For China’s technology sector, the decision of the United States to hit Shenzhen-based telecommunications giant ZTE with a trade ban in April was an abrupt and painful wake-up call. Until then, many in China had grown accustomed to thinking of their country as a global leader in technology. After all, China’s smartphones, high-speed railways and e-commerce platforms were the envy of the world. But in the days following the ban, designed to punish ZTE for violating US sanctions on Iran and North Korea, it became clear that one of China’s most successful companies was totally dependent on American suppliers.
China’s huge current account surplus was once the symbol of its status as the “factory of the world.” But in recent years, that surplus has been shrinking. Last year, it sank to 1.3% of GDP. The half-year deficit announced in August was the first in more than 20 years. Some economists predict China could soon be running a current account deficit. If that happens, it will be a watershed moment with implications for all manner of issues, from the policies Beijing is able to pursue to the status of the RMB as a global currency and maybe even the way the US finances its debt.
As Donald Trump signed the memorandum proposing the introduction of tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports on March 22, 2018, the president of the United States quipped, “This is the first of many.” He didn’t go back on his words. No one seems to be a winner, but the trade war goes on and the entire world is paying close attention. Although both sides express willingness to have talks, can the trade war be stopped? What’s the future for US-China relations?
Fulfilling his campaign promise, US President Donald Trump took the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). With that failure, the spotlight has now fallen on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed trade deal among 16 countries in the Asia Pacific region which is widely seen as a Chinese initiative and a way of pushing back against US influence in Asia. However, compared to TCC, the RCEP has a much narrower scope and labor, environment, IP, competition policy, issues screaming for attention will not be significantly discussed. Meanwhile, TPP is not completely down without the US: Strong incentives for the TPP or a “TPP-lite” will remain.
The week that was: China is set to overtake the US as the world’s largest trader; firms delay listing during IPO thaw; Wozniak endorses China’s Steve Jobs; and Beijing’s probe sends Nu Skin shares down. China to be crowned the world’s largest trader Data released by China’s customs administration over the last weekend shows that in […]
The week that was: China’s exports do better than expected, local officials get new evaluation criteria, and e-commerce giant Alibaba invests in white goods major Haier. Export and retail numbers beat expectations China’s exports in November surprised analysts again—the 12.7% year-on-year increase tops a Reuters’ poll of a 7.1% rise and more than doubles October’s […]
Sir Victor Blank, former British Business Ambassador and Chairman of CKGSB’s European Advisory Board, talks about the significance of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s three-day visit to China to boost UK-China trade relations. British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a clear message during his three-day visit to China last week—UK means business. He brought […]
In 2011 China engaged in multilateral trade across the globe, both spending on imported goods and services, and investing in foreign industries. Topping China’s shopping list were machinery and electrical equipment imports from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Germany, followed by mineral products from Australia, Russia and Indonesia. Five of China’s key import […]
China is crucial for the future of business development of the ASEAN region This was far more than a holiday in Cambodia. From talks of increasing integration to internal squabbles and the rise of ASEAN’s lesser-known members, the 20th ASEAN Summit in April outlined the growing importance of this economic and political cooperative. It also […]