China Posts Rare Trade Deficit in February as Imports Gallop

CNBC
China produced a rare trade deficit in in February after imports galloped, official data showed Wednesday.

As Leaders Argue, South Korea Finds China Is No Longer an Easy Sell

Motoko Rich
New York Times
Now, as the deployment of the system begins this week and China threatens to punish South Korea further, companies like Beyond Cosmetics have been bracing for worse.

Trump in the China Shop

Gideon Rachman
New York Review of Books
The arrival of Donald Trump in the White House threatens a significant acceleration in the rivalry between the U.S. and China.

The Tesla China Numbers That Elon Musk Won’t Tell You

Bertel Schmitt
Forbes
More evidence about Tesla’s Big China Bonanza is coming in

One of China’s Biggest Trade Partners Is Worried Beijing Will Turn to Its ‘Old Toolbox’ of Protectionism

Sophia Yan
CNBC
China’s plan to advance its manufacturing capabilities is drawing criticism from one of its major trade partners.

Cities and Data: China’s Weapons in the Battle for Clean Air

Vincent Ni
BBC
China is proud of the fact that its air quality readings have improved in recent years, if only slightly, with lingering smog in industrial areas.

China’s Plan to Build Its Own High-Tech Industries Worries Western Businesses

Keith Bradsher and Paul Mozur
New York Times
China has charted out a $300 billion plan to become nearly self-sufficient by 2025 in a range of important industries, from planes to computer chips to electric cars, as it looks to kick-start its next stage of economic development. 

Caixin Media

03.03.17

China’s Legislators Take on Zombie Companies, Real Estate

Curbing wasteful socialist-era business practices and taming unruly real estate and lending sectors will take center stage at the annual meeting of China’s legislature, which starts next week, with some also looking for signs of a pickup in economic...

Books

03.02.17

The Silver Way

Peter Gordon and Juan José Morales
Long before London and New York rose to international prominence, a trading route was discovered between Spanish America and China that ushered in a new era of globalization. The “Ruta de la Plata,” or “Silver Way,” catalyzed economic and cultural exchange, built the foundations for the first global currency, and led to the rise of the first “world city.” And yet, for all its importance, the Silver Way is too often neglected in conventional narratives on the birth of globalization. Gordon and Morales re-establish its fascinating role in economic and cultural history, with direct consequences for how we understand China today. —Penguin China{chop}

For China’s Factories, a Weaker Currency Is a Double-Edged Sword

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
For the past three years, China has allowed its currency, the renminbi, to weaken in value compared with the American dollar. Yet the renminbi’s slide has provided only a marginal benefit.

Ordinary Citizens Are Hoping to Make a Difference at China’s Biggest Political Meet-Up

Charlie Campbell
Time
China’s “two sessions” kicks off this week, bringing together all of the movers and shakers from the top echelons of government for the nation’s two big annual political shindigs.

Mega-Mansions in this L.A. Suburb Used to Sell to Chinese Buyers in Days. Now They’re Sitting Empty for Months

David Pierson
Los Angeles Times
At $9.8 million, the recently built property is a relative bargain. A similar-sized home in Beijing would cost twice as much. Yet two months after it was placed on the market, the house remains unsold. Not long ago, real estate like this would have...

Viewpoint

03.01.17

Is the U.S.’s Withdrawal China’s Gain in Latin America?

Latin Americans can’t afford to wait four years to see when the United States will be willing to have an honest and reciprocal conversation about economic prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. Luckily for the U.S.’s southern neighbors, over the past...

Trump’s Not Telling the Whole Story on Trade, China Claims

Fox News
Beijing fired back Wednesday at President Trump’s claim that the U.S. has “lost 60,000 factories” since China joined the World Trade Organization, with a top diplomat suggesting the president told only part of the story.

Trump Promises More Coal and Steel Jobs. China Is cutting 500,000

Jethro Mullen
CNN
As President Trump talked up his plans to help American coal and steel workers in his address to Congress, a top official thousands of miles away in Beijing was detailing China’s plans to cut half a million jobs in heavy industries this year.

China Isn’t Displacing Traditional Aid Donors in Africa

Haley J. Swedlund
Quartz
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s decision to make Africa his first stop on a five-nation tour in early January highlights the importance China places on its relations with Africa.

Is China a Partner or Predator in Africa (or Both)?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this week’s episode of the China in Africa podcast, Matt Ferchen from the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing joins Eric and Cobus to discuss his new paper on the perception gaps that exist around the world regarding China’s...

Books

02.28.17

Everything Under the Heavens

Howard W. French
From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China’s Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China’s present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become–and to interact wisely with a future peer.Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best. —Penguin Random House{chop}

Trump Is Not Anti-China, Lenovo CEO Says

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
U.S. President Donald Trump is “not anti-China” but any move away from globalization by the White House could be a concern to businesses across the world, the chief executive Lenovo told CNBC on Tuesday. 

