What Paintbrush Makers Know About How to Beat China

Adam Davidson
New York Times
Chinese manufacturers long ago wreaked havoc on the U.S. textile, apparel, toy and electronics industries, but the disruption came slowly to the brush business. Companies have employed two strategies to stave off Chinese competition: 1)...

Caixin Media

06.18.13

Will Bond Market Tidying Trigger Clean Sweep?

China’s financial regulators are rewriting rules for the interbank bond market after criminal investigations early this year led to the arrests of several well-known bond traders and exposed serious flaws in the market’s supervision system.The...

China’s Strength Could Become Its Weakness

John W. Schoen
NBC News
The heavy reliance on state investment produced unintended consequences. Overbuilding of housing created a real estate bubble. The investment a capacity to produce that overshot demand in a variety of areas. 

Sinica Podcast

06.07.13

What China is Getting Right

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Complain as we might about life in China, the last thirty-four years or so haven’t been all bad: we have seen three decades of roughly ten percent GDP growth, a whole lot of people eating a whole lot better than they did, and impressive progress...

China’s Economic Empire

Heriberto Araujo and Juan Pablo Cardenal
New York Times
 Beijing’s essentially unlimited financial resources allow the country to be a force in both the developed and developing world, one that threatens to obliterate the competitive edge of Western firms and kill jobs in Europe and America...

The Role of Trust Companies in China’s Recent Credit Growth

Nicholas Borst
Peterson Institute for International Economics
If any institutions fit the classic definition of shadow banking in China, it’s trust companies. Trust companies take money from institutional investors and individuals and make loans and investments to a wide variety of projects. 

Reports

06.03.13

Obama’s Meeting with China’s Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping

Dean Cheng, Derek Scissors
The Heritage Foundation
President Obama and the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, will meet June 7–8 in California. The meeting has been characterized as a way for the two to establish a personal relationship and build trust. This would all be...

Reports

06.01.13

Inequality in China

John Knight
Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
This paper provides an overview of research on income inequality in China over the period of economic reform. It presents the results of two main sources of evidence on income inequality and, assisted by various decompositions, explains the reasons...

Africa’s Malaria Battle: Fake Drug Pipeline Undercuts Progress

Benoit Faucon, Colum Murphy, and Jeanne...
Wall Street Journal
A flourishing counterfeit drug trade is collateral damage from the fast-expanding ties that have turned China into Africa’s largest trading partner. The fakes’ place of origin is in Guangzhou, though the source is unknown.  &...

Chinese Lead World in Economic Optimism

Zachary Keck
Diplomat
China also topped the list in terms of the percentage of respondents saying their country is headed in the right direction, with 85 percent of Chinese expressing this sentiment. 

Tamping Down Expectations on China’s Growth

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
Mr. Xi also said “China will not sacrifice the environment for temporary economic growth” and that officials will be held responsible for pollution “for life.”  

Media

05.29.13

The Graffiti Seen ‘Round the World

It’s tourist season the world over: let the shenanigans begin. After a young Chinese tourist’s defacement of an ancient Egyptian temple was photographed and shared online, the harsh backlash has gone viral in China’s blogosphere. Tea Leaf Nation...

Books

05.28.13

Stumbling Giant

Timothy Beardson
While dozens of recent books and articles have predicted the near-certainty of China’s rise to global supremacy, this book boldly counters such widely-held assumptions. Timothy Beardson brings to light the daunting array of challenges that today confront China, as well as the inadequacy of the policy responses. Threats to China come on many fronts, Beardson shows, and by their number and sheer weight these problems will thwart any ambition to become the world’s “Number One Power.”Drawing on extensive research and experience living and working in Asia over the last 35 years, the author spells out China’s situation: an inexorable demographic future of a shrinking labor force, relentless aging, extreme gender disparity, and even a falling population. Also, the nation faces social instability, a devastated environment, a predominantly low-tech economy with inadequate innovation, the absence of an effective welfare safety net, an ossified governance structure, and radical Islam lurking at the borders. Beardson’s nuanced, first-hand look at China acknowledges its historic achievements while tempering predictions of its imminent hegemony with a no-nonsense dose of reality. —Yale University Press

Wang Tells Donilon China Must Coordinate Its Policies With U.S.

Bloomberg
China and the U.S. should “strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, and jointly promote world economic recovery and growth,” Wang told Donilon today, according to a statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website. 

Why China’s Riches Won’t Bring It Freedom

Pankaj Mishra
Bloomberg
China poses a challenge to the Anglo-American faith in the global march of liberalism and democracy. It has achieved spectacular growth without embracing electoral democracy.  

Conversation

05.23.13

China and the Other Asian Giant: Where are Relations with India Headed?

Michael Kulma, Mark Frazier & more
Mike Kulma:Earlier this week at an Asia Society forum on U.S.-China economic relations, Dr. Henry Kissinger remarked that when the U.S. first started down the path of normalizing relations with China in the early 1970s, the economic relationship and...

