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.

How Trump Gave China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Scheme a Boost

cary huang
South China Morning Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road’ trade development initiative, always ambitious, has been given a boost by American counterpart Donald Trump’s protectionist trade agenda and isolationist diplomacy.

Caixin Media

05.05.17

Belt and Road: A Symphony in Need of a Strong Conductor

In just a few weeks, the Chinese president will host the Belt and Road summit—Xi Jinping’s landmark program to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects across Asia, Africa, and Europe. Reactions to the project have been, understandably...

China Repeats West’s Mistakes in Pakistan

Mihir Sharma
Bloomberg
When President Xi Jinping announced in 2015 that China would pump $46 billion worth of investments into Pakistan, the recipients of his largesse seemed less surprised than one might have expected.

How Not to Lose Asia to China

Foreign Policy
This week, the foreign ministers of the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are coming to Washington for an annual U.S.-ASEAN dialogue.

China’s Huge Dam Projects Will Threaten Southeast Asia as Water Scarcity Builds Downstream

Daniel Rechtschaffen
Forbes
A river is born high in the Tibetan Plateau, before snaking its way 3,000 miles south and emptying itself into the South China Sea.

Books

05.02.17

China’s Mobile Economy

Winston Ma
China’s Mobile Economy: Opportunities in the Largest and Fastest Information Consumption Boom is a cutting-edge text that spotlights the digital transformation in China. Organized into three major areas of the digital economy within China, this ground-breaking book explores the surge in e-commerce of consumer goods, the way in which multi-screen and mobile Internet use has increased in popularity, and the cultural emphasis on the mobile Internet as a source of lifestyle- and entertainment-based content. Targeted at the global business community, this lucid and engaging text guides business leaders, investors, investment banking professionals, corporate advisors, and consultants in grasping the challenges and opportunities created by China’s emerging mobile economy, and its debut on the global stage.The year of 2014-15 marks the most important inflection point in the history of the Internet in China. Almost overnight, the world’s largest digitally-connected middle class went both mobile and multi-screen (smart phone, tablets, laptops, and more), with huge implications for how consumers behave and what companies need to do to successfully compete. As next-generation mobile devices and services take off, China’s strength in this arena will transform it from a global “trend follower” to a “trend setter.”Understand what the digital transformation in China is, and impact on global capital markets, foreign investors, consumer companies, and the global economy as a whole.Explore the e-commerce consumption boom in the context of the Chinese market.Understand the implications of the multi-screen age and mobile Internet for China’s consumersSee how mobile Internet use, its focus on lifestyle and entertainment is aligned with today’s Chinese culture.Learn about the mobile entertainment habits of China’s millennial generation and the corresponding new advertisement approaches.The development of China’s mobile economy is one of the most important trends that will reshape the future of business, technology, and society both in China and the world. China's Mobile Economy introduces you to the digital transformation in China, and explains how this transformation has the potential to transform both China and the global consumer landscape. —John Wiley & Sons, Inc.{chop}

China Focus: What to Expect from Belt and Road Forum

Xinhua
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for mid-May is a high-profile international meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative, a China-proposed trade and infrastructure plan connecting Asia with Europe and Africa.

Holiday Hush as Chinese Tourists Shun South Korean Resort Island amid THAAD Missile Shield Row

liu zhen
South China Morning Post
During the May Day holiday, the Jeju Cruise Terminal in South Korea used to be packed with thousands of passengers from the ports of Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao disembarking from large cruise liners and boarding their tourist buses.

Interview: Belt and Road Initiative to Boost Sustainable Economic Development -- Former U.S. Diplomat

Yang Shilong, Zhang Zhihuan
Xinhua
The Belt and Road Initiative is a very positive project that helps boost sustainable economic development in the world, especially in ill-connected Asia, a former U.S. diplomat has said.

Alibaba Acts on Vow about 1m U.S. Jobs

Paul Welitzkin
China Daily
Jack Ma announced on Tuesday that Alibaba will host a two-day conference in Detroit in June to teach U.S. businesses how to sell to the company’s 443 million customers in China on the world’s biggest e-commerce site.