China Capital Crackdown Threatens Wave of Overseas Buyouts

Don Weinland
Financial Times
Delay in Wanda’s $1bn takeover of Golden Globes producer signals shift in Beijing

China Considers Baby Bonus for Couples to Have Second Child

Justin Heifetz
CNN
The Chinese government may consider giving families financial incentives to have a second child in a bid to reach higher birth rate targets 

Corporate China Hits Global Debt Market Milestone

Jennifer Hughes and Don Weinland
Financial Times
Banks and other corporate borrowers quietly encouraged to raise money offshore

Picking a Fight over China’s Currency Will Snowball: Analyst

Leslie Shaffer
CNBC
If U.S. President Donald Trump proceeds with plans to label China a currency manipulator, the confrontation would likely escalate beyond trade, David Roche, global strategist at Independent Strategy, told CNBC on Monday.

China Bankruptcy Cases Surge as Economy Slows

Tom Hancock
Financial Times
Rise in liquidations reflects growing role for courts in tackling ‘zombie’ companies

Trump Accuses Chinese of Being ‘Grand Champions’ of Currency Manipulation

Newsweek
President Donald Trump declared China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analyzing Beijing’s foreign exchange practices.

China’s New Banking Regulator Chief Faces Daunting Challenges

Bloomberg
China has appointed Guo Shuqing as the new head of the banking regulator, according to people familiar with the matter. Guo, 60, faces daunting tasks ahead as he takes on oversight of the world’s largest banking industry by assets.

China Overtakes U.S. and France as Germany’s Biggest Trading Partner

CNBC
China for the first time became Germany’s most important trading partner in 2016, overtaking the United States, which fell back to third place behind France, data showed on Friday.

Mnuchin Says He Won’t Label China a Currency Manipulator...Yet

Kevin Cirilli and Saleha Mohsin
Bloomberg
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signaled no urgency to designate China a currency manipulator, saying he wants to use a regular review of foreign-exchange markets to determine if the U.S.’s largest trading partner is cheating.

The Biggest Loser If Trump Ignites a Trade War with China

Benjamin Carlson
CNBC
There’s at least one big loser if President Donald J. Trump ignites a trade war with China: Taiwan. The island democracy has a heavily export-dependent economy enmeshed in billions of dollars in U.S. and China trade.

China Shakes up Top Economic Team ahead of Major Power Shuffle

Lingling Wei and Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
President Xi Jinping is shaking up his economic team ahead of a major power shuffle as China battles rising financial risks at home and friction with its trading partners.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Has Vowed to Lead the “New World Order”

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Chinese president Xi Jinping has vowed for the first time that China should take the lead in shaping the “new world order” and safeguarding international security, one of the latest moves putting him in stark contrast to Donald Trump and the U.S...

What Does Trump Want? China Scours Twitter, Cocktail Parties for Clues

Bloomberg
Now one of the big questions is which view prevails in the White House: The more moderate voices of Branstad, Kushner and Pentagon chief James Mattis? Or China hardliners such as strategist Steve Bannon and trade adviser Peter Navarro?

Africa to Pivot to China as U.S. Support Fades Under Trump

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, international economist Anzetwe Were joins Eric and Cobus from Nairobi to discuss her recent column in Business Daily (Kenya) on how Africa is bracing for a Trump-inspired shift towards to China in response to the new U.S. president...

China’s ‘New Silk Road’ Is Derailed in Sri Lanka by Political Chaos and Violent Protests

Wade Shepard
Forbes
It is now looking as if Sri Lanka’s biggest partner in the Hambantota endeavor, China, is pulling back from what seems to have become an all out fiasco 

China Is Warning Lotte Group against Letting a Korean Golf Course Become a Missile Defense Site

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
China’s has a new target amid its ongoing economic retaliation against South Korea—the country’s fifth-biggest conglomerate

Conversation

02.16.17

Can China Become a Leader of Innovation?

Jost Wübbeke, Yu Zhou & more
China’s ambitious high-tech strategy is raising alarm in industrialized nations. From American and South Korean chipmakers to German car and machine manufacturers, some industry leaders expect the imminent arrival of strong Chinese competitors. Does...

China Loses a Friend, and Leverage, with North Korean Murder

Bloomberg
The mysterious death of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother removed a potential avenue for China to press the North Korean leader to rein in his nuclear ambitions.

EU Preparing Early China Summit in Message to Trump: Sources

Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska
Reuters
The European Union is preparing an early summit with China in April or May in Brussels to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of a more protectionist and inward-looking Washington, three EU officials said.

