Conversation

09.06.17

China’s Communist Party Is About to Meet. Here’s What You Should Know.

Matthias Stepan, Victor Shih & more
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its 19th Party Congress on October 18, marking the end of the first term of General Secretary Xi Jinping. In a leadership reshuffle, Xi is expected to promote allies to the Party’s key decision-making body, the...

Chinese Premier to Discuss Economy with Int'l Institution Chiefs

Xinhua
Xinhua
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will hold a roundtable meeting with leaders of six major international economic and financial institutions in Beijing next Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Wednesday.

China Brushes off Vietnam Protests over South China Sea Drills

Reuters
Reuters
China on Wednesday dismissed Vietnamese condemnation of its military live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea, saying it was acting within its sovereign rights.

North Korea Nuclear Test Puts Pressure on China and Undercuts Xi

Jane Perlez
New York Times
It was supposed to be Xi Jinping’s moment to bask in global prestige, as the Chinese president hosted the leaders of some of the world’s most dynamic economies at a summit meeting just weeks before a Communist Party leadership conference.

China's HNA Group Sues Exiled Chinese Businessman

Julie Steinberg and Carolyn Cui
Wall Street Journal
One of China’s most acquisitive companies is suing an exiled Chinese businessman for allegedly spreading what it says are falsehoods that have hurt the conglomerate’s reputation and financial interests.

China Realizes It Needs Foreign Companies

Christopher Balding
Bloomberg
China is increasingly desperate for foreign investment. Yet foreign companies are less and less interested in what it has to offer. How this problem gets resolved may be one of the most important questions facing China's economy...

What’s Yours Is Mine in China but Is Sharing at a Peak?

John Sudworth
BBC
Ok, so car sharing makes perfect sense. And we get bike sharing, too. But ball sharing?

China Can Squeeze Its Neighbors When It Wants. Ask South Korea

Jethro Mullen
CNN
South Korean businesses have been suffering since early this year after the country angered the Chinese government with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system. The victims include companies in tourism and retail, but also Hyundai (HYMTF),...

China’s War on Smog Shakes up Ports; Tianjin Loses, Rivals Benefit

Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
Reuters
China’s war on smog is shaking up the country’s busiest ports, which handle billions of tonnes of cargo a year, forcing Tianjin to overhaul its business as northern rivals snare a greater share of vast coal and iron ore shipments, results show.

Alibaba and Tencent Are Showing How Companies Can Get around Beijing's Crackdown on Foreign Deals

Sophia Yan
CNBC
The firms, among China’s most important tech giants, are overseeing the merger of two companies they back. Chinese delivery firm 58 Suyun is combining with Hong Kong logistics company GoGoVan — both have raised funds from Alibaba, and Tencent backs...

Trump on China: ‘I Want Tariffs. And I Want Someone to Bring Me Some Tariffs’

MarketWatch
President Donald Trump demanded tariffs against China at a recent White House meeting, according to a new report, dismissing concerns from his “globalist” advisers.

More Turmoil for China’s Wanda as Rumors Fly

Variety
China’s Dalian Wanda issued a stern denial Monday following rumors that company chairman Wang Jianlin had been detained by authorities as he attempted to fly abroad. The unsubstantiated reports caused stocks in Wanda’s hotel group to swoon. “Rumors...

China Is Investing $57 Billion into Pakistan

Fortune
Chinese entrepreneurs are looking to explore opportunities in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged to spend $57 billion on infrastructure projects as part of its “Belt and Road” initiative.

China State Media Says US Will ‘Pay’ for ‘Unjust’ Sanctions

CNBC
China has come out strongly against new U.S. moves to pressure North Korea with its foreign ministry opposing the “long-arm jurisdiction” of President Donald Trump’s administration, arguing that Beijing has always met international obligations in...

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative Could Be the next Risk to the Global Financial System

CNBC
China has pitched its mammoth, pan-Eurasian “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative as a means of promoting economic prosperity and fostering diplomatic ties on a global scale.

Balance of Power: China Extends Its Reach

Bloomberg
President Xi Jinping is spending more than $50 billion in an economic corridor in Pakistan, Afghanistan’s neighbor. The highways and gas pipelines, designed to provide China an alternative land route to the high seas, also give it an interest in...

