Exclusive: China's Belt and Road Acquisitions Surge despite Outbound Capital Crackdown

Kane Wu and Sumeet Chatterjee
Reuters
Mergers and acquisitions by Chinese companies in countries that are part of the Belt and Road initiative are soaring, even as Beijing cracks down on China’s acquisitive conglomerates to restrict capital outflows.

China's Crackdown on North Korea over U.N. Sanctions Starts to Pinch

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Trucks packed with seafood were backed up, bumper to bumper, at the Chinese border with North Korea. Protesters carried red banners demanding compensation. And Chinese businessmen who have been making big money from North Korean crabs,...

China Puts Retired Head of State News Agency under Investigation for Graft

South China Morning Post
The retired former head ofa state-run Chinese news agency has been put under investigation for suspected graft, the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog said on Wednesday. 

China Reclaims Spot as World's Biggest Holder of Treasuries

Andrew Mayeda and Katherine Greifeld
Bloomberg
China reclaimed its position as the top foreign owner of U.S. Treasuries after increasing its holdings for the fifth straight month.China’s holdings of U.S. bonds, notes and bills rose to $1.15 trillion in June, up $44.3 billion from a month earlier...

Here’s How Chinese Companies Are Acting As Shopping Agencies To Help North Korea Violate Sanctions

Jonathan Kaiman and Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
Cai didn’t know what he was bringing into North Korea, and he didn’t dare ask.Whenever the 49-year-old truck driver crossed the bridge into North Korea, the cargo was carefully wrapped so he couldn’t see what was inside.

China’s Energy Exports To North Korea Plummet–But It’s Not Because of Sanctions

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
China’s energy exports to North Korea — including electricity and oil and gas products — have fallen sharply.Experts said the drop may partly be due to Pyongyang becoming more self—sufficient in producing energy rather than the impact of sanctions...

Trump Administration Goes After China Over Intellectual Property, Advanced Technology

Ana Swanson
Washington Post
President Trump signed an executive memorandum Monday afternoon that will likely trigger an investigation into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, a measure that could eventually result in a wide range of penalties as the...

Facebook Tests Way Into China Via Secret Photo—Sharing App

Yuan Yang
Financial Times
A photo—sharing app has appeared on Apple’s App Store in China that looks exactly like Facebook’s Moments app, and analysts say it may be a way for the US tech group to finally break into its most coveted market.

Chinese State Newspaper Says Trump Trade Probe Will ‘Poison’ Relations

Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump’s order to his top trade adviser to investigate supposedly unfair Chinese trade practices will “poison” relations between the two countries, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Monday.

China Warns U.S. Over Aluminum Dispute

CNN
China has told the Trump administration to tread carefully in a spat over aluminum exports if it wants to avoid damaging the relationship between the world’s two largest economies. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday disputed U.S...

China Willing to ‘Pay a Price’ for Stronger North Korea Sanctions

James Griffiths and Serenitie Wang
CNN
China is willing to take the economic hit of greater sanctions on North Korea, a top official said Monday, as Washington continues to pressure Beijing on the issue.

China’s Crackdown on Money Fleeing the Country Looks Like It’s Working

Sophia Yan
CNBC
China’s giant cash pile is increasing—and it’s a sign that the government’s industry-spanning crackdown on money fleeing the country is working.

Depth of Field

08.03.17

Inspirational Vandalism, Theme Parks, and the Man Who Swam to Hong Kong

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month, five photo galleries explore different aspects of public and private space in contemporary China. Wu Yue meets a couple who swam to Hong Kong from Guangzhou during the Cultural Revolution and still find solace in the waters of Hong Kong’...

Conversation

08.03.17

As China Reins in Capital, What Next for Global Trade?

Yu Zhou & Peter Knaack
China’s Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping, are tightening controls on overseas spending by the country’s biggest companies and their highly visible billionaire CEOs. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Xi personally signed off on...

