Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Chinese ship takes shorter Arctic Route [Straits Times] #RisingChina #ArcticRoute

To complement its string of pearls: China eyes  the Bering Strait and Russian coastline to solidify access to the European market worth US$550 billion in two-way trade last year.

Made navigable by shrinking Arctic ice, this route potentially shaves 12-15 days off the journey through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

Also, please see the prelude China Granted Access to Arctic Club as Resource Race Heats Up [Business Week] earlier in 2013 and

Chinese cargo ship sets sail for Arctic short-cut [Financial Times, August 11, 2013]

The Yong Sheng, a 19,000-tonne vessel operated by state-owned Cosco Group, set sail on August 8 from Dalian, a port in northeastern China, bound for Rotterdam. According to an announcement on Cosco’s website, the journey via the Bering Strait could shave as much as 15 days off the traditional route through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea.

Chinese ship plys new Arctic trade route [Sydney Morning Herald, August 11, 2013]

For more info on COSCO and its fleet of ships (including the Yong Sheng), please click here.

– – –

Chinese ship takes shorter Arctic Route
by the AFP
Source – Straits Times, published August 11, 2013

Source - Straits Times, 2013

Source – Straits Times, 2013

Filed under: Arctic, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, String of Pearls, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, Transport

China solar panel duties imposed by EU [BBC] #RisingChina #Solar #TradeWar

A free market on whose terms – is this really a fruitful solution or does it simply carve out more finely the edges to the us and them narrative.

This kills off a Chinese pet project in one flex of foreign and economic policy, one the Chinese state has been happy to fund and use as the spear tip in their economic incursions abroad.

They thought wrong about what the world wanted.

In their minds, value and efficiency were probably paramount, thinning margins no barrier to demands from markets in the West. Famously, only one dollar goes out if every Levi’s jeans made goes to the worker, and little more to the factory.

The authors of the free market are not prepared to truly shake its center and make it competitive globally. it seems demarcation by regionalism is the new cool in the semantic range of what free means. Of course it pleases business as it restores margins designed to feed an expected and established standard of living.

The Chinese now know there is divergence in consensus across the notion of global village, despite economic interdependence as a big player in global production networks – – – what free market means to them is little more than subtext to hypocrisy now. Despite bailing out Europe more than once and financing growth by sheer Chinese demand in so many areas, this is their reply.

In one act of posturing, the West gains an upper hand as it nips away at the supply carts of the Chinese green technology vanguard.

One thing is for sure as to what the Chinese will not do. Especially in this day and age.

They will react.

But, it is easy to hide intent behind words. Some taunting outside the walls of the foe’s gates will probably suffice now.

For more, see…

The US and the EU are clearly redefining their economic strategy, trying to defend their energy companies from Chinese competition. But some European partners seem uncertain what to do.

Germany won’t accept losing significant trade with China, and even Washington’s closest European ally, Britain, is worried about the consequences of these possible measures against China.

The EU Commission doesn’t seem to be really interested in the first two aims of renewable sources, environmental protection and energy diversification, but just willing to boycott Chinese production through an alliance with US. All these point to an old question: Is the “free market” really free?

Sino-EU solar trade war is lose-lose choice By Andrea Fais
Global Times OP-ED , June 4, 2013

– – –

China solar panel duties imposed by EU
Andrew Walker
Source – BBC, published 4 June 2013

Analysis

BBC World Service Economics correspondent
How likely is a trade war? China is certainly angry about the tariffs and there is a lot of trade at stake – 21bn euros worth in 2011, according to the European Commission. But anti-dumping actions are an everyday feature of the global trade landscape. There has been an average of more than 200 a year. They are perfectly legal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, provided they follow the WTO’s procedures. Indeed China is a fairly big user of anti-dumping actions itself. The European Commission’s plan to start the anti-dumping duty tariff relatively low, and then increase it later, looks like a negotiating tactic. If the Chinese firms were prepared to undertake to charge a sufficiently higher price, the Commission could accept that. The duties are provisional at this stage and they could be removed if the EU countries decide to do so in December. That is a possibility. So the heat is on now, but there are still opportunities to extinguish the trade fires.

Andrew Walker

20130605-043350.jpg
The anti-dumping case is the biggest undertaken by the European Commission

The European Commission has announced it is imposing temporary anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports.

It comes despite opposition from Germany and other European Union members, and amid fears it could spark a trade war.

