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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Strait shooting - Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier | Asia

Strait shooting - Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier | Asia | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

‘American intelligence officials do not think that China is about to unleash this firepower.’

  • ‘The PLA’s amphibious fleet has grown slowly in recent years.’
  • ‘China has never held even a single exercise on the scale that would be required for a d-Day-type campaign.’
  • ‘Indeed, no country has assaulted a well-defended shore since America did so in Korea—with good reason.’ [MacArthur’s Inchon landing during the Korean War]

‘Although China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force, says William Murray of the US Naval War College, the island would still be able to fire anti-ship missiles at an invading armada, picking out targets with mobile radar units hidden in the mountainous interior.

  • ‘That could make mincemeat of big ships crossing a narrow strait (see map).’
  • ‘ “The PLAcan’t use precision weapons to attack small, mobile things,” says Ethan Lee, who as chief of general staff at Taiwan’s defence ministry in 2017-19 developed a strategy for asymmetrical warfare.’
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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Strait shooting - Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier | Asia

Strait shooting - Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier | Asia | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

‘American intelligence officials do not think that China is about to unleash this firepower.’

  • ‘The PLA’s amphibious fleet has grown slowly in recent years.’
  • ‘China has never held even a single exercise on the scale that would be required for a d-Day-type campaign.’
  • ‘Indeed, no country has assaulted a well-defended shore since America did so in Korea—with good reason.’ [MacArthur’s Inchon landing during the Korean War]

‘Although China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force, says William Murray of the US Naval War College, the island would still be able to fire anti-ship missiles at an invading armada, picking out targets with mobile radar units hidden in the mountainous interior.

  • ‘That could make mincemeat of big ships crossing a narrow strait (see map).’
  • ‘ “The PLAcan’t use precision weapons to attack small, mobile things,” says Ethan Lee, who as chief of general staff at Taiwan’s defence ministry in 2017-19 developed a strategy for asymmetrical warfare.’
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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Strait shooting - Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier 

Strait shooting - Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier  | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

The Economist

‘Alas, Taiwan’s preparedness and its will to fight both look shaky.’

‘China’s Communist Party claims Taiwan, a democratic and prosperous country of 24m people, although the island has not been ruled from the mainland since 1949.’

  • ‘A tense peace is maintained as long as Taiwan continues to say that it is part of China, even if not part of the People’s Republic.’

‘China once hoped that reunification could be achieved bloodlessly through growing economic and cultural ties.’

  • ‘But two-thirds of Taiwanese no longer identify as Chinese, and 60% have an unfavourable view of China.’
  • ‘In January Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party was resoundingly re-elected as president over a China-friendly rival.’

‘Last year Xi Jinping, China’s leader, declared unification to be an “inevitable requirement for the historical rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.’

  • ‘The PLA has stepped up pressure on Taiwan in recent months, sending warplanes across the “median line” that long served as an unofficial maritime boundary and holding large naval drills off several parts of Taiwan’s coast.’

‘Defending Taiwan is growing ever harder.’

  • ‘A decade ago China had four times as many warships as Taiwan. Today it has six times as many.’
  • ‘It has six times the number of warplanes and eight times as many tanks.’
  • ‘China’s defence budget, merely double Taiwan’s at the end of the 1990s, is now 25 times greater (see chart).’

‘Although China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force, says William Murray of the us Naval War College, the island would still be able to fire anti-ship missiles at an invading armada, picking out targets with mobile radar units hidden in the mountainous interior.’

  • ‘That could make mincemeat of big ships crossing a narrow strait (see map).’

‘Alas, Taiwan’s preparedness and its will to fight both look shaky.’

  • ‘ “The sad truth is that Taiwan’s army has trouble with training across the board,” says Tanner Greer, an analyst.’
  • ‘Despite long-standing efforts to make the island indigestible, Taiwan’s armed forces are still overinvested in warplanes and tanks.’

‘Less than half of Taiwanese polled in August evinced a willingness to fight if war came.’

  • ‘And only a fifth of people think war will come.’

‘Taiwanese officials acknowledge these grim trends.’

  • ‘Many insiders are accordingly pessimistic about its ability to hold out.’
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Transforming Hong Kong, one day at a time

Transforming Hong Kong, one day at a time | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

MERICS| Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies, Berlin

Katja Drinhausen | MERICS

‘Across the board, the chilling effect of the National Security Law on criticism, academic debates, civil rights advocacy, and international engagement is already clearly visible.’

 

‘October 8 marked 100 days since the introduction of the National Security Law for Hong Kong (HKNSL).’

  • ‘In Beijing’s eyes,the introduction of the much-contested law has been a complete success.’

‘They still hold that the law only targets an “extremely small minority” of violent offenders – after all, less than 30 people have been arrested so far for violating the HKNSL.’  

‘While the law has only been directly applied in a limited number of individual cases, the indirect effects of both its vaguely worded stipulations and accompanying measures taken by the Hong Kong administration have been severe.’

  • ‘Across the board, the chilling effect on criticism, academic debates, civil rights advocacy, and international engagement is already clearly visible.’

‘Both Chief Executive Carrie Lam and mainland officials have made clear that separation of powers has no place in Hong Kong, as it cannot be reconciled with the executive-led governing system.’

  • ‘This speaks to a climate where fundamental principles of rule of law and judicial independence are under threat.’
  • ‘Courts are struggling to reconcile the HKNSL with the protection of civil and political rights granted to Hongkongers through the Basic Law and international treaties.’

‘After the victory of the pro-democratic camp in Hong Kong’s local elections late last year, a number of steps seem to take aim at ensuring they will not succeed in the next LegCo election, which has been postponed for a year.’

‘The education system is being brought into line as well.’

  • ‘Libraries have removed books by pro-democracy activists, and references to separation of power and civil disobedience have been deleted from schoolbooks.’
  • ‘The first teacher was deregistered, and barred from his job for life, for discussing pro-independence positions in the classroom. His superiors were sanctioned too, sending a clear signal to all administrators.’   

‘Independent media coverage has also been curtailed by measures such as the Hong Kong police restricting access for certain media outlets.’ 

  • ‘International journalists attempting to join critical media organizations have been denied visas.’

‘The relative tranquility on the surface should not be taken as a sign of support for the new law, as further conflict may be fomenting beneath.’

  • ‘Despite risks posed by the HKNSL, there has been substantial and sustained pushback over the past months.’