U.S. Cinema Chain AMC's Shares Plummet 25% on Profit Warning in Latest Setback to China's Wanda Group

Jane Li
South China Morning Post
Troubled Chinese real estate conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has received another setback after shares of its U.S. cinema subsidiary, AMC Entertainment Holdings, plummeted 25 percent on Tuesday after it issued a profit warning for the second quarter.

Environment

08.02.17

Crowded Beijing Revives Old Plan for New Overflow City

from chinadialogue
On April 1, 2017—April Fool’s Day—the government made a surprise announcement that a satellite city bigger than New York would be built from scratch on the outskirts of Beijing. Official news site Xinhua described Xiong’an New District as the “plan...

Books

08.01.17

Globalization against Democracy

Guoguang Wu
Globalization has reconfigured both the external institutional framework and the intrinsic operating mechanisms of capitalism. The global triumph of capitalism implies the embracing of the market by the state in all its variants, and that global capitalism is not confined to the shell of nation-state democracy. Guoguang Wu provides a theoretical framework of global capitalism for specialists in political economy, political science, economics, and international relations, for graduate and undergraduate courses on globalization, capitalism, development, and democracy, as well as for the public who are interested in globalization. Wu examines the new institutional features of global capitalism and how they re-frame movements of capital, labor, and consumption. He explores how globalization has created a chain of connection in which capital depends on effective authoritarianism, while democracy depends on capital. Ultimately, he argues that the emerging state-market nexus has fundamentally shaken the existing institutional systems, harming democracy in the process. —Cambridge University Press{chop}

Debt-Ridden Chinese Giant Now a Shadow of Its Former Size

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The Han Show here in central China was supposed to turn the city of Wuhan into a leading tourist destination, with a dazzling spectacle of lights, water jets and acrobats by the former creative director of Cirque du Soleil. But the custom-built 2,...

Trump Administration Is Said to Open Broad Inquiry into China’s Trade Practices

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
The White House is preparing to open a broad investigation into China’s trade practices, according to people with knowledge of the Trump administration’s plans, amid growing worries in the United States over a Chinese government-led effort to make...

A Crackdown on Unfettered Internet Access Is Jeopardizing China’s Pro-Business Credentials

Charlie Campbell
Time
Another big political meeting, another crackdown on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)—the location-shifting software many in China use to access websites banned by its government, such as Facebook, YouTube and Google.

Pence Pressures China on North Korea, Talks Russia Sanctions, Election Meddling

Deena Zaru
CNN
Vice President Mike Pence spoke forcefully about reining in North Korea’s nuclear program during his trip to Estonia on Sunday, saying that “all options are on the table” in countering the threat.

Pence Pressures China on North Korea, Talks Russia Sanctions, Election Meddling

Deena Zaru
CNN
Vice President Mike Pence spoke forcefully about reining in North Korea’s nuclear program during his trip to Estonia on Sunday, saying that “all options are on the table” in countering the threat.

China Orders Halt to Red Meat Imports From Several Australian Meatworks

Sarina Locke
ABC
China has temporarily banned beef exports from six Australian meatworks, the Federal Government has confirmed.

China to Turn All Centrally Owned Giants Into Joint-Stock Firms by 2017

Reuters
China will turn all big companies owned by the central government into limited liability firms or joint-stock firms by the end of 2017, as Beijing looks to make its state-owned giants more nimble as part of broader reforms of the capital markets.

For China's Global Ambitions, ‘Iran Is at the Center of Everything’

Thomas Erdbrink
New York Times
When Zuao Ru Lin, a Beijing entrepreneur, first heard about business opportunities in eastern Iran, he was skeptical. But then he bought a map and began to envision the region without any borders, as one enormous market.

China's ‘Belt and Road’ Opens up New Business in Africa—for Both the U.S. And China

Washington Post
There has been no shortage of headlines proclaiming China’s growing clout in a “new world order” in recent months. This speculation resurfaced after the July G-20 summit, at which the United States reconfirmed its withdrawal from the Paris climate...

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.