China Urges U.S. To Abide by WTO Rules in Aluminum Imports Investigation

Xinhua
A Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Thursday urged U.S. authorities to abide by World Trade Organization rules in its investigation of aluminum imports.

China Is Crushing South Korea’s Tourism Industry

Alec Macfarlane
CNN
Pro tip for countries looking to keep their tourism numbers up: Don’t annoy China. That’s the lesson South Korea is learning the hard way. The country suffered a 40% plunge in Chinese visitors last month, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

U.S., Russia and China: A Tale of Big Egos, Profound Mistrust and Foolish Nationalism

Joseph Camilleri, La Trobe University
ABC
Mr Trump’s first 100 days as President have dramatically demonstrated this failure. For all the rhetoric about “making America great again”, Mr Trump is rapidly discovering the US has limited capacity to impose its will on the rest of world.

Books

04.25.17

China’s Hegemony

Ji-Young Lee
Many have viewed the tribute system as China’s tool for projecting its power and influence in East Asia, treating other actors as passive recipients of Chinese domination. China's Hegemony sheds new light on this system and shows that the international order of Asia’s past was not as Sinocentric as conventional wisdom suggests. Instead, throughout the early modern period, Chinese hegemony was accepted, defied, and challenged by its East Asian neighbors at different times, depending on these leaders’ strategies for legitimacy among their populations. This book demonstrates that Chinese hegemony and hierarchy were not just an outcome of China’s military power or Confucian culture but were constructed while interacting with other, less powerful actors’ domestic political needs, especially in conjunction with internal power struggles.Focusing on China-Korea-Japan dynamics of East Asian international politics during the Ming and High Qing periods, Ji-Young Lee draws on extensive research of East Asian language sources, including records written by Chinese and Korean tributary envoys. She offers fascinating and rich details of war and peace in Asian international relations, addressing questions such as: why Japan invaded Korea and fought a major war against the Sino-Korean coalition in the late sixteenth century; why Korea attempted to strike at the Ming empire militarily in the late fourteenth century; and how Japan created a miniature tributary order posing as the center of Asia in lieu of the Qing empire in the seventeenth century. By exploring these questions, Lee’s in-depth study speaks directly to general international relations literature and concludes that hegemony in Asia was a domestic, as well as an international, phenomenon with profound implications for the contemporary era. —Columbia University Press{chop}

Xi, Trump Discuss Ties, Korean Peninsula Situation over Phone

Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Monday discussed bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula on phone, pledging close contact by various means to promptly exchange views on major issues of common...

China’s Leader Urges Restraint on North Korea in Call With Trump

CHRIS BUCKLEY
New York Times
China’s president, Xi Jinping, has urged President Trump to show restraint toward North Korea despite signs that the North may be preparing a nuclear test. Mr. Xi made the appeal in a phone call with Mr. Trump on Monday that reflected growing alarm...

China Is Sending the U.S. a New Message about North Korea

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Beijing appears to be sending fresh signals about its view on North Korea, in order to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to take less aggressive action against the rogue nuclear state, several political analysts say.

China Is Squeezing North Korea - but Not Too Hard

Jethro Mullen
CNN
China wields huge influence over the North Korean economy, accounting for more than 80% of its smaller neighbor’s foreign trade and serving as its main gateway to the rest of the world.

Why Trump’s Plan to Use China against North Korea Is Probably Doomed

Zeeshan Aleem
Vox
President Trump believes the road to disarming North Korea runs through China, its biggest and most powerful ally. The problem is that Beijing doesn’t seem willing to do much of anything to rein Pyongyang in.

Is China Too Tough a Steel Beast for Trump to Tame?

Manolo Serapio Jr, Muyu Xu
Reuters
China exported 620,000 tonnes of steel direct to the United States last year, a fraction of the 800 million tonnes it produces each year, equal to about half of world output.

Why India Can’t Afford to Miss out on China’s Belt and Road Plan

K.S. Venkatachalam
South China Morning Post
India-China relations has been plagued by a low level of trust due to unresolved territorial disputes.

