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

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...

‘Oh Boy! So Many Questions!’ About China in Africa

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Although not universal, there is some concern among Africans that China may be a “new colonial power,” extracting resources and selling manufactured goods. 

Deborah Brautigam Discusses Doing Research on China-Africa Relations

Tendai Musakwa
Professor Deborah Brautigam talks about how she became interested in China-Africa relations, the recent influx of scholarship on China-Africa relations, media reporting on China-Africa issues and how to do quality research. 

Xi In Africa As China's Role Comes Under Scrutiny

Katie Hunt
CNN
“There's a sense from Africans that it’s not an equal relationship. That China is extracting oil and then in return building infrastructure projects with its own companies and own workers and not necessarily transferring the skills to African...

China Bars Suntech’s Shi From Leaving Country

Jason Scott and Shen Feifei
Bloomberg
The company, based in Wuxi, outside Shanghai, had more than $2 billion in credit lines and defaulted on $541 million in bonds due on March 15, prompting eight Chinese banks to ask a local court to push Suntech’s main unit into insolvency. 

China’s Xi Tells Africa He Seeks Relationship Of Equals

Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala and George...
Reuters
On the first stop on an African tour that will include a B.R.I.C.S. summit of major emerging economies, Xi Jinping told Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete that China’s involvement in Africa would help the continent grow richer. 

Caixin Media

03.23.13

China’s Economic Policymakers Turning a Page

Written into the script for China’s once-in-a-decade leadership shuffle, confirmed at the recently concluded National People’s Congress, are macroeconomic policies for the new government that plot a course for future growth.The policy book has...

Books

03.22.13

Pressures and Distortions

Edited by Ned Kaufman
Pressures and Distortions looks at the design, building, and interpretation of cities from the point of view of their residents.The cities chronicled in depth include examples from China (Shanghai and Shenzhen), Latin America (Bogotá and Mexico City), and Indonesia (Banda Aceh). Shorter sections cover Lima and Rio de Janeiro. The authors show how residents respond creatively to environmental disaster, poverty, housing shortages, and surging urban population. They also show how governments, international relief agencies, architects, and planners can shape better urban environments. Throughout, residents present their experiences in their own words and through careful documentation of their living environments.Pressures and Distortions began in 2008 with the Research Program’s international call for proposals. A competitive process selected four teams, with researchers based in Mexico, Colombia, China, Australia, France, and the US. Each team received a research grant from Rafael Viñoly Architects and worked independently.With over 400 pages, Pressures and Distortions contains more than 500 original full-color photographs, plans, and drawings, as well as a DVD with over 100 video and audio recordings from the streets of Bogotá. —Rafael Viñoly Architects PC

China Growing Strongly, Risks Manageable

Nick Edwards and Jonathan Standing
Reuters
Recent simulations by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggest that China could maintain high, though gradually easing, growth during the current decade, averaging 8 percent in per capita terms. 

Lies, Damned Lies, And Chinese Statistics

Tom Orlik
Foreign Policy
Although the information provided by the National Bureau of Statistics is not completely transparent, it has taken steps to free national data from the influence of local exaggeration.

Xi Visits Russia As China Seeks Bigger Global Role

Christopher Bodeen
Huffington Post
Speculation surrounds Xi’s upcoming trip to Russia this Friday March 22, 2013, with many expecting Xi to start exerting China's economic power in diplomacy and taking a more offensive diplomatic stance in general. ...

China’s Embrace Of Africa

Robert I. Rotberg
China-U.S. Focus
The striking disparity in the relationship is that Chinese enterprises and construction operations in Africa employ many fewer Africans in unskilled laboring positions than they obviously could.  

Xi Stresses Positive U.S. Ties In Lew Meeting Amid Tensions

Michael Forsythe and Kasia Klimasinska
Bloomberg
Recently appointed U.S. Treasury Secretary discussed exchange rate, intellectual property, cybersecurity, and North Korea in his first meeting with Xi Jinping and the rest of the newly appointed Chinese leadership.