China Granted Access to Arctic Club as Resource Race Heats Up

Nicole Gaouette and Niklas Magnusson
Bloomberg
China has identified the Arctic as a strategically and geopolitically valuable region and having a seat at the table, albeit only as a permanent observer, has long been an essential part of the country’s regional strategy. 

Chinese Leaders Warn Against ‘Dangerous’ Western Values

Chris Buckley
New York Times
The demands for ideological conformity show that Mr. Xi and other leaders want to inoculate the public from expectations of major political liberalization, even as they explore loosening some state controls over the economy. 

As China’s Economy Stumbles, Government Eyes Reform

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
Urbanization and comprehensive economic reform are among the main hopes for supporting and improving the quality of China’s growth, as well as for commodity producers and investors globally. 

Conversation

05.21.13

U.S.-China Economic Relations—What Will the Next Decade Bring?

Orville Schell & Patrick Chovanec
On Monday, within hours of the announcement that Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet U.S. President Barack Obama on a visit to California on June 7-8, Tung Chee-hwa, the former Chief Executive and President of the Executive Council of Hong Kong,...

China Export Gains Spur Renewed Skepticism of Figures

Bloomberg
The 14.7% increase, reported by the General Administration of Customs in Beijing today, was led by a 57.2% jump in shipments to Hong Kong that highlighted suspicions of false transactions used to mask capital flows into China.&...

Stocks Rally on China, German Data, Euro Gains

Herbert Lash
Reuters
Global equity markets and the euro rose on Wednesday as strong Chinese trade data and signs that Germany may escape a sharp slowdown pushed shares to five-year highs worldwide, with U.S. benchmarks climbing to all-time records. 

Media

05.17.13

Chinese Anxiety—In Debate About Overwork, a Glimpse of Shifting Expectations

Almost half of all Chinese report feeling “more anxiety” now than they did five years ago. What, exactly, is driving these concerns, or increasing reports of these concerns? Avid followers of China-related news might immediately think of censorship...

Bank of China Closes Account of Key North Korean Bank

Reuters
The closure is the first significant, publicly announced step taken by a Chinese entity to curb its dealings with North Korea in the wake of international pressure to punish Pyongyang over its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programs.&nbsp...

Palestinian Leader Seeks Chinese Support

Chris Buckley
New York Times
China has tried to maintain firm ties with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority while supporting Palestinian demands for statehood and occasionally chiding the Israeli government for its policies toward the Palestinians.&...

Books

05.15.13

China Dreams

William A. Callahan
After celebrating their country’s three decades of fantastic economic success, many Chinese now are asking, “What comes next?” How can China convert its growing economic power into political and cultural influence around the globe? William A. Callahan's China Dreams gives voice to China’s many different futures by exploring the grand aspirations and deep anxieties of a broad group of public intellectuals. Stepping outside the narrow politics of officials vs. dissidents, Callahan examines what a third group—“citizen intellectuals”—think about China’s future. China Dreams eavesdrops on fascinating conversations between officials, scholars, soldiers, bloggers, novelists, filmmakers and artists to see how they describe China’s different political, strategic, economic, social and cultural futures. Callahan also examines how the P.R.C.’s new generation of twenty- and thirty-somethings is creatively questioning “The China Model” of economic development. The personal stories of these citizen intellectuals illustrate China’s zeitgeist and a complicated mix of hopes and fears about “The Chinese Century,” providing a clearer sense of how the PRC’s dramatic economic and cultural transitions will affect the rest of the world. China Dreams explores the transnational connections between American and Chinese people, providing a new approach to Sino-American relations. While many assume that 21st century global politics will be a battle of Confucian China vs. the democratic west, Callahan weaves Chinese and American ideals together to describe a new “Chimerican dream.”  —Oxford University Press

China Likely To Challenge U.S. Supremacy In East Asia

Martin Fackler
New York Times
Despite growing military might, China’s economic interdependence with the United States and the rest of Asia would probably prevent a full-blown military or even Cold War-style conflict.

China’s Baffling G.D.P. Figures

Yueran Zhang
Atlantic
After Q1 2013, no single province claimed a real GDP growth rate lower than the nationwide number. The contradiction between the national and provincial data is nothing more than a continuation of a long-time trend. 

China Is Plundering The World’s Seas

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
China’s unabated market for pricey fish parts like shark fin and endangered fish bladders is not only hurting the ecosystem, but will also have a negative impact on the world economy.

Conversation

05.10.13

What’s China’s Game in the Middle East?

Rachel Beitarie, Massoud Hayoun & more
Rachel Beitarie:Xi Jinping’s four point proposal for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement is interesting not so much for its content, as for its source. While China has maintained the appearance of being involved in Middle East politics for years,...