‘This has been well noted by the party leadership.’

  • ‘On Chinese National Day, Luo Huining, Beijing’s chief representative in the city, reminded Hongkongers, that “patriotism is not a choice, but a duty”.’

‘In the Chinese leadership’s definition, loving the country is inseparable from loving the Chinese Communist Party and supporting its hold on power.’

  • ‘He called for students and civil servants to be the first to receive patriotic education.’

‘But hopes that the government can remold people’s minds and instill patriotic fervor in Hong Kongers with education alone are unrealistic.’ 

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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

'Rivers of Iron' 

CHINADebate

Mike Lampton | School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins

‘This is going to change the face of Asia.’

Read Mike’s full interview here – fascinating and important.

Malcolm Riddell: ‘Mike, great to have you here today, and I am very excited about your new book Rivers of Iron.’

  • ‘Could you lay out what it's about and what the purpose is?’

Mike Lampton: ‘Well, the book is about an enormous effort that China in conjunction with seven Southeast Asian countries is making to build a high speed and conventional rail system that will knit China, particularly Southern China, into the Southeast Asian economic network.’

  • ‘And this is going to knit together Southeast Asia’s major cities.’

‘It's part of a conception China has of itself as the economic hub and the goods and people and ideas and information are going to flow North-South with the pathways for these flows leading to China.’ 

  • ‘China's talking about building three trunk lines from Southern China – Kunming - down to Singapore by three routes.’

‘These would cross seven countries directly in Southeast Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Singapore.’

  • ‘Each of these Southeast Asian countries is balancing its security fears with its economic desires to hook into the Chinese economic juggernaut.’

‘But each link you build makes building the next flank more valuable.’

  • ‘This is one of those things where momentum gathers at each stage.’

‘It includes not only the railroads, but highways, maritime routes, cyber routes, and so forth. It’s a very comprehensive vision.’

  • ‘This book looks at the just railroad component.’

‘This undertaking is a lot farther along that many people recognize.’

  • ‘While it might take decades for this to be fully realized, by 2027 there will be at least one line that reaches Singapore.’

Financing

Malcolm: ‘How are these projects going to be financed?’

  • ‘We've heard so much about Chinese financing methods and the kinds of deals that have been cut. Is there a concern about “debt-trap diplomacy”?’

Mike: ‘The seven countries I'm looking at - are at very diverse economic levels.’

  • ‘Singapore has no problem financing its relatively short link to Kuala Lumpur in this ultimate chain.’
  • ‘Thailand originally wanted to borrow money from China, but China was charging them more interest than China charged Indonesia. So Thailand said, well, we'll just do it ourselves rather than pay your exorbitant interest.’

‘On the other hand, a country like Laos with only 7 million people and a very small GDP is in effect undertaking a project that is half its GDP.’

  • ‘It is indebted in ways that are not entirely clear to outsiders. It's not very transparent.’
  • ‘The Laotians express a very great deal of worry about the degree of debt and obligation they've undertaken.’

‘But, from their viewpoint, they don't really have a choice.’

  • ‘If China doesn't go through Laos, it's going to go through Myanmar to the West or Vietnam to the East.’

‘And the worst fate for Laos is to be left out of the whole thing.’

  • ‘So they've just sort of taken a leap of faith and borrowed and hope it's going to pay off.’

 

East-West Versus North-South

Mike: ‘Countries like India, like Japan, and indeed like Singapore itself would like to balance this North-South dependence on China with East-West connectivity.’

  • ‘India is talking with Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam about building East-West connectivity to the coast and then up the Pacific Ocean to Japan and Korea.’

‘The larger game is who's going to build out the North-South connectivity versus the East-West.

  • ‘So there's a very interesting geopolitical game going on.’

‘The Southeast Asians would like to get all the money they can from China to do this.’

  • ‘And they would also like to get all the security and investment they can from Japan, the United States, and from the involvement of India.’

 

Balanced Connectivity

‘Rather than oppose, the U.S. ought to be figuring out how we can participate in it.’

  • ‘I don't mean participate necessarily in BRI.’
  • ‘But we can work with the Japanese and the Australians and the Koreans, and probably the EU countries to build what I would call balanced connectivity in this region.’

‘As the U.S. deals with all its problems domestically and abroad, we’ve got to keep our eye on the ball, on the big forces changing the world. And this was one of them.’

 

Changing the Face of Asia

‘My point is that is happening, and it's going to be transformative.’

  • ‘It's going to be messy. It is messy. It's going to be ugly. People are going to get hurt.’

 ‘But this is going to change the face of Asia.’

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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Kicking Our Own Goals

Greetings!

 

Kicking Our Own Goals

China's Response to President Trump's Virus

Blame China: Reactions from the Right

 

This is the second time I have had to abandon my intended content to account for recent events.

  • The first was the last issue and the presidential debate.
  • The second is today’s issue with President Trump’s having contracted the COVID-19 virus.

And the reason was that each event, while domestic in nature, handed China yet another victory in its competition with the United States. As Frederick Kempe, president of the Atlantic Council, contends:

  • ‘As our new era of U.S.-Chinese major power competition accelerates, this week’s train wreck of an American presidential debate, followed more dramatically on Friday by President Trump’s positive Covid test and hospitalization, contribute both to the perception and reality of Beijing’s historic gains.’

Chinese officials have sent Mr. Trump their wishes for a ‘speedy recovery.’

  • At the same time, state-run media have mocked the president’s response to the virus.
  • And the ‘great fire wall’ censors have allowed netizens ‘a rare level of vitriol against a world leader for Chinese authorities to condone.’

But what’s more disturbing has been some the response on the American right.

  • Most outragiously Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler tweeted Friday that "China gave this virus to our President. WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE." ’

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza writes:

  • ‘Hyperbolically floating the idea that China personally got Trump and the first lady sick with absolutely no proof isn't the sort of thing any of us should do -- much less a sitting United States senator.’
  • ‘But Loeffler did it anyway. Because she thinks it's good politics.'
  • 'Which leaves me speechless.’
  • Me too.

I spend more time than is good for me reading the comments to articles on Breitbart, the rightwing news platform.

  • And I can tell you the last thing we need is one more official promoting another conspiracy.

An aside. Breitbart readers have been trying to understand how the president and those around could have contracted the virus.

  • China or the Democrats or the two working together are the leading candidates now.

