Honeywell, Other U.S. Companies Look to Benefit from China's Gigantic 'Belt and Road' Initiative

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Over 15 U.S. companies called the program an opportunity for business growth.

Trump’s China Whisperer: How Billionaire Stephen Schwarzman Has Sought to Keep the President Close to Beijing

Michael Kranish
Washington Post
This American investor has one of the closest relationships to Beijing.

China Says Trade War with U.S. Will Only Bring Disaster to Global Economy

Elias Glenn
Reuters
Beijing criticizes proposed tariffs by Washington amid fears it could shatter global growth.

Books

03.09.18

End of an Era

Carl Minzner
Oxford University Press: Since the 1990s, Beijing’s leaders have firmly rejected any fundamental reform of their authoritarian one-party political system, even as a decades-long boom has reshaped China’s economy and society. On the surface, their efforts have been a success. Political turmoil has toppled former communist Eastern Bloc regimes, internal unrest overtaken Middle East nations, and populist movements risen to challenge established Western democracies. China, in contrast, has appeared a relative haven of stability and growth.But as Carl Minzner shows, a closer look at China’s reform era reveals a different truth. Over the past three decades, a frozen political system has fueled both the rise of entrenched interests within the Communist Party itself and the systematic underdevelopment of institutions of governance among state and society at large. Economic cleavages have widened. Social unrest has worsened. Ideological polarization has deepened.{node, 45901}Now, to address these looming problems, China’s leaders are progressively cannibalizing institutional norms and practices that have formed the bedrock of the regime’s stability in the reform era. Technocratic rule is giving way to black-box purges; collective governance sliding back towards single-man rule. The post-1978 era of “reform and opening up” is ending. China is closing down. Uncertainty hangs in the air as a new future slouches towards Beijing to be born. End of an Era explains how China arrived at this dangerous turning point, and outlines the potential outcomes that could result. {chop}

US’s Tillerson Warns African Nations Not to ‘Forfeit Their Sovereignty’ by Taking Chinese Loans

Justina Crabtree
CNBC
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned against African nations accepting Chinese cash in agreements which could “forfeit their sovereignty.”

How China Is Challenging American Dominance in Asia

Max Fisher and Audrey Carlsen
New York Times
As China grows more powerful, it is displacing decades-old American preeminence in parts of Asia. The outlines of the rivalry are defining the future of the continent.

China, Europe Slam Trump’s Tariffs as U.S. Metalworkers Cheer

Wayne Ma, Emre Peker, and Doug Cameron
Wall Street Journal
China and Europe lashed out against new U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, while officials and executives from several American allies caught in the crossfire reacted more cautiously, embracing what the White House promised would be some flexibility...

Trump Takes the Bait from Musk, Attacks China Auto Import Duties

Dana Hull and Justin Sink
Bloomberg
President Donald Trump may not follow Elon Musk on Twitter, but the Tesla Inc. chief’s posts decrying China’s automotive trade practices managed to catch his attention.

Excerpts

03.08.18

Reversing Reform

Carl Minzner
Political stability, ideological openness, and rapid economic growth were the hallmarks of China’s post-1978 reform era. But they are ending. China is entering a new era—the counter-reform era.

Francis Fukuyama: China’s ‘Bad Emperor’ Returns

Francis Fukuyama
Washington Post
Since 1978, China’s authoritarian political system has been different from virtually all other dictatorships in part because the ruling Communist Party has been subject to rules regarding succession.

China Protectionism Creates Tech Billionaires Who Protect Xi

Shelly Banjo
Bloomberg
China’s tech giants will add star power to the country’s political festivities this week, paying homage to President Xi Jinping and endorsing constitutional changes for him to remain president indefinitely.

China and the Philippines Will Work Together to Tap the South China Sea’s Vast Oil Deposits

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
China needs fuel to grow the world’s second-largest economy by 6.5% this year as established this week at annual legislative sessions.

The West Is Doing Its Best to Help China

Edward Luce
Financial Times
Most of it is unintentional. Yet the west could not be helping China more if it tried.

Blockchain Is a Surprisingly Hot Topic at China’s Annual Political Gathering

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Thousands of China’s elites are currently gathered in Beijing for the “two sessions,” the annual meetings for members the National People’s Congress (or NPC, China’s rubber-stamp legislative branch) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative...