Books

04.21.17

A New Deal for China’s Workers?

Cynthia Estlund
China’s labor landscape is changing, and it is transforming the global economy in ways that we cannot afford to ignore. Once-silent workers have found their voice, organizing momentous protests, such as the 2010 Honda strikes, and demanding a better deal. China’s leaders have responded not only with repression but with reforms. Are China’s workers on the verge of a breakthrough in industrial relations and labor law reminiscent of the American New Deal?In A New Deal for China’s Workers? Cynthia Estlund views this changing landscape through the comparative lens of America’s twentieth-century experience with industrial unrest. China’s leaders hope to replicate the widely shared prosperity, political legitimacy, and stability that flowed from America’s New Deal, but they are irrevocably opposed to the independent trade unions and mass mobilization that were central to bringing it about. Estlund argues that the specter of an independent labor movement, seen as an existential threat to China’s one-party regime, is both driving and constraining every facet of its response to restless workers.China’s leaders draw on an increasingly sophisticated toolkit in their effort to contain worker activism. The result is a surprising mix of repression and concession, confrontation and cooptation, flaws and functionality, rigidity and pragmatism. If China’s laborers achieve a New Deal, it will be a New Deal with Chinese characteristics, very unlike what workers in the West achieved in the last century. Estlund’s sharp observations and crisp comparative analysis make China’s labor unrest and reform legible to Western readers. —Harvard University Press{chop}

Why China’s New Cargo Space Ship Is So Important

Namrata Goswami
Diplomat
China’s first indigenously built Tianzhou cargo ship, which is being launched between April 20 and 24, is a major accomplishment.

China Rolls Back Taxes by $55 Billion to Encourage Consumer Spending and Boost Growth

CNBC
China is cutting taxes this year by 380 billion yuan ($55 billion) in efforts to encourage spending and boost growth.

China, EU Push Message of Free Trade, Engagement

ABC
Top diplomats from China and the European Union pledged closer cooperation Wednesday, highlighting their common interests in peace and security and pushing a message of free trade and open engagement in contrast to fears that the U.S. is turning...

China’s President Is Playing Donald Trump Like a Fiddle

Week
President Trump thinks he has worked out a magnificent “deal” with China. The outlines of the deal are fairly simple to understand: Trump is prepared to drop his economic grievances against China in exchange for China's help in fixing “the...

Video

04.19.17

Trafficked into Wedlock

Yan Cong
When Buntha left Cambodia to marry a Chinese man, she did so for money, not for love.Thirty-two years old at the time, and never married, she had few opportunities to earn money for her family in her village in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. The China she...

Trump: I Haven't Softened My Stance on China

Louis Nelson
Politico
Trump left open the possibility that China might ultimately be unable, or unwilling, to apply sufficient pressure on North Korea.

Trump: I Haven't Softened My Stance on China

Louis Nelson
Politico
Trump left open the possibility that China might ultimately be unable, or unwilling, to apply sufficient pressure on North Korea.

China’s Korea Policy ‘in Tatters’ as Both North and South Defy Sanctions

Washington Post
On Monday, South Korea announced that it would press ahead with the “swift deployment” of a U.S. missile defense system, despite vociferous Chinese opposition.

China’s Economy Grows 6.9%, but Warning Signs Persist

New York Times
China’s economy, the world’s second-largest behind that of the United States, grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter, led by strong expansion at factories, Chinese officials said Monday.

What Happened at Mar-a-Lago?

Paul Haenle & Zha Daojiong from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
One week before their first in-person meeting, President Trump told the world on Twitter that he expected the dialogue with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to be “a very difficult one” unless China was prepared to make major concessions on issues...

Trump Dumps Russia, Woos China Instead

CNN
This month, during which Trump administration has stepped up US military action in Syria and Afghanistan as he looks to reassert US power, Trump said that “we’re not getting along with Russia at all, we may be at an all-time low.” He and Chinese...