Supporting the theory that it was the Democrats is the question: ‘So why did only Republicans get the virus, and no Democrats?’

  • When one reader wrote, ‘Face masks and social distancing,’ he/she was immediately dismissed and shouted down with arguments about how neither is proven effective.

I view China as at least America’s greatest competitor.

  • So my frustration at our own unforced errors and their impact on our international standing and domestic political discourse is without bound.

As Frederick Kempe puts it so well:

  • ‘There’s a tendency in today’s Washington to underestimate Chinese weaknesses:’
  • ‘Yet a lot of weakness can be forgiven when your competitor keeps kicking what soccer fans refer to as “own goals.” ’

Regardless of your preferred metaphor, this has to stop.

Go deeper into these issues - Browse the posts below.

To read the original article, click the title.

Let me know what you think. And please forward the China Macro Reporter to your friends and colleagues.

All the best,

Malcolm 

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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Kelly Loeffler is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis 

Kelly Loeffler is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis  | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

CNN

Chris Cillizza | CNN

‘Hyperbolically floating the idea that China personally got Trump and the first lady sick with absolutely no proof isn't the sort of thing any of us should do -- much less a sitting United States senator.’

‘Hours after President Donald Trump announced that he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, had tested positive for Covid-19, Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler decided that the world needed to hear her take on the matter.’

‘Which is, well, something.’

‘A straight reading of Loeffler's tweet seems to suggest that she believes that China (or the Chinese government?) "gave this virus" to the President and first lady.’

  • ‘Which, huge if true! The thing is, of course, that Loeffler knows it's not true.

‘Loeffler is trying to turn the President's positive test into an issue by which she can demonstrate her tough stance on China to potential voters.’

  • ‘And to float a conspiracy theory -- did China infect the President?!?!?!-- that she knows will find purchase with some chunk of the most pro-Trump voters.’
  • ‘At the very least, it's a deliberate use of absurd hyperbole to make a point.

‘Why not suggest that China not only didn't do enough to limit the spread of the disease in the spring but also "gave this virus" to Trump?’

  • ‘After all, if Trump's takeover and transformation of the Republican Party over the past five years has proven anything, it's that there is no "too far" when it comes to the President's most ardent backers. Nothing too outlandish, nothing too over-the-top.’
  • ‘And as for facts? Well, those are for other people.’

‘What Loeffler did with her Friday morning tweet is, of course, incredibly irresponsible.

  • ‘Hyperbolically floating the idea that China personally got Trump and the first lady sick with absolutely no proof isn't the sort of thing any of us should do -- much less a sitting United States senator.’

‘But Loeffler did it anyway. Because she thinks it's good politics. Which leaves me speechless.’

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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Kelly Loeffler is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis - CNNPolitics

Kelly Loeffler is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis - CNNPolitics | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

CNN

Chris Cillizza | CNN

‘Hyperbolically floating the idea that China personally got Trump and the first lady sick with absolutely no proof isn't the sort of thing any of us should do -- much less a sitting United States senator.’

‘Hours after President Donald Trump announced that he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, had tested positive for Covid-19, Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler decided that the world needed to hear her take on the matter.’

‘Which is, well, something.’

‘A straight reading of Loeffler's tweet seems to suggest that she believes that China (or the Chinese government?) "gave this virus" to the President and first lady.’

  • ‘Which, huge if true! The thing is, of course, that Loeffler knows it's not true.

‘Loeffler is trying to turn the President's positive test into an issue by which she can demonstrate her tough stance on China to potential voters.’

  • ‘And to float a conspiracy theory -- did China infect the President?!?!?!-- that she knows will find purchase with some chunk of the most pro-Trump voters.’
  • ‘At the very least, it's a deliberate use of absurd hyperbole to make a point.

‘Why not suggest that China not only didn't do enough to limit the spread of the disease in the spring but also "gave this virus" to Trump?’

  • ‘After all, if Trump's takeover and transformation of the Republican Party over the past five years has proven anything, it's that there is no "too far" when it comes to the President's most ardent backers. Nothing too outlandish, nothing too over-the-top.’
  • ‘And as for facts? Well, those are for other people.’

‘What Loeffler did with her Friday morning tweet is, of course, incredibly irresponsible.

  • ‘Hyperbolically floating the idea that China personally got Trump and the first lady sick with absolutely no proof isn't the sort of thing any of us should do -- much less a sitting United States senator.’

‘But Loeffler did it anyway. Because she thinks it's good politics. Which leaves me speechless.’

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Scooped by Malcolm Riddell

Trump has repeatedly blamed China for a virus that now threatens his health. This will make Beijing nervous

Trump has repeatedly blamed China for a virus that now threatens his health. This will make Beijing nervous | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

CNN

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler tweeted Friday that "China gave this virus to our President," adding "WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE." ’

‘Beijing has good reason to be nervous about Trump's diagnosis.’

  • ‘Chinese media and top officials have long complained about the way the country has been, in their words, "scapegoated"for the pandemic's effects in the US, and Beijing is decidedly unhappy with being a major topic in the US election.’

‘Yet that seems unlikely to change.’

  • ‘Trump could now take an even harder line on China, further leaning into the narrative he has already established that Beijing is ultimately to blame.’

‘Some on the US right are already using Trump's diagnosis to do just that.’ 

  • Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler tweetedFriday that "China gave this virus to our President," adding "WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE." ’
  • ‘Blair Brandt, a Trump campaign fundraiser, claimed the "Chinese Communist Party has biologically attacked our President." ’
  • ‘US Rep. Mark Walker, ranking Republican member on the House Subcommittee for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, asked"is it fair to make the assessment that China has now officially interfered with our election?" ’
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Trump's coronavirus diagnosis provides China with fresh gains

CNBC

Frederick Kempe | President, Atlantic Council

‘Yet a lot of Chinese weakness can be forgiven when your competitor keeps kicking what soccer fans refer to as “own goals.” ’

‘As our new era of U.S.-Chinese major power competition accelerates, this week’s train wreck of an American presidential debate, followed more dramatically on Friday by President Trump’s positive Covid test and hospitalization, contribute both to the perception and reality of Beijing’s historic gains.’

  • ‘Recent events have also contributed to Chinese confidence that their single-party, autocratic system – for all its failings and inefficiencies – is better designed to provide public needs and political stability than the disorder of American and Western democracy.’

