Wandering China

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

Pilot Free-Trade Zone ready to launch [Global Times] #RisingChina #EconomicReform

Economic reform with the prize set on the international marketplace: One giant leap toward rising China 2.0 with pilot free-trade zone established in Shanghai.

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Pilot FTZ ready to launch
By Louise Ho in Shanghai
Source – Global Times, published September 29, 2013

A motorbike rider passes the No. 3 gate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai on Friday. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

A motorbike rider passes the No. 3 gate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai on Friday. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

The highly anticipated China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) will be officially launched Sunday. The first on the Chinese mainland, the FTZ is seen as an important step in China’s economic reform and the internationalization of the yuan.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, Friday issued detailed plans for the FTZ, which aims to deepen financial innovation and build a business environment that is on a par with international standards.

The 28.78-square-kilometer FTZ will cover the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Zone, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone in Shanghai.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Domestic Growth, Finance, global times, Government & Policy, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, Infrastructure, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, Trade

Once China catches up – what then? [Straits Times] #RisingChina

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew on China’s economic prowess, cultural handicaps and the balance of power in the Pacific.

‘I believe that during the next 30 years, the Chinese will have no desire to enter into a conflict with the US. They know they will continue to grow stronger, but they are also aware of how far behind they are technologically. They require continued access to American schools so their students can learn how to reinvent themselves.’ Lee Kuan Yew, 2013

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Once China catches up – what then?
By Lee Kuan Yew
Source – Straits Times, Published Sep 27, 2013

Pedestrians walk past commercial buildings in Shanghai. In 2020, China’s per capita GDP is projected to reach US$10,000, one-fifth that projected for the US. And China’s population will remain four times that of the US. — PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BARRING any major disruption, the speed at which China is growing in terms of total gross domestic product will enable it to catch up with the US by 2020. China will then go on to surpass America.

During the 1978-2011 period, China’s high average rate of growth – about 10 per cent annually – was the result of Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 trip to Singapore and his subsequent decision to implement economic reforms and open the economy to international investment. During that period, the US economy’s annual growth rate was 2 per cent to 3 per cent.

Despite the financial debt crisis in Europe and the turmoil in US markets over the past few years, China’s economy has continued to register strong growth. According to the World Bank, China’s US$8.22 trillion (S$10.3 trillion) economy is now the second largest in the world, compared with the US$15.68 trillion US economy. China is the world’s largest exporter and its second-largest importer. The recent global economic crisis has allowed China to close its economic gap with the world’s top developed nations.

In 2012, China’s per capita GDP was US$9,233, compared with US$49,965 in the US. In 2020, China’s per capita GDP is projected to reach US$10,000, one-fifth that projected for the US. China’s population in 2012 was 1.4 billion, America’s 316.5 million. In 2020, China’s population will remain four times that of the US. China’s economic growth rate will continue to increase at a much higher rate because the base upon which its economy will grow is enormous in comparison.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Straits Times online.
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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Hard Power, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Soft Power, Straits Times, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade, U.S.

China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold [Bloomberg] #RisingChina #Apple #Gold

Apple taps into Chinese mind – mixing their perception of gold with cyclical obsolescence of the mobile phone.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores. Leonid Bershidsky, 2013

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China + Gold = 9 Million iPhones Sold
By Leonid Bershidsky
Source – Bloomberg, published Sep 25, 2013

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The gold version of the iPhone 5S is displayed at an Apple store on September 20, 2013 in New York City. Photograph by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

I have two words for those who still think Apple’s marketing genius died with Steve Jobs: China and gold.

In preparing the debut of its two new iPhone models, the 5s and 5c, Apple made the crucial decision to include China in the product launch, and to offer a gold-colored high-end phone. Voila, a sales record: 9 million iPhones sold in the opening weekend, up from 5 million for the original iPhone 5.