China’s Economy To Rebound This Year

Kenneth Rapoza
Forbes
Former Morgan Stanley Asia guru Stephen Roach is more bullish on Chinese GDP this year than outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao. Jiabao had it at 7.5%.  Roach estimated 8%. 

China Seen Cutting Subsidy For Largest Solar Projects

Bloomberg
Vice Chariman of the China Renewable Energy Society says a new policy may abolish one-time subsidies, while at the same time, a separate subsidy based on power production would be extended to low-voltage plants that don’t typically supply utilities...

China’s New Prime Minister Faces Test In Bolstering Economy

Chris Buckley
New York Times
China’s new prime minister, Li Keqiang, entered the job on Friday inheriting a wobbling economy that could distract his government from its bold vows to clean up pollution and harness expanding towns and cities as an engine for growth.&...

Xi Pivots To Moscow

John Garnaut
Foreign Policy
Will Xi’s late March 2013 trip to Vladimir Putin’s Russia -- a bastion of authoritarian state capitalism -- symbolically define China’s path ahead, like Deng’s 1979 U.S. tour? 

Media

03.15.13

CNBC Quarrel About China’s Housing Market Bubbles Over on Chinese Internet

Ouyang Bin & Luo Xiaoyuan
China’s real estate prices continue to skyrocket despite government efforts to rein them in to prevent a dangerous housing bubble. On March 5, American television network CNBC invited two analysts to debate the state of the sector. But when Peter...

Conversation

03.15.13

Is the One Child Policy Finished—And Was It a Failure?

Dorinda Elliott, Alexa Olesen & more
Dorinda Elliott:China’s recent decision to phase out the agency that oversees the one-child policy has raised questions about whether the policy itself will be dropped—and whether it was a success or a failure.Aside from the...

China Plenty Creative, Just Not in Right Ways

Debra Bruno
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The best innovation in the post-industrial world comes from “the sharing of knowledge and information across a variety of fields,” something economist Arthur Kroeber says China’s restriction on free information actively stanches. 

Media

03.13.13

Chavez and Bo Xilai Gone: Death of a Political Model?

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s death on March 5, 2013 came in the same week as the “Two Sessions” began in China, when China’s national legislature meets in Beijing. It was also almost exactly a year since the spectacular political demise of Bo...

Conversation

03.13.13

China’s Post 1980’s Generation—Are the Kids All Right?

Sun Yunfan, Orville Schell & more
This week, the ChinaFile Conversation is a call for reactions to an article about China's current generation gap, written by James Palmer, a Beijing-based historian, author, and Global Times editor. The article, first published by Aeon in the U...

Caixin Media

03.09.13

Is Railway Reform Finally On Track?

Finally, it seems the railways ministry may soon be restructured as part of a wider exercise by the government to streamline its ministries. Putting railway reform on the agenda of this year’s meetings of the National People’s Congress and the...

China Signals Reform Of Rail System

Colum Murphy
Wall Street Journal
 China signaled it is on the verge of shaking up its massive railway system, long plagued by corruption allegations and heavy debt. Reform of China’s Railways Ministry will start once a plan to merge it with China’s Transport...

The Brutality Cascade

David Brooks
New York Times
 As China's economic and defense tactics appear to become more and more successful, David Brooks expects other countries' policies will start to resemble them, whether or not they run counter to our principles. ...

China Tries To Pop Real Estate Bubble

Mark Gongloff
Huffington Post
China has been trying to slow its runaway growth and morph itself from an export-driven economy to one more like America, with no evidence of success. 

China’s Richest Man Says Capital Markets ‘Suck’

Lilian Lin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
 Zong Qinhou's sentiment speaks volumes, highlighting the monumental obstacles investors face in China as they look for places to park their money in hopes of a return. ...