‘Though Chinese officials have been cautious this week in their reactions to both the U.S. debates and President Trump’s illness, commentators that typically reflect official views left little doubt that President Xi Jinping regards this past week as a powerfully positive one for the Chinese team.’

‘There’s a tendency in today’s Washington to underestimate Chinese weaknesses:’

  • ‘It’s lack of consumption as the economy recovers, its increasing debt issues, a graying population, international pushback against its bullying diplomacy, and its risky economic bets on its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.’

‘Yet a lot of weakness can be forgiven when your competitor keeps kicking what soccer fans refer to as “own goals.” ’

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Chinese Official Wishes Trump ‘Speedy Recovery’ While State-Run Media Outlets Mock Trump Virus Response 

‘CHINA SENT MIXED messages Friday in response to news of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump's coronavirus diagnoses.

‘Beijing’s leadership has been reticent in its response to Trump’s infection.’

  • ‘State-run news agency Xinhua published two lines Saturday saying China’s leader, Xi Jinping, wished the U.S. president and first lady a speedy recovery — a day behind many other heads of state including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen.’
  • ‘Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying tweeted late Friday morning that she was "saddened" to hear that the Trumps had contracted the virus."Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be fine," Hua said in a statement posted roughly 10 hours after the news broke.’

‘But China’s state-run media outlets posted scathing comments chiding Trump for playing down the COVID-19 threat.’

‘Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, tweeted in English that Trump and the first lady had "paid the price" for their actions.’

  • ‘ "President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19.'
  • 'The news shows the severity of the US' pandemic situation. It will impose a negative impact on the image of Trump and the US, and may also negatively affect his reelection," Hu said.’

‘Hu, who has close ties to the Chinese leadership, soon deleted that post, replacing it with the foreign ministry spokeswoman’s official statement.

  • ‘ “Saddened to learn #President and the #FirstLady of the #US tested positive. Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be fine,” [Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying’ Tweet on Friday.]

‘It remains unclear whether that was a personal decision or a directive from above.’

  • ‘His comments were reported widely in English-language media before their deletion.’
  • ‘The State Department in June designated the Global Times as being controlled by the Chinese government, adding it to a list of eight other media enterprises.’

‘China Daily, the country's official English language newspaper and another outlet which the State Department has designated as being under government control, noted in an article that Trump has shirked public health recommendations during the pandemic.’

  • ‘ "The positive test is yet another reminder that the coronavirus continues to spread, even as Trump has tried desperately to suggest it no longer poses a danger." '
  • ' "Since it emerged earlier this year, Trump, the White House and his campaign have played down the threat and refused to abide by basic public health guidelines – including those issued by his own administration ­­­– such as wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing," the article said.’
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China Allows Netizens to Mock Trump

China Allows Netizens to Mock Trump | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

The Washington Post

‘Many people congratulated Trump on “seizing the crown,” reposting a version of the film poster with Trump’s face pasted in.’

‘Within China, state social media-minders allowed an outpouring of mockery of Trump’s diagnosis — a rare level of vitriol against a world leader for Chinese authorities to condone.’

  • ‘China’s censors are usually wary of the domestic parallels of allowing its nationals to publicly wish for a world leader’s downfall, even if on the surface it’s a leader of a hostile nation.’
  • ‘But many of the old rules no longer apply.’

‘The reports of Trump contracting coronavirus riveted the Chinese public during one of the country’s main holiday periods, racking up hundreds of thousands of comments on social media platforms and ranking in the most-searched news.’

  • ‘Many Chinese social media users called Trump’s infection a “National Day gift,” coming amid celebrations of the anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s 1949 ascent to power.’
  • ‘Some posted, darkly: “I hope something happens to him.” ’

‘One popular post spoofed a recently released Chinese film called “Seizing the Crown” (English title: “Leap”) about China’s national female volleyball team — “crown” and “corona” being the same word in Chinese.’

  • ‘Many people congratulated Trump on “seizing the crown,” reposting a version of the film poster with Trump’s face pasted in.’
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China Task Force Report: U.S. Must Take Chinese Communist Party Threat Seriously

China Task Force Report: U.S. Must Take Chinese Communist Party Threat Seriously | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

National Interest

Kevin McCarthy & Michael McCaul | China Task Force, U.S. House of Representatives

‘China seeks to replace the American Dream with the Chinese Dream. The United States cannot afford to underestimate the CCP’s ambitions or accommodate its rise any longer.’

Read the ‘China Task Force Report.’

‘House Republicans on the China Task Force have put forward policies to end America’s dependence on the PRC while protecting Americans’ safety and well-being.’

  • ‘Our comprehensive recommendations mobilize strategic U.S. government action in six areas: ideological competition, supply chains, national security, technology, the economy and energy, and competitiveness.’

 ‘The China Task Force’s blueprint reverses the failed consensus on the CCP and responds to urgent threats to our safety, security, and self-sufficiency.’

  • ‘It makes more than 400 recommendations, including over 170 legislative proposals.’
  • ‘Nearly two-thirds of these proposals are bipartisan, and more than one-third have already passed the House or the Senate.’
  • ‘It is not only the most thorough congressional report on China in history, but is also realistic and achievable.’

‘Without question, we must strengthen our military, and stop both CCP theft and its influence operations here at home.’

  • ‘We begin by giving the Department of Defense the resources it needs to modernize the force and close the capability gap in specific areas, such as research and development.’

‘Beyond strengthening our national-security capabilities, we must also fortify our position on the commanding heights of the economic battlefield.’

  • ‘Our plan doubles research and development funding for artificial intelligence and quantum computing across the federal government over the next two years, and ensures that both international 5G standards and the fabrication of advanced semiconductor chips are led by America.’

‘But just as American companies need to understand the stakes, CCP-affiliated companies need to face consequences.’

  • ‘That is why our plan protects homegrown innovation by imposing sanctions on PRC entities that engage in industrial spying.’

‘But there is perhaps no more urgent strategic undertaking than breaking the CCP’s supply-chain monopoly.’

  • ‘Our plan increases U.S. manufacturing and builds supply-chain resiliency through full expensing on a permanent basis for all U.S. investment and restores domestic-production tax credits.’

‘And while solidifying our domestic strength, we must courageously address moral wrongs.’

  • ‘We have a responsibility to speak clearly about the CCP’s human-rights abuses and those aiding them.’