Bringing together China and gold is a recipe for success. A recent decline in the price of the yellow metal has revealed immense pent-up demand for shiny trinkets in Asia. The volume of gold jewelry sold in Hong Kong was up 66 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Mainland China saw 50 percent growth. Apple did not need to read boring market reports to figure out it needed a gold-colored model for Asia. It would have been enough to walk the streets of Hong Kong and see the crowds in the jewelry stores.

Gold is a well-used marketing tool in the world of mobile devices. “Dumb” phone manufacturers have used the hue, especially in Asian markets and Russia, ever since color handsets came into existence in the early 2000s. Nokia made fun of the gold iPhone 5s, tweeting from its UK corporate account, “Real gangsters don’t use gold phones.” The Finnish company itself, however, has produced a number of gold-colored models, including one that used genuine 18K gold plate.

Please click here to read the entire article at Bloomberg online.

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Filed under: Advertising, Apple, Beijing Consensus, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Great Firewall, History, Influence, Intellectual Property, Internet, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, U.S.

China unveils a new round of electric car subsidies [BBC] #RisingChina #ElectricCar

Those who have set foot in China in recent years will know: it can be difficult to spot a motorcycle run on gasoline. Across the cities, there are >120m electric-bikes zipping around in numbers.

Electric car sales in China are currently miniscule, said Jeff Schuster, an industry analyst with LMC Automotive. Out of 18 million passenger vehicles sold in China last year, just 22,000 were plug-ins. That number is expected to grow to 60,000 next year, however. CNN August 2013

Can they pull off the same with cars? … perhaps Tesla Motors can stimulate this shift with the nifty Model S.

Also, see New-energy vehicle policy shifts gears in the China Daily (September18, 2013)

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China unveils a new round of electric car subsidies
Source – BBC, published September 18, 2013

20130919-051204.jpg
China has unveiled a new round of subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles in a bid to combat rising air pollution in its major cities.

The government will provide up to 60,000 yuan (£6,160; $9,800) to buyers of all-electric, “near all-electric” and hydrogen vehicles until 2015.

The policy is expected to boost Chinese automakers such as as BYD, which makes electric cars and batteries.

However, the programme does not include gasoline-electric hybrid cars.

Please click here to read the entire article at the BBC online.
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Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Climate Change, Culture, Domestic Growth, Environment, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Modernisation, Peacekeeping, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Strategy, Technology, The Chinese Identity, Trade, Transport

When it comes to China, which side is Germany on? [Guardian] #RisingChina #Germany

China and Germany teach each other lessons on contemporary influence without brandishing hard power.

On the ground, however – In a 25-country poll by the BBC (44-page PDF) published in May 2013, German opinion on China was 13% positive vs 67% negative in 2013, a marked drop – from 42% positive vs 47% negative in 2012.

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When it comes to China, which side is Germany on?
Berlin’s ‘special relationship’ with Beijing means it is not keen for the EU to start a commercial war with the Asian giant
Source – The Guardian, published September 12, 2013

20130915-083945.jpg
Angela Merkel is escorted by President Xi Jinping of China after their meeting at the G20 summit this month. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

A long-running dispute between the EU and China over the prosaic, but economically significant, matter of solar panels has thrown up a fundamental question: which side is Germany on? The trade war concerned billions of pounds of Chinese panels that Europe suspected were being heavily subsidised and then “dumped” on the European market. Germany led the opposition to taking punitive action against the Chinese.

“What is certain is that the Germans have taken up almost word for word the rhetoric of the Chinese trade ministry,” said a European diplomat from one of the countries in favour of imposing sanctions on China.

There’s a paradox at play here: it is German manufacturers who wanted the European commission to look into the solar panel issue. But for the German leadership there are bigger matters to consider, not least the country’s burgeoning “special relationship” with the Asian powerhouse.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Guardian.

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Filed under: Automotive, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Ethnicity, Germany, Government & Policy, High Speed Rail, Ideology, Influence, Intellectual Property, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Soft Power, Solar, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Technology, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade, Transport

Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage [BBC] #RisingChina #Economy

China announces restructuring phase to world and economic leaders.