Conversation

03.02.18

How Will Trump’s Tariffs Affect U.S.-China Relations?

Derek Scissors, Donald Clarke & more
Arguing that America is harmed by other countries’ trade practices, President Donald Trump said on March 1 that the U.S. will impose a new 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. “People have no idea how badly...

As Xi Tightens His Grip on China, U.S. Sees Conflict Ahead

Mark Landler
New York Times
A few weeks after Stephen K. Bannon left the White House in August, he was invited to a dinner at the Council on Foreign Relations to discuss American policy toward China.

Why Chinese State Media Love Elon Musk’s Latest Tweets

Jethro Mullen
CNN
The Tesla CEO tweeted out a link to a video about a Chinese rail station that was built in less than 9 hours.

China Box Office Surges 39 Percent in First Two Months of 2018

Patrick Brzeski
Hollywood Reporter
China is once again rapidly closing the gap with North America, still narrowly the world’s largest film market.

A Social Media Tycoon Is Now China’s Richest Man

Daniel Shane
CNN
Tencent CEO Ma Huateng is the country’s highest-ranked person on the Global Rich List published Wednesday by Shanghai-based wealth research firm Hurun Report.

How the West Got China Wrong

The Economist
Economist
Last weekend China stepped from autocracy into dictatorship. That was when Xi Jinping, already the world’s most powerful man, let it be known that he will change China’s constitution so that he can rule as president for as long as he chooses—and...

China Spends $279 bln on R&D in 2017: Science Minister

Reuters Staff
Reuters
China’s total spending on research and development is estimated to have hit 1.76 trillion yuan ($279 billion) last year, China’s science minister said on Monday, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent.

China’s New Economic Guru Is Trying to Stop a Trade War

Daniel Shane
CNN
As trade tensions escalate between the US and China, one of President Xi Jinping’s most trusted advisers is paying a visit to Washington.

Chinese Capital Dangles Carrots to Lure Foreign Talent to Its Silicon Valley

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Beijing, a major hub for artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductors in China, is touting a new list of incentives to try and bait foreign talent for its equivalent of Silicon Valley in the Chinese capital.

Xi’s Power Grab Gives a Short-Term Boost with Long-Term Ramifications

David Dollar
Brookings Institution
China’s stock market and currency rallied Monday on news that the country would revise its constitution to abolish term limits for the president.

China Probes Report of Possible North Korea Sanctions Breach at Sea

Reuters Staff
Reuters
China said on Thursday it is investigating a Japanese report that a Chinese ship may have carried out a ship-to-ship transfer with a North Korean vessel in breach of U.N. sanctions.

Depth of Field

02.20.18

When You Give a Kid a Camera

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This dispatch of photojournalism from China cuts across a broad spectrum of society, from film screenings in Beijing for the visually impaired to an acrobatics school 200 miles south, in Puyang, Henan province, and from children in rural Sichuan to...

Chinese New Year Means a Spending Spree across East Asia

Xin En Lee
CNBC
The Lunar New Year, which kicks off on Feb. 16, is East Asia’s most important holiday season.

Maldives Crisis Could Stir Trouble between China and India

Mujib Mashal
New York Times
As the Maldives’ autocratic president, Abdulla Yameen, cracks down on opposition to consolidate power ahead of another election, analysts and diplomats warn that the small nation’s troubles could provoke a larger crisis that draws in China and India...

Sinica Podcast

02.14.18

China’s Rise and America’s Myopia

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
China, as we say at the beginning of each Sinica Podcast episode, is a nation that is reshaping the world. But what does that reshaping really look like, and how does—and should—the world react to China’s role in globalization?

Alibaba's ‘Digital Free Trade Zone’ Has Some Worried about China Links to Malaysia

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Alibaba e-commerce platform in Malaysia raises concerns over impact on local firms.

How China Is Getting Serious About Financial Risk

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Chinese leaders pledged to make controlling financial risk a top priority. Their challenge is to do so without derailing the economy.

China Quietly Releases 2017 Provincial GDP Figures

Salvatore Babones
Forbes
Provincial GDP figures don't add up to the reported national growth rate...