‘The CCP has launched a coordinated campaign across government and society, exploiting our institutions to eradicate them.’

  • ‘It seeks to replace the American Dream with the Chinese Dream. The United States cannot afford to underestimate the CCP’s ambitions or accommodate its rise any longer.’

‘To secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, we must adopt our own comprehensive and forward-leaning strategy.’

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The U.S. Intelligence Community Is Not Prepared for the China Threat

The U.S. Intelligence Community Is Not Prepared for the China Threat | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

Foreign Affairs

Adam Schiff | Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

‘Our nation’s intelligence agencies are not ready—not by a long shot.’

Read the fullThe China Deep Dive: A Report on the Intelligence Community’s Capabilities and Competencies with Respect to the People’s Republic of China’ from the House Intelligence Committee.

‘The House Intelligence Committee has spent the last two years looking at whether our nation’s intelligence apparatus is properly focused, postured, and resourced to understand the many dimensions of the China threat and preparing to advise policymakers on how to respond.’

‘What we found was unsettling.’

  • ‘Our nation’s intelligence agencies are not ready—not by a long shot.’

‘After 9/11, the United States and its intelligence agencies rapidly reoriented toward a counterterrorism mission to protect the homeland.’

  • ‘Although those moves were both necessary and largely successful, our abilities and resources devoted to other priority missions—such as China—waned.’

‘In the interim, China has transformed itself into a nation potentially capable of supplanting the United States as the leading power in the world.’

  • ‘In tandem with this transformation, Beijing’s increasing control of the domestic information environment and opaque decision-making process has continued to vex U.S. leaders seeking to develop sound and impactful policy toward China.’

‘Absent a significant realignment in resources and organization, the United States will be ill prepared to compete with China on the global stage for decades to come.’

  • ‘Going forward, if we fail to accurately predict and characterize Beijing’s intent, we will continue to struggle to understand how and why the leadership of the CCP makes decisions and fail to respond effectively.’

‘First, our intelligence agencies need to significantly realign resources and personnel to meet the challenge that China poses, quickly and across almost every single agency.’

  • ‘China cannot be viewed just through an Asia-specific lens but instead must be integrated throughout the intelligence enterprise and its functional missions.’ 

‘Second, intelligence agencies must do a better job of adapting to the sheer amount of open-source data available to them about global threats and competitors and to quickly get the resulting intelligence to decision-makers.’

  • ‘Given the increasing pace of global events, driven partly by social media and mobile communications, we need to quickly adapt and modernize.’

‘Third, we need to change how we view the threat from China.’

  • ‘Beijing presents not only a military threat but also economic, technological, health, and counterintelligence threats.’
  • ‘Addressing these dimensions of the challenge will require a significant realignment of the types of individuals and skill sets we recruit, retain, invest in, and grant security clearances to, including through hiring analysts with nontraditional backgrounds in technology and science.’

‘The intelligence community must also continue to prioritize the counterintelligence challenge that China poses.’

  • ‘Beyond the known threat emanating from China’s intelligence services, there are a range of Chinese influence actors and operations, many of which are funded and organized by the CCP’s United Front Work Department.’
  • ‘According to the Department of Defense’s 2019 China Military Power Report, Chinese influence efforts have targeted cultural institutions, state- and municipal-level government offices, media organizations, educational institutions, businesses, think tanks, and policy communities.’
  • ‘The U.S. government must strengthen its ability to categorize, disrupt, and deter such Chinese influence operations occurring on U.S. soil.’  

‘Yet for all the talk in Washington about the need to be “tough on China,” there has been scant action within the U.S. intelligence community—because action, unlike talk, requires hard choices about funding and priorities.’

  • ‘But these are not choices we should shrink from.’ 
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China: An Uneven Recovery

China: An Uneven Recovery | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

CreditSuisse

‘We view the divergence between production and expenditure as the key downside risk to our annual outlook.’

Key Points

  • ‘China has been recovering, but unevenly.’
    • ‘We view the divergence between production and expenditure as the key downside risk to our annual outlook.’
  • ‘We are no longer as concerned about virus relapses causing severe supply-side disruptions.’
  • ‘The recent acceleration in M2 growth is not expected to be inflationary.’
    • ‘CNY has modest appreciation pressure over the next three months.’

‘China: An uneven recovery’

‘China has been recovering, but unevenly.’

  • ‘Production-side indicators have rebounded faster than expenditure-side indicators.’
  • ‘There is also noticeable unevenness within the expenditure side.
  • ‘Infrastructure and real estate sectors have benefited disproportionately from the stimulus (Figure 21).’
  • ‘But private manufacturing, services, and parts of the household sector have lagged due to fragmented credit allocation mechanisms.’

‘We view the divergence between production and expenditure as the key downside risk to our annual outlook.’

  • ‘We anticipate this divergence to wane, starting in Q420 and continuing into 2021.’

‘The marginal impact of the current set of counter-cyclical stimulus in China has peaked though is still positive.’

  • ‘The ~3% of GDP fiscal stimulus has worked as intended.

‘Yet, it also experienced the usual limitations in boosting certain components of domestic demand.’

  • ‘For fixed asset investment (FAI), real estate and infrastructure have recovered to pre-outbreak growth levels, while manufacturing is noticeably lagging, reflecting the chronic difference in credit transmission efficiency among various sectors.’

‘Between now and the end of the year, we do not expect authorities to increase the size of the overall stimulus but will let the current set of stimulus run its course, using up the remaining quota of special purpose bonds.’

  • ‘Towards the beginning of next year, policy priorities will likely shift again towards strategic reform goals as authorities announce the next five-year plan.

‘The recent acceleration in M2 growth is not expected to be inflationary.’

  • ‘We now anticipate annual M2 growth for 2020 to be around 10.4%, a noticeable increase from 8.4% in 2019.’
  • ‘In the near term, due to credit access challenges faced by SMEs and a lack of direct support to financially fragile households, the acceleration in M2 has not translated into a comparable increase in overall domestic demand, thus limiting inflationary pressure.’
  • ‘In the medium term, although we anticipate a modest improvement to credit allocation efficiency, such improvement will also likely facilitate policymakers to slow down money supply growth, thus neutralizing most (if not all) of the inflationary pressure.’
  • ‘In the long term, as long as inflation expectations remain anchored, shifts in money supply growth are not necessarily correlated with future inflations.
    • ‘We expect China to enjoy stable long-term inflation expectation for the foreseeable future.’