Please click here to read the full article at the BBC website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Environment, Europe, European Union, Finance, Foreign aid, Government & Policy, Green China, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Law, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

Chinese firms’ S$741b war chest [Straits Times] #RisingChina #Econo

Straits Times China Correspondent: According to private equity fund A Capital – Chinese firms to look outward and spend US$600 billion (S$741 billion) to assimilate resources and assets from abroad to help restructure the Chinese economy.

– – –

Chinese firms’ S$741b war chest
That’s the amount they’re likely to invest overseas in next 3 years, says report
By Grace Ng, China Correspondent, In Beijing
Source – Straits Times, published April 17, 2013

CHINESE firms are set to spend some US$600 billion (S$741 billion) over the next three years to buy overseas resources and assets offering them the brands and technology to become powerhouses in China’s restructuring economy, a new report has predicted.

And Europe, where Chinese investments grew an impressive 21 per cent last year, will likely continue to be a top destination, private equity fund A Capital said in a report released yesterday.

The fund’s cornerstone investors are China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp, and Belgium’s Federal Holding and Investment Company.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, Europe, European Union, Finance, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

EU polysilicon probe sparks ‘trade war’ #solartradewars [Global Times]

Global Times: on the paradox of economic interdependence.

Solar power is great. I recently completed setting up a portable 100w solar rig at home and in some ways I understand what the fuss over the polysilicon in question.

Solar power is fundamentally about efficiency and making whatever light count. And this is something China does not have in large amounts itself. It has to import these materials from overseas – so sometimes it is funny when one blames ‘made in China’ without also thinking about ‘with materials from…’?

– – –

EU polysilicon probe sparks ‘trade war’
by Cong Mu
Source – Global Times, published November 2, 2012

Source – Global Times, 2012

China initiated an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into EU-made solar energy material products Thursday, in response to a European probe into Chinese solar panels dating back to September.

A Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) press release showed that complaints had been received from a number of companies, including Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon Technology Development, LDK Solar, Luoyang Sino-Silicon and Daqo New Energy, on September 17. These complaints requested an assessment of the negative impact they had suffered from solar-grade polysilicon products made in and imported from the EU, the ministry’s Bureau of Fair Trade announced.

The Chinese companies also requested that the investigation into the EU be combined with previous anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into US and South Korean polysilicons. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Economics, Environment, Europe, European Union, Germany, global times, Green China, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , ,

Chinese, US and Russian rating firms set up a JV to rival the Big Three [Russia Today]

Russia Today and fresh off the agenices such as AAP and Reuters: Why play by the rules when new ones need to be made? Chinese ratings agency Dagong Global founded 1994, is the first agency to downgrade U.S. credit rating. In this announcement it joins forces in an international triumvirate to make an institutional challenge on the current credit rating megaphone.

“The current international credit rating system has proven inadequate to the task of producing responsible and reliable ratings,” Dagong said in a statement, adding that a new agency is needed to “mitigate economic risk in the development of human civilization”.

Further reading – see
Dagong Releases the Sovereign Credit Risk Report on Central Eastern Europe (October 17, 2012)

Dagong, the new bad Chinese or just a realistic and fair player? (Paris-headquartered Society for the Advancement of Credit Rating)

Dagong to unveil new ratings agency (AAP, in The Australian, October 23, 2012)

Ratings agency aims to rival ‘big three’ (China Daily, October 25, 2012)

– – –

Chinese, US and Russian rating firms set up a JV to rival the Big Three
Source – Russia Today, published October 23, 2012

Photo source – Reuters / Kacper Pempel, in Russia Today, 2012

China’s Dagong Global Credit Rating agency is to set up the joint venture with US-based Egan-Jones Ratings Co (EJR) and Russia’s RusRating JSC to challenge the three major US ratings agencies.

“The current international credit rating system has proven inadequate to the task of producing responsible and reliable ratings,” Dagong said in a statement, adding that a new agency is needed to “mitigate economic risk in the development of human civilization”.

The new institution, called Universal Credit Rating Group, will handle global ratings “as an entirely independent rating service provider”, which “do not represent the interest of any particular country or group”. Earlier this year the head of Dagong, Guan Jianzhong called for the creation of a global credit rating system with uniform standards. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Europe, European Union, Finance, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Russia, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

Ana Palacio: The Next Task for China’s New Leaders [Straits Times]

Ana Palacio, a former Spanish foreign minister shares her thoughts on areas the new Chinese leadership should be paying attention on.

First, China’s state of flux despite its ‘outward appearance of monolithic resolve.’ Second, the growing demands of the stratification and divides of Chinese society. Third, its conduct of foreign policy.