Breaking Down the U.S. Trade Deficit with China

Paul Haenle & Yukon Huang from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
A positive relationship between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, is crucial for promoting global growth and development. The bilateral relationship, however, has become increasingly fraught by disagreements over what a...

Germany Is Trying to Stop China from Gobbling up Its Companies — but There May Be a Downside

Karen Gilchrist
CNBC
Think of Germany and it isn’t long before visions of bustling business districts and thriving manufacturing plants spring to mind. It isn’t surprising: it’s these industries that have elevated the country to rank among the world’s leading economies...

China Demands U.S. Immediately Withdraw N. Korea Sanctions, Warns Will Hit Ties

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China demanded the United States immediately withdraw a package of sanctions on companies and individuals trading with North Korea on Wednesday, and said the decision by the Trump administration will damage Sino–U.S. ties.

New Balance Wins $1.5 Million in Landmark China Trademark Case

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
A Chinese court has ruled that three domestic shoemakers must pay New Balance $1.5 million in damages and legal costs for infringing the American sportswear company’s signature slanting ”N” logo, in what lawyers said was the largest trademark...

China, Like U.S., Struggles to Revive Industrial Heartland

Michael Schuman
New York Times
The hulking, brown–brick industrial plants lining the roads were once the backbone of this gritty city. Today, they are outdated and unwanted, and the region is one of the Chinese economy’s most troubled. 

China to Rev up Bullet Train Revolution with World's Fastest Service on Shanghai-Beijing Line

Sarah Zheng
South China Morning Post
China will soon start official operation of the world’s fastest train service, knocking an hour off the 1,318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai.

China Says Economy Unaffected by Environmental Inspections

South China Morning Post
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection said that recent environmental inspections did not hurt the country’s economy and blamed some ”inappropriate methods” conducted by local authorities for causing short–term market dislocation.

Books

08.21.17

China’s Banking Transformation

James Stent
In this timely and provocative book, James Stent, a banker with decades of experience in Asian banking and fluency in Chinese language, explains how Chinese banks work, analyzes their strengths and weaknesses, and sets forth the challenges they face in a slowing economy. Without minimizing the real issues Chinese banks face, China’s Banking Transformation challenges negative media accounts and reports of “China bears.” Based on his 13 years of service on the boards of China Minsheng Bank, a privately owned listed bank, and China Everbright Bank, a state-controlled listed bank, the author brings the informed view of an insider to the reality of Chinese banking.China’s Banking Transformation demonstrates that Chinese banks have transformed into modern, well-run commercial banks, playing a vital role supporting the country’s extraordinary economic growth. Acknowledging that China’s banks are different from Western banks, the author explains that they are hybrid banks, borrowing extensively from Western models, but at the same time operating within a traditional Chinese cultural framework and in line with China’s governance model.From his personal experience working at board level, Stent describes the governance and management of China’s banks, including the role of the Communist Party. He sees China’s banks as embedded in ancient concepts of how government and society work in China, and also as actors within a market socialist political economy. The Chinese banking system today bears similarities with banking in Northeast Asian “developmental states” of recent past, and also pre-1949 Chinese banking.As the first account of Chinese banking by a Westerner who has worked in China’s banks, China’s Banking Transformation should be read by anyone interested in the political economy of contemporary China, in Asian development issues, and in banking issues generally. The book dispels misconceptions and provides insight into the financial aspects of China’s economic growth story. —Oxford University Press{chop}

Steve Bannon Says U.S. In Economic War with China

NBC News
The United States is in an economic war with China, U.S President Donald Trump's chief political strategist has said, warning Washington is losing the fight but is about to hit China hard over unfair trade practices...

Conversation

08.16.17

Trump Says He Wants Fairer Trade with China. Will His Latest Move Work?

Wendy Cutler, Susan Shirk & more
On Monday, Donald Trump returned to Washington from his summer vacation for the public signing of an executive order requesting that the United States Trade Representative begin a review to determine wether the U.S. should investigate China over...

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...