‘Our annual outlooks for headline and core inflations are 2.7% and 0.8% respectively.’

  • ‘CNY has modest appreciation pressure over the next three months.’
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Global Reaction to the Presidential Debate - The New York Times

Global Reaction to the Presidential Debate - The New York Times | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

The New York Times

Steven Erlanger | The New York Times

“European leaders must have woken up this morning thinking, ‘The American leadership is over.”

‘The unedifying spectacle of Tuesday night’s presidential debate produced some shock, some sadness and some weariness among American allies and rivals alike.’

  • ‘As President Trump bellowed, blustered and shouted down both the moderator, Chris Wallace, and his opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’
  • ‘And as Mr. Biden responded by calling Mr. Trump a “clown,” many wondered if the chaos and tenor of the event said something more fundamental about the state of American democracy.’

 

‘ “Of course, the ultimate arbiter will be the American voter,” said Ulrich Speck, an analyst with the German Marshall Fund in Berlin.’

  • ‘ “But there is a consensus in Europe that this is getting out of hand, and this debate is an indicator of the bad shape of the American democracy.” ’
  • ‘There was always a sense among allies that in America, despite political disagreement, “there is one republic, and conflict will be solved by debate and compromise,” and “that power was married to some kind of morality,” Mr. Speck said.’
  • ‘But that view is now being questioned, he said.’

‘Many, if not most, European analysts blamed Mr. Trump for the mess.’

  • ‘ “The debate was a joke, a low point, a shame for the country,” Markus Feldenkirchen of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel posted on Twitter.’
  • ‘ “Roaring, insults, two over-70s who interrupt each other like 5-year-olds — and a moderator who loses all control. The trigger, of course: Trump’s uncouth, undignified behavior.” ’

‘John Sawers, a former British diplomat and head of a risk analysis firm, said simply:’

  • ‘ “My own response is that it makes me despondent about America. The country we have looked to for leadership has descended into an ugly brawl.” ’

‘Jeremy Shapiro, a former American diplomat who is now research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that foreigners would probably view the debate “as another sign of the degradation of American democracy,” as some Americans do.’

  • ‘The debate will not change foreign opinions of Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden, he said, but underneath the spectacle is something more troubling.’

‘Both allies and rivals “see Trump and the political culture that created him heralding the decline of American democracy and American culture,” Mr. Shapiro said.’

  • ‘That judgment, he added, is “only heightened by the coronavirus response, not just American absence in global leadership but the striking incompetence in dealing with it at home.” ’

‘The coarseness of the debate will resonate abroad, Mr. Shapiro said. “Biden on that stage calling the president of the United States a clown and a liar is not something Biden would have done four years ago under any circumstances,” he said.’

  • ‘ “That he felt he has to do it is a sign to outsiders that American culture is in a cycle of decline.” ’

‘Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute of International Relations, said that the debate strengthened the impression “that the United States has retreated from the global stage and withdrawn into itself.” ’

  • ‘Mr. Trump, he said, “has explicitly walked away from the position of a global leader, and Joe Biden may be implicitly doing so, too.” ’
  • ‘Mr. Gomart said the debate showed the deep partisanship of today’s America, even in the face of the pandemic. “Those two men are from the same generation, from the same world,” he said. “And yet they are the two faces of a deeply polarized society.” ’

‘That view was shared by Nicole Bacharan, a French-American historian and political analyst who lives in France. She said she was “dismayed,” by what she saw in the debate, adding: “It sent a depressing image of the United States, of the American democracy and its role in the world.” ’

  • ‘The events seem bound to heighten European anxieties, Ms. Bacharan said. “European leaders must have woken up this morning thinking, ‘The American leadership is over, and for a while, even if Biden is elected and tried to rebuild what Trump has destroyed,’” she said.’
  • ‘The damage that has been done to trans-Atlantic relations will at best take years to repair, she added.’
  • ‘ “The truth is, the European leaders feel alone because they know that what Trump has dismantled cannot be rebuilt so quickly and so easily,” she said.’
  • ‘ “As for the others, Putin, Bolsonaro, Erdogan, they must be telling themselves what we already knew: They can do everything, because the U.S. isn’t a leader anymore.” ’
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China and other opponents of democracy are the big winners in the Trump-Biden debate chaos

CNN

‘But while Beijing would rather not be a topic at all in the United States election, the debate as a whole will have raised spirits in the Chinese capital.’

‘In an ugly, cantankerous presidential debate, one of the few things Donald Trump and Joe Biden agreed upon was China.’

‘For decades, Beijing has criticized US-style democracy, holding up (very real) flaws in the American system as vindication for Chinese authoritarianism.’

  • ‘Anyone advancing reform or liberalization in China is forced to answer for every failure in the US, and made to justify why that will be better than the Chinese system, which may not offer much in terms of representation, but at least provides stability and economic growth.’
  • ‘On Tuesday, Trump helped to bolster that view, and in turn, further erode global confidence in US-style democracy.’

‘For decades, the US has actively advanced its model of democracy around the world, be it through soft-power, concerted civilian-led initiatives or raw military strength.’

  • ‘Part of the justification for apparent US hegemony is based upon the idea of American democracy, that the US is a superpower unlike the British or Soviet empires because it is representative and its elections are free and fair.’
  • ‘While the record shows plenty of gaps between Washington's supposed values and how US leadership plays out in reality, the existence of a democracy as the world's strongest power did give some credence to the system in general, much to the chagrin of authoritarians in Beijing and elsewhere.’
  • ‘Trump, however, has been a gift for such critics of democracy.’

‘In 2016, following a debate between Trump and then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, mused "no matter who wins, US presidential election reveals 'ill' democracy." ’

  • ‘It was hard to watch Tuesday's debate and think anything has progressed in four years.’

‘Chinese state media coverage noted the ugly tone, with China Daily saying "the debate seemed to reveal a genuine dislike between the two men, with no pretense of decorum."

  • ‘Reacting to the debate, Hu Xijin, editor of the nationalist state-backed tabloid Global Times, wrote that "such a chaos at the top of US politics reflects division, anxiety of US society and the accelerating loss of advantages of the US political system." ’
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A Victory for America's Enemies

A Victory for America's Enemies | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

Financial Times

‘Hence in a year of lethal contagion, of state violence and economic carnage, none of these troubles is quite the largest issue at stake in November.’