It is, therefore, little surprise that China’s policies are widely regarded as a reflection of former Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping’s call for a strategy of “hiding our light and nurturing our strength.” Ana Palacio

However, if that is her assessment of the wider interpretation of Deng’s call, then therein lies another problem – because the saying defers to good form, and not misdirection.

Read up more about Ana Palacio here at Project Syndicate.

– – –

Ana Palacio: The Next Task for China’s New Leaders
by Ana Palacio for Project Syndicate
Source – The Straits Times, Global Perspectives, published September 21, 2012

BEIJING – On a recent fact-finding trip to China, organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, I began with the assumption that the country’s biggest challenge revolved around the need to promote domestic consumption in order to maintain rapid economic growth. By the end of the trip, what had emerged was a complex picture of Chinese assertiveness and uncertainty, poise and anxiety.

Although impending, the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is shrouded in mystery. While the congress is presumably set for October, the exact dates remain unknown, as does much about the internal process and preparatory discussions.

For much of this year, there seemed to be one certainty in the coming leadership transition: the CCP’s new general secretary would be Xi Jinping, a man whose political vision could be elaborated in well under 30 seconds. But Xi’s mysterious vanishing act, in which he dropped from public view for almost two weeks in September – after abruptly canceling meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the prime minister of Singapore (rare occurrences for the protocol-fixated Chinese leadership) – has stirred more speculation. It has also fueled concerns about whether so secretive a leadership can effectively govern the world’s second-largest economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Corruption, Democracy, Domestic Growth, East China Sea, Economics, Europe, European Union, Government & Policy, Greater China, Influence, International Relations, Law, Media, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[Stephen Roach] China is Okay [Project Syndicate]

China cannot afford to wait to build its new cities. Instead, investment and construction must be aligned with the future influx of urban dwellers. The “ghost city” critique misses this point entirely.

China bull Stephen Roach puts paid bearish outlooks on China by taking a longer-term view. His key argument is to overlook temporal anxiety of a hard landing for urbanisation is the essential ingredient of the ‘next China’. In a time when global economic well-being is interdependent on both the US and China facilitating market movement, hopefully it is free market competition that predominantly drives the next decade forward, and not proxy flashpoints that distract from the big picture.

– – –

China is Okay
by Stephen Roach
Source – Project Syndicate, published August 29, 2012

Stephen S. Roach was Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and the firm’s Chief Economist, and currently is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and a senior lecturer at Yale’s School of Management. His most recent book is The Next Asia.

NEW HAVEN – Concern is growing that China’s economy could be headed for a hard landing. The Chinese stock market has fallen 20% over the past year, to levels last seen in 2009. Continued softness in recent data – from purchasing managers’ sentiment and industrial output to retail sales and exports – has heightened the anxiety. Long the global economy’s most powerful engine, China, many now fear, is running out of fuel.

These worries are overblown. Yes, China’s economy has slowed. But the slowdown has been contained, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. The case for a soft landing remains solid.

The characteristics of a Chinese hard landing are well known from the Great Recession of 2008-2009. China’s annual GDP growth decelerated sharply from its 14.8% peak in the second quarter of 2007 to 6.6% in the first quarter of 2009. Hit by a monstrous external demand shock that sent world trade tumbling by a record 10.5% in 2009, China’s export-led growth quickly went from boom to bust. The rest of an unbalanced Chinese economy followed – especially the labor market, which shed more than 20 million jobs in Guangdong Province alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Domestic Growth, Economics, Europe, European Union, Finance, Greater China, Influence, Infrastructure, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Pollution, Population, Project Syndicate, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Transport, U.S., , , , , , , , ,

Shifting power balance sees China, Japan dig deep to save the West [the Australian]

Greetings, am still wandering through Europe getting a feel of the impact (sometimes, the lack of) of China in this region. Internet access has been intermittent as I travel through the countryside. More regular updates to come when I return. In the meantime…

A view from Australia: Shift in the global balance of power tilting east or will this be an Asian century of footing the bill for debts it did not ‘directly’ incur? The way this article is phrased suggests it also means footing the bills with little equivalent exchange in return. Will paying for someone else’s bad habits become the new norm in this new landscape of sharing a boat of interdependence and integration? Perhaps this shift is purely perceptual.

…in a sign that Europe is nearing the end of its tolerance for “helpful” suggestions from outsiders, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso told the G20 that the EU was not the cause of the current crisis and won’t be “lectured” by anyone.

“Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy,” Barroso said.