China Studying Impact of Trade Measures against U.S. Soy, Sources Say

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China is studying the potential impact of trade measures imposed on soybeans imported from the U.S., valued last year at $13.9 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

This Week in China Tech: Xiaomi’s 460 Investments, Tencent’s Gamble and a New ‘Blockchain Academy’

Bay McLaughlin
Forbes
China’s technology scene is always shifting, and this week we’ve seen big news coming from Xiaomi, Tencent, Wanda, Baidu, among others. Here are the some of the most interesting tech stories out of China you might not have heard about.

Life Drains from Little Africa as China Dream Fades for Its Fortune Seekers

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Kalifa Feika swapped Sierra Leone for southern China four years ago, determined to manufacture his fortune in the factory of the world.

China’s Yuan Toppled from Two-Year High as Trade Data Surprises

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
China’s yuan sank the most since the aftermath of its shock 2015 devaluation, after data showed the country’s trade surplus more than halved last month, and investors speculated controls on outward cash flows will be eased.

Books

02.07.18

Leftover in China

Roseann Lake
Editor’s note: After we originally posted this video interview about Leftover in China, questions were brought to our attention about the book. We took the video down while we reviewed these concerns, and we determined that the interview is suitable to run on our book video platform.W. W. Norton & Company: Factory Girls meets The Vagina Monologues in this fascinating narrative on China’s single women—and why they could be the source of its economic future.Forty years ago, China enacted the one-child policy, only recently relaxed. Among many other unintended consequences, it resulted in both an enormous gender imbalance—with predictions of over 20 million more men than women of marriage age by 2020—and China’s first generations of only-daughters. Given the resources normally reserved for boys, these girls were pushed to study, excel in college, and succeed in careers, as if they were sons.Now living in an economic powerhouse, enough of these women have decided to postpone marriage, or not marry at all, spawning a label: “leftovers.” Unprecedentedly well-educated and goal-oriented, they struggle to find partners in a society where gender roles have not evolved as vigorously as society itself, and where new professional opportunities have made women less willing to compromise their careers or concede to marriage for the sake of being wed. Further complicating their search for a mate, the vast majority of China’s single men reside in and are tied to the rural areas where they were raised. This makes them geographically, economically, and educationally incompatible with city-dwelling “leftovers,” who also face difficulty in partnering with urban men, given urban men’s general preference for more dutiful, domesticated wives.Part critique of China’s paternalistic ideals, part playful portrait of the romantic travails of China’s trailblazing women and their well-meaning parents who are anxious to see their daughters snuggled into traditional wedlock, Leftover in China focuses on the lives of four individual women against a backdrop of colorful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews, and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how these “leftovers” are the linchpin to China’s future.{chop}

China Tries to Charm Tech-Savvy Taiwanese Youth as Political Ties Fray

Brenda Goh and Jess Macy Yu
Reuters
A start-up incubator on the outskirts of Shanghai is laying out sweeteners for budding entrepreneurs: Free office space, subsidized housing rent, tax breaks and in some cases, cash of up to 200,000 yuan ($31,211.47).

The Upside for China in the US Stock Market Plunge – from the Chinese Economist Who Tipped a Big Fall

Frank Tang
South China Morning Post
A record points plunge in the US stock market this week could be good news for China’s exporters, according to a Chinese government economist who predicted a big correction in American shares four weeks ago.

China to Stamp out Cryptocurrency Trading Completely with Ban on Foreign Platforms

Xie Yu
South China Morning Post
Offshore platforms targeted after recent efforts to shut down domestic exchanges failed to eradicate trading.

Chinese Capital Controls Hit Silicon Valley Tech Investors

Leslie Hook
Financial Times
Chinese technology investors in Silicon Valley are being thwarted by the country’s capital controls, in a sign of the unintended consequences of Beijing’s move last year to curb cash outflows.

China Opens Inquiry into U.S. Sorghum as Trade Tensions Worsen

Sui-Lee Wee
New York Times
China has opened an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into U.S. sorghum imports, the latest salvo in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Conversation

02.05.18

Is the Belt and Road Anti-Democratic?

Nadège Rolland, Tim Summers & more
During her visit to Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan January 31-February 2, Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to improve her country’s trade relations with China—an increasingly important partner for the post-Brexit United Kingdom. And yet, May was...