  • ‘That is America’s democratic process

‘The worst presidential debate in memory was also the most ominous.’

  • ‘No one will have savoured it more than the nation’s autocratic enemies.’
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Chaotic Trump-Biden debate shows 'recession of US influence, national power' - Global Times

Global Times 

The Global Times is a daily newspaper under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper,

"After watching the worst debate I have ever seen, I feel sorry for American people."

‘The first US presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat candidate Joe Biden that finished on Wednesday just showed the world a divided and chaotic US that is no longer an attractive superpower in terms of politics and soft power.’

  • ‘And the embarrassing debate full of interruptions and pointless personal attacks largely reflects the recession of US national power, said Chinese analysts.’  

‘The key words showed on most US and other countries' mainstream media outlets, as well as comments on social media outlets, about the debate include:’

  • ‘embarrassment, disgrace, awful, mess and chaos.’ 

‘Many Chinese netizens also commented on social media networks that the debate is more like a "low quality talk show." ’

  • ‘ "After watching the worst debate I have ever seen, I feel sorry for American people," said one Chinese web user on Weibo.’
  • ‘And another commented on guancha.cn, a Chinese news website "Is there anyone still praising the 'charm' of the US political system?" ’    
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Analysis: China and other opponents of democracy are the big winners in the Trump-Biden debate chaos 

The Armenian Reporter

‘On Tuesday, Trump helped to bolster that view, and in turn, further erode global confidence in US-style democracy.’

‘For decades, the US has actively advanced its model of democracy around the world, be it through soft-power, concerted civilian-led initiatives or raw military strength.’

  • ‘Part of the justification for apparent US hegemony is based upon the idea of American democracy, that the US is a superpower unlike the British or Soviet empires because it is representative and its elections are free and fair.’

‘While the record shows plenty of gaps between Washington’s supposed values and how US leadership plays out in reality, the existence of a democracy as the world’s strongest power did give some credence to the system in general, much to the chagrin of authoritarians in Beijing and elsewhere.’

‘For decades, Beijing has criticized US-style democracy, holding up (very real) flaws in the American system as vindication for Chinese authoritarianism.’

  • ‘Anyone advancing reform or liberalization in China is forced to answer for every failure in the US, and made to justify why that will be better than the Chinese system, which may not offer much in terms of representation, but at least provides stability and economic growth.’

‘On Tuesday, Trump helped to bolster that view, and in turn, further erode global confidence in US-style democracy.’

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Commentary: No matter who wins, US presidential election reveals ‘ill’ democracy - People's Daily 

People’s Daily

Yuan Peng | China Institute of Contemporary International Relations

'It certainly will not be viewed as a victory of democracy.'

'As the U.S. presidential election draws near, it has become evident that – no matter who wins – history will deem this election the most dark, chaotic and negative one in the past two centuries.'

  • 'It certainly will not be viewed as a victory of democracy.'

'To begin with, the two main candidates have smeared each other in the most despicable and uncivilized ways during their many campaign speeches, causing some U.S. citizens to turn away in disgust.'

  • 'The campaign has undeniably revealed the dark side of so-called democracy in the U.S.'

'Extremity and separation prevail in U.S. politics today.

  • 'Partisan standoffs and interdepartmental confrontations are taking place all over the country, dragging down political efficiency and disappointing the public.'
  • 'Even many U.S. political scholars are concerned about the future of American democracy.'

_____________________________________

 

Here’s the punchline: This was written in 2016 about the Trump/Clinton campaign.

  • Standby to see how the official Chinese media makes use of the Trump/Biden ‘debate’ to illustrate the ills of U.S. democracy and the superiority of the Chinese system.
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• Chart: China’s Gigantic Agricultural Production 

• Chart: China’s Gigantic Agricultural Production  | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

This chart shows China's projected share of the global production of selected crops in the 2020/21 season.

 

Statista

China is the biggest producer in the world of:

  • peanuts (37%),
  • rice (29%)
  • wheat (19%)

And, the second-biggest producer of corn (22%) behind the United States and of cotton (23%) behind India.

China also produces:

  • almost three quarters of the world’s grapefruits, pears and tangerines
  • 69% of the global supply of peaches and nectarines, 54% of all apples and 46% of all table grapes.
  • the second-most rapeseeds in the world (19%) behind Canada.
  • 47% of the world’s walnuts.

But only 5% of the world’s soy total (the U.S., Brazil and Argentina are much bigger producers).

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China Macro Reporter Archive

Greetings!

 

In today’s issue:

  1. A Tale of Two Chinese Economies
  2. Why China’s Economic Recovery is So Uneven
  3. What Would Happen If the U.S. Recognized Taiwan
  4. Thunder Out Congress
  5. Apple in China

 

This issue is devoted to correctives to:

  • The idea that China’s economy is making a sustainable recovery. China in fact is still juicing with infrastructure spending and debt.
  • The feeling that China and the U.S. won’t go to war over Taiwan. They certainly might, and it’s a lot more likely than you thank.
  • The impression that to understand U.S. policy toward China, you just have to watch the administration. You have to watch Congress too.
  • The assertions about size the U.S. trade deficit with China, with Apple as the example. Bad trade accounting, bad trade policy.

 

A Tale of Two Chinese Economies

Relying on analysis from Kevin Rudd and Dan Rosen and their ‘China Dashboard, the WSJ Editorial Board concludes:

  • ‘Investors around the world appear to be taking comfort in the revival of China’s economy, but the question has to be which Chinese economy they’re watching.’
  • ‘There are two, and Beijing is subsidizing growth in the wrong one.’
  • ‘Look beyond encouraging data such as the second quarter’s above-3% GDP growth, and what’s reviving is the export-and-government-driven manufacturing economy.’

 

There are a few points in the editorial with which I disagree (and feel don’t accurately represent the findings of the ‘China Dashboard’).

  • Still an important corrective to the exuberance in some corners.

 

Why China’s Economic Recovery is So Uneven

‘The China Dashboard’ put out quarterly by the Asia Society Policy Center and the Rhodium Group is one of best and most useful analyses of China economy.

  • And while it’s one you should definitely have bookmarked, it doesn’t get a lot media coverage.