The foundation for an economic rebound is still fragile with many uncertainties ahead,” Li Keqiang

Already on the cards…

The government has been undertaking key structural reforms, such as liberalising interest rates, allowing its currency to strengthen, and taking steps to reduce its dependency on exports.

Recent economic data showed a sharp rise in growth of exports and imports, as well as improvement in manufacturing figures. BBC

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Li Keqiang: China economy at crucial stage
Source – BBC, published 11 September 2013

Recent manufacturing data has soothed some fears of a “hard landing” for China’s economy

China’s economy is going through a “crucial” stage of restructuring, says the country’s Premier, Li Keqiang.

At the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Dalian, Mr Li pledged to improve relations with foreign firms.

He stressed that multinationals would get “equal treatment” with state-owned enterprises.

He added that China was well-placed to hit a growth target of 7.5% this year, despite a “complex” economic climate.

Please click here to read the entire article at the BBC online.

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Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Finance, Government & Policy, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, Trade

Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It’ll Soon Be Hard To Know [NPR] #RisingChina #Interdependence #US

Ban on processed chicken imports from China now lifted; furthermore they can be sold in the US without country-of-origin labels

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Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It’ll Soon Be Hard To Know
Here’s a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.
by Maria GODOY
Source – NPR, published September 05, 2013

20130907-073759.jpg
photo: istockphoto

Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.

For starters, just four Chinese processing plants will be allowed to export cooked chicken products to the U.S., as first reported by Politico. The plants in question passed USDA inspection in March. Initially, these processors will only be allowed to export chicken products made from birds that were raised in the U.S. and Canada. Because of that, the poultry processors won’t be required to have a USDA inspector on site, as The New York Times notes, adding:

“And because the poultry will be processed, it will not require country-of-origin labeling. Nor will consumers eating chicken noodle soup from a can or chicken nuggets in a fast-food restaurant know if the chicken came from Chinese processing plants.”

That’s a pretty disturbing thought for anyone who’s followed the slew of stories regarding food safety failures in China in recent years. As we’ve previously reported on The Salt, this year alone, thousands of dead pigs turned up in the waters of Shanghai, rat meat was passed off as mutton and — perhaps most disconcerting for U.S. consumers — there was an outbreak of the H7N9 bird flu virus among live fowl in fresh meat markets.

Please click here to read the entire article from the NPR.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Health, Peaceful Development, Resources, Trade, U.S.

Discipline bodies launch website [Global Times] #RisingChina #Corruption #CCDI

Rising China, corruption and social levelling via Web 2.0: new website launched for the Chinese to anonymously report on cheating officials.

New anti-graft site allows people to report cheating officials (SCMP September 3, 2013)

The site is jointly run by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (中国共产党中央纪律检查委员会) and the Ministry of Supervision 监察部.

– – –

Discipline bodies launch website
Zhang Xiaobo
Source – Global Times, published September 3, 2013

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Ministry of Supervision on Monday jointly opened an official website, offering the public a new online channel to report corrupt officials.

The website will play a key role in combating corruption by releasing official statements and providing a new means for online corruption reporting, read a notice on the site.

“This is a great move for the Party to push forward the online anti-corruption drive, as it allows Net users to report corrupt officials via a new channel, instead of merely posting exposés on Weibo,” Li Danyang, a research fellow on public administration with the Beijing-based Beihang University, told the Global Times.

The website consists of 10 sections, including an online forum where the public can leave their opinions and proposals, as well as ask questions about anti-corruption work. It also outlines the discipline watchdog’s structure, giving the public more information on how the agency operates.

Please click here to read the entire article at the Global Times.

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Corruption, Democracy, Domestic Growth, global times, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Modernisation, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

China’s quest for world-beating brand held back by regime [Guardian] #RisingChina #Branding

Brand China: Hamstrung by regime or perception divide?