China Considers Legal Gambling on Hainan Island

Keith Zhai and Daniela Wei
Bloomberg
China is drafting a proposal to allow gambling on Hainan Island, people familiar with the talks said, in what would be an unprecedented move that could reshape gaming in China’s territories and transform the economy of a strategic southern province.

Pyramid Schemes Cause Huge Social Harm in China

Economist
The authorities call them “business cults”. Tens of millions of people are ensnared in these pyramid schemes that use cult-like techniques to brainwash their targets and bilk them out of their money.

China’s Plans for Creating New International Courts Are Raising Fears of Bias

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Multi-jurisdictional dealings between Chinese entities and their emerging market counterparts can pose immense regulatory challenges, especially in the realms of financing and execution.

Pyramid Schemes Cause Huge Social Harm in China

The authorities call them “business cults”. Tens of millions of people are ensnared in these pyramid schemes that use cult-like techniques to brainwash their targets and bilk them out of their money.

Britain’s May Discusses Trade Barriers with China’s Xi

Erika Kinetz and Christopher Bodeen
Washington Post
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Friday she discussed with Chinese President Xi Jinping the importance of removing barriers to commerce, especially for British food, drink and financial services, as the two countries move toward a future...

Viewpoint

01.31.18

The U.K. Needs to Rethink Its Engagement with China

Paul Irwin Crookes & Kyle Jaros
As British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives in Beijing today, where is the U.K.’s relationship with China heading? Despite a complex history, U.K.-China relations have remained a relative bright spot in China’s engagement with the West in recent...

China Creates Nuclear Powerhouse

Wayne Ma
Wall Street Journal
China is putting two of its largest nuclear-power firms back together as it seeks to bolster its state-owned enterprises and create a corporate powerhouse that can better compete for contracts in other countries.

Trump Alarms China with ‘Cold War’ Rhetoric in State of Union Address

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China raised alarms Wednesday over what it called President Trump’s “outdated Cold War mentality” after an address that described Beijing as a global rival and set an increasing tough line against China’s economic and military reach.

Theresa May Declines to Endorse China’s Belt and Road Initiative

George Parker
Financial Times
UK prime minister to raise concerns on visit aimed at boosting trade ties.

U.S. Firms in China Fear Fallout from Tit-For-Tat Trade War

Wendy Wu
South China Morning Post
American business group says Beijing could target sectors to send a political message across the Pacific.

China's Bitcoin Crackdown Has Simply Driven Trade Underground

Business Insider
China's crackdown on bitcoin has simply led to the trading going underground, according to a key player...

‘Globalism with Chinese Characteristics’ Is on Display in Davos. but It's Not Everything It Seems

CNBC
President Xi Jinping wasn't present at this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, but the impact of his speech championing globalization at last year's gathering lingered...

Online Sales of Illegal Opioids from China Surge in U.S.

Ron Nixon
New York Times
Nearly $800 million worth of fentanyl pills were illegally sold to online customers in the United States over two years by Chinese distributors who took advantage of internet anonymity and an explosive growth in e-commerce, according to a Senate...

How China Is Winning Back More Graduates from Foreign Universities Than Ever Before

Luke Kelly
Forbes
Where it was once inevitable that those who left to study at prestigious foreign universities would remain on distant shores for years, China’s graduates are now answering the call of home more than ever before -- and many are turning down lucrative...

Chinese Contractors Grab Lion’s Share of Silk Road Projects

James Kynge
Financial Times
China’s pledge to the world is that it will create a “community with a shared future for mankind”. But that sharing is no more than an afterthought as it rolls out an ambitious programme to build transport infrastructure across Eurasia, a study...

‘She’ll Die If She Stays with Us’: a Baby Abandoned in China

Javier C. Hernández and Iris Zhao
New York Times
The 6-month-old girl was found alone at night in a park in southern China, sleeping in a stroller. Next to her, in a lime-green backpack, was a bottle of infant formula, diapers and a two-page note from her parents.

China Stocks at Risk of Outpacing Fundamentals

Gabriel Wildau and Emma Dunkley
Financial Times
As the Chinese stock market’s disastrous 2015 boom-and-bust fades from memory, investors are in a mood to buy. Chinese stocks both on the mainland and in Hong Kong outperformed the S&P 500 last year, as economic growth accelerated for the...