China Top Leaders Warn On Financial Risks As Rebound Falters

Nerys Avery, Xin Zhou and Liu Li
Bloomberg
Macro-economic policies should be stabilized and micro controls in some sectors should be loosened, the Politburo Standing Committee said after what Xinhua said was a “special session” on the economy.

Books

05.03.13

China’s Superbank

Henry Sanderson, Michael Forsythe
Anyone wanting a primer on the secret of China’s economic success need look no further than China Development Bank (CDB)—which has displaced the World Bank as the world’s biggest development bank, lending billions to countries around the globe to further Chinese policy goals. In China’s Superbank, Bloomberg authors Michael Forsythe and Henry Sanderson outline how the bank is at the center of China’s domestic economic growth and how it is helping to expand China’s influence in strategically important overseas markets.100 percent owned by the Chinese government, the CDB holds the key to understanding the inner workings of China’s state-led economic development model, and its most glaring flaws. The bank is at the center of the country’s efforts to build a world-class network of highways, railroads, and power grids, pioneering a lending scheme to local governments that threatens to spawn trillions of yuan in bad loans. It is doling out credit lines by the billions to Chinese solar and wind power makers, threatening to bury global competitors with a flood of cheap products. Another $45 billion in credit has been given to the country’s two biggest telecom equipment makers who are using the money to win contracts around the globe, helping fulfill the goal of China’s leaders for its leading companies to “go global.”Bringing the story of China Development Bank to life by crisscrossing China to investigate the quality of its loans, China’s Superbank travels the globe, from Africa, where its China-Africa fund is displacing Western lenders in a battle for influence, to the oil fields of Venezuela. As China’s influence continues to grow around the world, many people are asking how far it will extend. China’s Superbank addresses these vital questions, looking at the institution at the heart of this growth.  —Bloomberg Press 

Agricultural Merger Shows China Is Worried About Feeding Itself

Jake Maxwell Watts
Quartz
China conditionally approved the $5.6 billion purchase of US grain supplier Gavilon by the Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp. Without imports, China would need to devote about a quarter of its total arable land to soybeans in...

Media

05.01.13

The Wall Street Journal: Covering China Past and Present

The Wall Street Journal was one of the first American publications to set up a bureau in Beijing. Since its establishment, scores of the Journal’s correspondents have traveled in and out of the country to cover China’s economic and political...

Reports

05.01.13

A Changing China: Implications for Developing Countries

Philip Schellekens
World Bank
Three decades of rapid growth and structural change have transformed China into an upper-middle-income country and global economic powerhouse. China's transformations over this period wielded increasing influence over the development path of...

Alibaba Joins China In Antipiracy Fight

Juro Osawa
Wall Street Journal
Alibaba announced its partnership with five agencies at a news conference Tuesday. On the same day, Xinhua reported that China’s top legislature is considering amending the country’s consumer-rights law to protect online shoppers. 

Viewpoint

04.26.13

Sino-American Relations: Amour or Les Miserables?

Winston Lord
Winston Lord, former United States Ambassador to China, tells us he recently hacked into the temples of government, pecking at his first-generation iPad with just one finger—a clear sign that...

Six Reasons Why Chinese People Will Drive The Next Bull Market In Bitcoin

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
The virtual currency’s decentralized and speculative nature, combined with the country’s experience with online currencies and “gold-mining” in the past are all cited as possible factors contributing to Bitcoin’s future take off in China.

The Upside Of China’s Slowdown

Nin-Hai Tseng
Fortune
Plenty of people were expecting an end to the China-led luxury boom last year, but as Burberry’s latest sales report suggests, China’s consumers are more resilient than many of us think. 

China Surpasses U.S. In Clean-Energy Investment

Keith Johnson
Wall Street Journal
Globally, clean-energy investment fell last year 11% to $269 billion. But China bucked the trend, attracting of $65.1 billion in clean-energy investment in 2012, a 20% uptick over 2011 and nearly one-third of the total investment in G-20 countries...

Caixin Media

04.22.13

Heading off a China-style Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Warning of local governments’ high exposure to bad debts, the credit agency Fitch recently downgraded China’s long-term local-currency rating from AA– to A+. Officials should take note: the downgrade underlines how closely international markets are...

Governor Brown Wants China Aboard California’s High-Speed Rail Project

Anthony York
Los Angeles Times
Chinese interest in California’s project is a welcome boost for Brown. Although state voters approved $10 billion in bonds for a high-speed railway in 2008, they have soured on it as cost estimates have ballooned. This is just one of many ways Brown...

China And California Sign Deal To Boost Investment

Associated Press
A new joint task force composed of officials from the California government and China's Commerce Ministry identified sectors for potential expanded investment and trade including infrastructure, environmental protection, agriculture...

Conversation

04.18.13

How Fast Is China’s Slowdown Coming, and What Should Beijing Do About It?