China Warns of ‘Storm Clouds Gathering’ in U.S.-North Korea Standoff

New York Times
China warned on Friday that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could spin out of control, as North Korea said it could test a nuclear weapon at any time and an American naval group neared the peninsula in a show of resolve.

Xinhua Insight: Procedures unveiled for birth of Xiongan New Area

Xinhua
Plans for Xiongan New Area, an economic zone about 100 kilometers south of Beijing, are becoming more clear. President Xi Jinping said, “The capital's core functions should be preserved and strengthened, and some inappropriate functions...

China Conducts Foreign Policy in Africa without Judgment

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, we pull the focus back to look at China’s rapidly evolving foreign policy agenda in this new era of Western populism led by Donald Trump in the United States.François Godement, Director of the Asia and...

Trump Thought China Could Get North Korea to Comply. It’s Not That Easy.

Amanda Erickson
Washington Post
Beijing’s nightmare scenario is a collapse of the Kim regime, which could also open the door to reunification with South Korea, another nightmare for Beijing.

China Says Its Trade with North Korea Has Increased

Jane Perlez and Yufan Huang
New York Times
Amid sharply rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear arms program, China said on Thursday that its trade with the country had expanded, even though it had complied with United Nations sanctions and stopped buying North Korean coal

Trump and China: Master Diplomat or Paper Tiger?

Katie Hunt
CNN
When it comes to China, has U.S. President Donald Trump played a diplomatic master stroke? Not so fast, say analysts who are quick to puncture hopes of budding bromance between the leaders of the two countries.

China Exports Jump the Most in Two Years as Imports Moderate

Bloomberg
China’s overseas shipments last month jumped the most in two years as global demand held up. Imports moderated after a holiday-season surge in February and the trade balance rose.

Trump Isn’t Wrong on China Currency Manipulation, Just Late

Eduardo Porter
New York Times
While China’s surplus with the United States is pretty big, its global surplus is modest, at 2.4 percent of its gross domestic product last year. Most significant, it has been pushing its currency up, not down.

China Rejects North Korean Coal Shipments after Missile Test and U.S. Pressure

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Foreign Policy
China is turning back shipments of North Korean coal from its ports, a sign of Beijing’s growing concern over the nuclear weapons capability of its wayward neighbor.

Report Shows Labor Conditions at Chinese and American Firms in Kenya Comparable

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Nairobi-based researcher Zander Rounds joins Eric and Cobus to discuss a new comparative study on employment relations at Chinese and American firms in Kenya. Zander co-authored the report with China House Kenya founder Huang Hongxiang as part of a...

Is Trump Backing Down on China?

Eric Geller and Doug Palmer
Politico
The president last year compared China’s economic behavior to “rape.” Now he says he and Xi are “in the process of getting along very well.”

Tang Poems and Folk Tales: History’s Role in the Trump-Xi Reset

Katsuji Nakazawa
Nikkei Asian Review
The Syria airstrike and other moments that made for a rocky summit start

The Kushner Kids on Show, North Korea on Notice and Other Takeaways from the Xi-Trump Summit

Emily Rauhala and Simon Denyer
Washington Post
President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were basically repackaging the existing process of negotiation between their countries.

Trump’s Quick Wins on China Trade Won’t Wipe out the Deficit

Jethro Mullen
CNN
The U.S. and China have given themselves 100 days to make progress on the thorny issue of trade.

Why Ford’s Electric Push in China Might Get Grounded

Wall Street Journal
On Thursday Ford Motor announced its China-focused electric-car strategy, including new vehicles. Ford’s Chief Executive Mark Fields said the “time is right” for his company to beef up in China. It is playing catch-up, though.

China Tech Investment Flying under the Radar, Pentagon Warns

New York Times
China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says.

How Trump Can Solve His Chinese Puzzle

Gideon Rachman
New York Times
Getting tough with China is a central part of Donald Trump’s plan to “make America great again.” During the election campaign, he claimed that China was “raping” American industry.

Trump’s Team Has No Idea What It’s Doing On China

Foreign Policy
Donald Trump is, by his own admission, not terribly analytical or deliberative.