In China, a Lonely Valentine’s Day for Millions of Men

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
That’s because China’s gender gap remains huge. There were 33.59 million more men than women in China in 2016, according to figures from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics that were issued last month 

U.S. Eyes New Tactic to Press China

Bob Davis
Wall Street Journal
Currency strategy would avoid singling out country in bid to avoid break in relations 

Inflation in China Is Heating Up Fast

David Scutt
Business Insider
Chinese inflationary pressures went up a cog in January, led by another enormous surge in producer price inflation (PPI). 

Chinese People Are Buying All Kinds of Desperate Remedies to Protect Themselves from Smog

Charlie Campbell
Time
Air purifiers, meanwhile, are becoming cheaper and more efficient. Chinese tech firm Xiaomi leads the way with its Mi Air Purifier Pro, boasting a dual-fan, dual-motor system with ”high-precision laser sensor.” 

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

Foreign Passports Offer Little Protection for China’s Elite

Ben Bland
Financial Times
Beijing’s corruption crackdown drives rush for second citizenship 

Viewpoint

02.13.17

The U.S. Should Not Demand In-Kind Reciprocity from China

James Zimmerman
In a well-drafted task force report issued this week by the Asia Society and the University of California San Diego, a group of scholars and former government officials recommend that the Trump administration take steps to make the U.S.-China...

China Accused of Undermining Drive to Cut Steel Capacity

Charles Clover and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
China’s cuts in steel capacity last year primarily targeted mills that were already idle, doing little to reduce the exports that have fueled trade tensions or address the blight of toxic smog, a study has found. ...

How Chinese Internet Giant Baidu Uses AI and Machine Learning

Bernard Marr
Forbes
Baidu is currently considered to be pack leader amongst the Chinese internet giants as they race to develop and deploy machine and deep learning technology.

China, the Party-Corporate Complex

Yi-Zheng Lian
New York Times
In December, 15 years after China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, the European Union, the United States and Japan formally refused to grant Beijing the coveted label, denying it important concessions on tariffs and other trade...

Conversation

02.10.17

Did Xi Just Outmaneuver Trump?

M. Taylor Fravel, Isaac Stone Fish & more
On the evening of February 9, U.S. President Donald Trump had what the White House described in a terse readout as a “lengthy” and “cordial” telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. That alone is newsworthy, as the...

China January Exports Rise 7.9 Percent, Beating Forecasts

CNBC
China’s January exports easily exceeded analysts’ expectations, rising 7.9 percent from a year earlier, while imports rose by 16.7 percent, also topping forecasts, preliminary data showed on Friday. That left the country with a trade surplus of $51...

How China’s Dumping of Treasurys Will Affect U.S. Borrowing Costs

Jon Sindreu
Wall Street Journal
Foreign buyers are holding a smaller share of the debt of the some of the world’s top nations

Why Donald Trump Can’t Bully China on Trade

Kenneth Rogoff
Guardian
Beijing holds trillions of dollars in U.S. debt and any trade disruption could lead to huge price rises in the budget stores on which many Americans rely

China’s Response to THAAD Does Not Warrant South Korean Action: Minister

Christine Kim
Reuters
South Korea’s finance minister said on Thursday China had not taken any retaliatory measures over plans to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system that warranted official action, although South Korea is ready to lodge a formal complaint if needed.

Here Are Five Ways China’s New Silk Road Is Good for Western Companies

Alex Capri
Forbes
China’s One-Belt-One-Road initiative is the most ambitious infrastructure project in history. Referred to as “OBOR,” this immense network of planned highways, railways, energy grids and port facilities will create economic corridors between 65...

How Trump Could Already Be Affecting Monetary Policy in China

Silvia Amaro
CNBC
Chinese officials might be trying to drain liquidity from their economy but the central bank remains fearful of raising interest rates too quickly, according to one strategist who suggests President Donald Trump might be indirectly influencing...

China Invites Britain to Attend New Silk Road Summit: Sources

Ben Blanchard and Elizabeth Piper
Reuters
China has invited British Prime Minister Theresa May to attend a major summit in May on its “One Belt, One Road” initiative to build a new Silk Road, diplomatic sources told Reuters

Joyous Africans Take to the Rails, With China’s Help

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
China, which designed the system, supplied the trains and imported hundreds of engineers for the six years it took to plan and build the 466-mile line. And the $4 billion cost? Chinese banks provided nearly all the financing.

China’s Shipbuilders Go From Boom to Rust

Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
Shipyards across China are being driven out of business by weak global demand for new ships

Why China Doesn’t Need the U.S. for Trade

Winter Nie
Forbes
Unfortunately for Trump, it’s not the 1980s anymore.

How China Lost $1 Trillion

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
It’s a lot of money—but it’s shrinking.