Patrick Chovanec, Barry Naughton & more
Slower Chinese GDP growth is not a bad thing if it’s happening for the right reasons. But it’s not happening for the right reasons.Instead of reining in credit to try to curb over-investment, Chinese authorities have allowed a renewed explosion in...

Two China Cities Move To Cool Overheated Housing Market

David Barboza
New York Times
In Shanghai and Beijing, stricter laws governing residence status and residence-related taxes in order to offset a real estate bubble that could seriously damage the economy and exacerbate social tensions between the rich and the poor.&...

Environment

04.10.13

Writing Yunnan a Rubber Check

Chris Horton
Our van stopped at a scenic vista on the contour road where verdant mountains undulated southward toward China’s border with Laos. Stepping out to take some photos, I was overcome by an acrid, unpleasant odor. I asked my local travel partner, Xiao...

Conversation

04.09.13

Is China Doing All It Can to Rein in Kim Jong-un?

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
Winston Lord:No. 

Excerpts

04.05.13

Living Underground

Ana Fuentes
They are called rats, and they have become a symbol of Beijing’s red-hot real estate market. Because of soaring housing costs, there are at least a million people living underground, only able to afford a rented room in the basements of skyscrapers...

BRICS Offers New Model For Cooperation

Global Times
Ideally, Beijing would like to maintain a low profile while showing respect to other countries. China has no ambition to dominate BRICS, and will not purposely seek to raise its role in this mechanism.   

As China’s Xi Jinping Visits, Africa Asks: What Are We Getting Out Of This?

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
Chinese trade with African countries was nearly $200 billion in 2012. But after years of embracing China, some Africans say that China is taking more than it gives back and replicating colonial patterns. 

China Doesn’t Belong In BRICS

Graham Allison
Atlantic
In every year since 2001, the gap between China’s GDP and that of each of the others has widened. In the decade ahead, the gap is likely to become even more pronounced. Has the acronym become an anacronism? 

The Dragon Eating The Eagle’s Lunch in Africa?

Alemayehu G Mariam
Ethiomedia
For the past decade, the U.S. has been nonchalant and complacent about China’s “invasion” and lightning-fast penetration of Africa, but the U.S. is finally reading the memo. 

Books

04.03.13

From the Dragon’s Mouth

Ana Fuentes
From The Dragon’s Mouth: Ten True Stories that Unveil the Real China is an exquisitely intimate look into the China of the twenty-first century as seen through the eyes of its people. This is one of the rare times a book combines the voices of everyday Chinese people from so many different layers of society: a dissident tortured by the police; a young millionaire devoted to nationalism; a peasant-turned-prostitute to pay for the best education for her son; a woman who married her gay friend to escape from social pressure, just like an estimated 16 million other women; a venerated kung fu master unable to train outdoors because of the hazardous pollution; the daughter of two Communist Party officials getting rich coaching Chinese entrepreneurs the ways of Capitalism; among others.   —Penguin{chop}{node, 3048, 4}

Caixin Media

04.01.13

New Hands Take the Financial Regulation Wheel

Who’s steering China’s carefully managed financial system? Speculators were busy name-guessing before and for several months after the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress in November.Finally, the dust started to settle with formal appointments...

Reports

03.29.13

China’s Path to Consumer-Based Growth

Il Houng Lee, Murtaza Syed, Liu Xueyan
Luo Xiaoyuan
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This paper proposes a possible framework for identifying excessive investment. Based on this method, it finds evidence that some types of investment are becoming excessive in China, particularly in inland provinces. In these regions, private...

Conversation

03.28.13

Will China’s Renminbi Replace the Dollar as the World’s Top Currency?

Patrick Chovanec, Damien Ma & more
Patrick Chovanec:This week’s news that Brazil and China have signed a $30 billion currency swap agreement gave a renewed boost to excited chatter over the rising influence of China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB). The belief, in many quarters, is...

Reports

03.28.13

China’s Demography and its Implications

Il Houng Lee, Xu Qingjun, Murtaza Syed
Luo Xiaoyuan
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
In coming decades, China will undergo a notable demographic transformation, with its old-age dependency ratio doubling to 24 percent by 2030 and rising even more precipitously thereafter. This paper uses the permanent income hypothesis to reassess...

Reports

03.27.13

How Effective are Macroprudential Policies in China?

Bin Wang, Tao Sun
Luo Xiaoyuan
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This paper investigates macroprudential policies and their role in containing systemic risk in China. It shows that China faces systemic risk in both the time (procyclicality) and cross-sectional (contagion) dimensions. The former is reflected as...

Reports

03.27.13

China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative Society

Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
Can China’s growth rate still be among the highest in the world even if it slows from its current pace? And can it maintain this rapid growth with little disruption to the world, the environment, and the fabric of its own society? This report...