 

Now Kevin Rudd and Dan Rosen, respective heads of the organizations just above, have published their findings in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Bottom lines:

  • ‘China’s growth spurt isn’t the beginning of a robust recovery but an uneven bounce fueled by infrastructure construction.’
  • China is backsliding badly on its promised economic reforms – and will pay a price.

 

What Would Happen If the U.S. Recognized Taiwan

'In relations between Beijing and Washington, at their lowest point in decades, an increasingly dangerous flashpoint is Taiwan,' writes Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

The Trump administration has been stepping up U.S. relations with Taiwan, with more to come.

  • ‘Taken together, such actions could convince President Xi that the time has come for more cross-strait military action.’

 

‘And there will be a temptation for whoever wins in November to move closer to Taiwan, and even consider formally recognizing Taipei.’

  • ‘This would have an explosive effect on the U.S.-China relationship and could trigger a full-scale Chinese invasion of the island.’

 

What I find most interesting here is that someone as serious as Admiral Stavridis is bringing up the question at all.

  • I certainly haven’t seen any indications that the U.S. is considering recognizing Taiwan.
  • Abandon the policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ about whether or not the would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion in a favor of ‘strategic clarity,’ yes. Recognition, not

Leading me to wonder just why the admiral is especially concerned now.

·      And what he might know that we don’t

Thunder Out Congress

Regular readers know that I have often recommended watching Congress as well as the administration to understand the direction of U.S. policy toward China.

  • Although not many China-related bills have been passed, those introduced indicate the trajectory of attitudes toward and remedies for perceived China problems.

Scott Kennedy of CSIS has made an excellent analysis of what’s been happening in Congress – backed by the numbers. A couple of interesting points:

  • The concern is bipartisan – both Republicans and Democrats have introduced a similar number of bills. Somewhat more from the Republicans.
  • Of those introduced, only 12 have become law, but an important 12.

 

Apple in China

The USC U.S.-China Institute has produced a handy infographic about Apple and China. And the most important point (an understanding of which probably would avoided the trade war:

  • ‘For the US$451 experts estimate it costs to make a new iPhone, only US$14 stays in China’

 

Bad trade accounting, bad trade policy.

Go deeper into these issues - Browse the posts below.

To read the original article, click the title.

Let me know what you think. And please forward the China Macro Reporter to your friends and colleagues.

All the best,

Malcolm 

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A Tale of Two Chinese Economies

A Tale of Two Chinese Economies | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

The Wall Street Journal

The Editorial Board

‘Investors around the world appear to be taking comfort in the revival of China’s economy, but the question has to be which Chinese economy they’re watching.’

  • ‘There are two, and Beijing is subsidizing growth in the wrong one.’

‘Look beyond encouraging data such as the second quarter’s above-3% GDP growth, and what’s reviving is the export-and-government-driven manufacturing economy.’

  • ‘As of August, manufacturing investment is positive again and this is driving industrial production and exports.’

‘But the Chinese economy comprised of household consumers—ordinary Chinese people—is stuck in the doldrums.’

  • ‘The unemployment rate is falling, to 5.6% in August. But this measures only some urban workers, and the true level of unemployment and underemployment almost certainly is much higher.’
  • ‘The best reason for optimism is that consumer spending perked up in August. This was mostly concentrated in luxury goods, however—and in China stockpiling jewelry and handbags constitutes a form of saving.’

‘The explanation for this divergence is straightforward, as Kevin Rudd and Daniel Rosen explained recently in these pages [see the posts below].’

  • ‘President Xi Jinping still talks a good game about economic reform, but he has all but abandoned many of the overhauls his predecessors attempted.’
  • ‘In the broadest terms, China no longer seeks to attract a wide variety of foreign investment as a path toward higher productivity and more economic opportunities.’

‘Instead, since the 2008 financial panic and especially since Mr. Xi took power in 2012, Beijing has relied on debt-fueled stimulus of manufacturers and local governments to avert recessions.’

  • ‘The trend is pronounced in the months since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.’

‘The main difference between today and a decade ago is the way Beijing is financing this binge.’

  • ‘Then policy makers leaned heavily on state-owned banks to supply credit, including to local governments.’
  • ‘Now the government is issuing bonds directly.’
  • ‘This may be somewhat better for financial stability, but it doesn’t make capital spending undertaken with borrowed funds any more productive.’

‘The consequences are less clear-cut but they matter immensely.

  • The true state of health of China’s economy will have serious economic and political implications.’

‘On the economics, it matters that the world’s second-largest economy isn’t playing its part to support the global recovery from the virus.’

  • ‘Its 1.4 billion worker-consumers should be powering a global rebound. Instead Beijing is depending on the rest of the world to continue absorbing Chinese exports.’
  • ‘Expect this to stoke more hostility to trade across the West.’

‘The political significance of Mr. Xi’s economic mercantilism is harder to predict.’

  • ‘China’s lingering unemployment crisis and household saving behavior suggests ordinary Chinese are skeptical of the current recovery.’

‘Mr. Xi’s authoritarian turn might free him from some concerns about that sentiment spilling into open opposition to his rule.’

  • ‘But it’s notable that the Communist Party is going to such great lengths to persuade Chinese that its economic model is working.’
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The China Dashboard Summer 2020 

The China Dashboard Summer 2020  | ANALYSIS | Scoop.it

Asia Society Policy Institute & Rhodium Group

‘ “The China Dashboard: Tracking China’s Economic Reform Program” delivers a series of data visualizations tracking China’s progress toward its self-defined reform objectives in 10 essential economic policy clusters.’

A terrific resource published four times a year – great graphs and commentary.

Here's the latest.

  • And read the entire report here.

‘The China Dashboard: Tracking China’s Economic Reform Program, a joint project of the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Rhodium Group, delivers a series of data visualizations tracking China’s progress toward its self-defined reform objectives in 10 essential economic policy clusters.’

‘The Dashboard was born in the hope that China would prioritize convergence with liberal economic norms, and when it did so, that would be observed abroad in a timely manner so that an international consensus about mutual interdependence could be achieved.’

  • ‘At a time of profound systemic dilemmas around the world, our indicators do present a conclusion, and it is consistent with China’s own policy pronouncements: China has not implemented reform in recent years and under the flag of COVID-19 is further deferring market liberalization even while talking about the importance of market allocation efficiency.’

‘This reality is driving the systemic rivalry with market democracies and will likely do so for some years to come regardless of electoral outcomes in any given nation.’

 
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