We get these endless things from the government saying there should be more innovation and brand building… But there isn’t anything behind it. The problem is that no one really wants to invest in innovative design. It’s very market-led. So if reports come to the stores that red shirts are selling, they’ll tell their in-house designers to design more red shirts. This means the designers don’t get a chance to do anything… They spent 60 years driving creativity out of the system. To reintroduce it in 10 minutes is a bit hopeful.” Paul French, chief China market strategist at market research firm Mintel.

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China’s quest for world-beating brand held back by regime
Selling Chinese-label goods at home is one thing: but to gain global recognition, the country must rediscover the arts of creativity and risk-taking
Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing
Source – The Observer, Guardian online, published Sunday 1 September 2013

20130903-084625.jpg
Robin Li, the founder and chief executive of leading Chinese search engine Baidu. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

China is the world’s second-largest economy but it has yet to develop the breakthrough global brand that will consolidate its status as a true commercial superpower. The names of Chery, Xiaomi and Baidu are synonymous with cars, mobile phones and internet search in China but they do not resonate abroad in the way that Ford, Samsung and Google straddle the globe. Likewise, there is no Chinese equivalent of Sony, Boeing or Coca-Cola, despite the ambition of the political hierarchy to convert a nation of 1.3bn people into a consumption-driven juggernaut.

That lack of a worldwide champion means that Made in China lacks prestige as a label, despite the country’s importance as the world’s factory floor, making everything from iPads to Topshop garments. And that reputation as a global manufacturing hub is one of the problems, nurturing a perception that China is synonymous with cheap, low-quality goods. Newspaper headlines in the west declaim stories about China’s toxic baby milk, lead-contaminated toys and fake pharmaceuticals.

But this is changing, as China’s leaders force that economic shift from export-based growth to consumer spending. They are pumping money into research and development so that Chinese brands can compete with foreign rivals in a burgeoning domestic market. Furthermore, many of these companies have taken that baton and are running towards foreign markets, with the hope that global success will result. Much of the push comes in the form of state subsidies – according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, the country spent £105bn on research and development last year.

Please click here to read the entire article at the source.

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Filed under: Advertising, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Government & Policy, Ideology, Influence, Media, Modernisation, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

Australia-China trade no longer just a resources story [Australian Financial Review] #RisingChina #Australia

Australian businesses showing the way to embrace China’s economic rise, can the politicians please catch up? Aussie business demonstrating how to leverage – China’s economic rise during its cruise control mode.

Quick points:
1. China is the largest buyer of Oz minerals and agriculture, fourth biggest customer in manufacturing
2. 35% of all Oz exports in q2 2013

Not since the wool boom of 1950 has Australia been so reliant on a single trade relationship. Even Japan in the early 1970s and late 1980s was not as significant, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics…

…In the second quarter of 2011, China surpassed Japan as the number one destination for Australian rural exports. Meat, oil seeds, cotton and dairy products have seen growth of between 50 per cent and 400 per cent over the past three years. Australian wheat exports could reach 4 million tonnes this season, making China the number one buyer ahead of Indonesia

More official figures from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade on Oz trade with China here.

On the other hand, read this for another perspective from Bloomberg.
Here’s the real crisis in Australia

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Australia-China trade no longer just a resources story
By Angus Grigg and Lisa Murray
Source – Australian Financial Review, published August 21, 2013

20130831-080546.jpg
China is not only the largest buyer of Australian minerals, but also the number one purchaser of agricultural products and has surged past Singapore and South Korea in recent years to be the fourth largest buyer of our manufactured goods.  Photo: Bloomberg

Australia has become more reliant on China as a buyer of its exports than any other trading partner in the past 63 years, surpassing the dependence on Britain after World War II.

In the second quarter of 2013, China bought 35.4 per cent of all Australian exports, a new record high and more than double the level of five years ago.

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Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, Influence, International Relations, Modernisation, New Leadership, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Trade

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