Air Quality

from chinadialogue
Despite extensive efforts by the Chinese government to improve air quality, including the introduction of the State Council’s “Ten Measures” Action Plan and implementation of regional air quality control measures, air pollution recently worsened in...

Books

07.06.17

China’s Asian Dream

Tom Miller
“China,” Napoleon once remarked, “is a sleeping lion. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In 2014, President Xi Jinping triumphantly declared that the lion had awoken. Under his leadership, China is pursuing a dream to restore its historical position as the dominant power in Asia.From the Mekong River Basin to the Central Asian steppe, China is flexing its economic muscles for strategic ends. By setting up new regional financial institutions, Beijing is challenging the post-World War II order established under the watchful eye of Washington. And by funding and building roads, railways, ports, and power lines—a New Silk Road across Eurasia and through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean—China aims to draw its neighbors ever tighter into its embrace.Combining a geopolitical overview with on-the-ground reportage from a dozen countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia. —Zed Books{chop}

Features

07.05.17

China is Driving a Boom in Brazilian Mining, but at What Cost?

Milton Leal
In the middle of northern Brazil’s Amazon jungle, Chinese-made digging equipment rasps at the bottom of a giant iron ore mine. Here in the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás in the Serra dos Carajás in Brazil’s Pará state, some 1,600 miles northwest...

Environment

06.30.17

Can the AIIB Support Asia’s Energy Revolution?

from chinadialogue
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), headquartered in Beijing, held its second annual meeting on the Korean island of Jeju last week. Korea is currently positioning Jeju as a zero-carbon tourist destination, so the choice of location...

Hong Kong to Be Staging Point for Plan to Draw 100 Billion Yuan of Capital into China’s Bond Market

Karen Yeung
South China Morning Post
China’s government will allow foreign investors to trade in the country’s $9.3 trillion bond market, a vital step in helping to internationalise the yuan and help deepen the capital market.

Depth of Field

06.29.17

Love, Robots, and Fireworks

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Included in this Depth of Field column are stories of love, community, remembrance, and the future, told through the discerning eyes of some of China’s best photojournalists. Among them, the lives of African migrants in Guangzhou, seven years inside...

Trump Is China’s Chump

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
Beijing is now quietly encouraging everyone in the neighborhood to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, China’s free-trade competitor to TPP.

Exclusive: China's CNPC Suspends Fuel Sales to North Korea as Risks Mount - Sources

Chen Aizhu
Reuters
China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won't get paid, as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes...

China Is About to Bury Elon Musk in Batteries

Joe Ryan
Bloomberg
As Elon Musk races to finish building the world’s biggest battery factory in the Nevada desert, China is poised to leave him in the dust.

Why The Great Malls of China Are Starting to Crumble

Irina Ivanova
CBS News
China, which for years has been goading consumers to spend their hard-earned yuan as the country seeks to modernize its economy, faces an all-too-American problem: too many shopping malls, and not enough people to shop there.

China's Massive Corporate Crackdown Aimed at Curbing Outflows: IMF's Former China Chief Prasad

Leslie Shaffer
CNBC
China is sending a "remarkably strong signal" about stemming capital outflows by going after big companies...

Caixin Media

06.27.17

Is China Building Too Many Airports?

Over the next three years, local authorities in China are planning to build more than 900 airports for general aviation—the segment of the industry that includes crop dusting and tourism. The figure is nearly double the central government’s goal of...

China’s Premier, Li Keqiang, Praises Free Trade, in Contrast to Trump

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Premier Li Keqiang of China reaffirmed on Tuesday his country’s desire to be seen as the world’s new leader in globalization and free trade, but he offered no specifics on how China might lower its own trade barriers, which are among the steepest of...

Viewpoint

06.26.17

Why Are So Many Tibetans Moving to Chinese Cities?

Gerald Roche, Ben Hillman & more
China’s Tibetan areas have been troubled by unrest since 2008, when protests swept the plateau, followed by a series of self-immolations which continue to this day. The Chinese state, as part of its arsenal of responses, has intensified urbanization...

New U.S. Ambassador to China Says North Korea a Top Priority

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
The new U.S. ambassador to China has said that stopping the threat posed by North Korea will be a top priority, along with resolving the U.S.-China trade imbalance, according to a video message to the Chinese people released on Monday.

In China, Xi Jinping’s New Mega City Xiongan Is Expanding Underground

South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the...

Uganda: President Cancels $175 Million Mining Project

Yasiin Mugerwa
President Museveni has stopped a multi-billion copper mining project with a Chinese company at Kilembe Mines following information that a former minister pocketed a $1m bribe to influence the deal.

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...