– – –

Shifting power balance sees China, Japan dig deep to save the West
BY: RICHARD GLUYAS
Source: The Australian, published June 20, 2012

THE arrival of the Asian century has been underscored with news that China will kick in $US43 billion ($42.4bn) to the International Monetary Fund’s global firewall.

China’s commitment, which is the third largest after Japan ($US60bn) and Germany ($US54.7bn), compares with a weighty contribution from the mighty US — zero.

The US is clearly wrestling with its own problems, and a donation to Europe’s begging bowl would be political poison in an election year. Even so, the latest commitments to the new $US430bn fund, which were announced during the G20 summit in Mexico, highlight the anomaly of the US and Europe controlling key global institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, when the centre of economic power is tilting east. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chen Wenling, Chinese Model, Economics, Europe, European Union, Finance, Foreign aid, IMF, Influence, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, The Australian, The Chinese Identity

China fades as Europe’s saviour [The Age]

From the Guardian, published in Australia’s the Age: January data on Chinese imports seem to compound a gloomy worldwide economy picture with Europe still on the brink and anticipated global oil demand.

Another way to look at it is to hold one’s horses – for China, January has seen an unusually high number of public holidays if one factors in the long spring festival break.

And on the back of that report just two days later we have the BBC reporting that Chinese and European leaders from  are meeting for talks ‘likely to be dominated by Europe’s debt crisis.’ In the report, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said the debt issue was “at a critical juncture…We believe that as China’s largest trading partner and the largest economy in the world [collectively], it is important for the European Union to resolve this issue”.

Update: Feb 14 – EU leaders in China for debt crisis talks (BBC News)

– – – 

China fades as Europe’s saviour
Katie Allen, London
Guardian
Source – The Age, published February 12, 2012

A SHARP drop in Chinese imports, a gloomy outlook for global oil demand and a burgeoning US trade deficit are fanning growing fears of a deteriorating global economy.

Signs that demand was slowing in China raised concerns for European nations relying on an export-led recovery from their economic crisis.

There was another blow when the International Energy Agency cut its oil demand forecast for a sixth consecutive month, citing a weak global economy. China said its imports fell last month at the fastest annual pace since the low point of the financial crisis in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, European Union, Influence, International Relations, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Trade, U.S., Yuan

Shanghai shipping slump as IMF warns China on euro slump [Telegraph]

An attempt to force China’s hand or affirmation of just how intertwined we all are?

The IMF warns China that it is vulnerable to the “clear and present danger emanating from Europe” which would see Chinese growth halve to roughly 4% if the crisis escalates.

For the actual report by the IMF (prepared by the IMF Resident Representative Office in the PRC, go here.

It states:

‘A storm emanating from Europe would hit China hard
* China’s growth rate would drop abruptly if the Euro area experiences a sharp recession
* But China has room for a countervailing fiscal response, and should use that space
* Unlike 2009–10, any stimulus should be executed through the budget rather than the banking
system’

Further reading – do note that as of the morning of February 7th, China’s national broadsheets have not yet taken notice:

The IMF Issues A Chilling Warning About China’s Vulnerability To Europe (Business Insider, Feb 6, 2012)
Should such a tail risk of financial volatility emanating from Europe be realized, it would drag China’s growth lower. The channels of contagion would be felt mainly through trade, with knock-on effects to domestic demand.

China Risks 4-Point Growth-Rate Cut in Case of Europe Worsening: Economy (Bloomberg, Feb 6 2012)

China’s economic expansion would be cut almost in half if Europe’s debt crisis worsens, a scenario that would warrant “significant” fiscal stimulus from the nation’s government, the International Monetary Fund said.

– – –

Shanghai shipping slump as IMF warns China on euro slump
Shanghai shipping volumes contracted sharply in January as Europe’s debt crisis curbed demand for Asian goods, stoking fresh doubts about the strength of the Chinese economy.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Source – Telegraph, February 6, 2012

The shipping data came as the International Monetary Fund warned that China is vulnerable to the 'clear and present danger emanating from Europe'. Photo: ALAMY

The shipping specialist Lloyd’s List said container traffic through the Port of Shanghai – the world’s largest – fell by 100,000 boxes in January from a year earlier, or 4pc. Volumes fell by over one million tonnes.

The figures may have been distorted by China’s Lunar Year but there has been a relentless slide in the Shanghai transport data for months.

“China’s shipping markets face grievous challenges,” said the Shanghai International Shipping Institute. It acknowledged that the industry in the grip of downturn and likely to face a “worsening situation” in early 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Economics, European Union, Finance, Government & Policy, IMF, Influence, International Relations, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Telegraph UK, Trade

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