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December 10, 2019

‘Mountain of mistrust’ blocking US-China interim trade deal

A lack of trust between Beijing and Washington is hampering the conclusion of an interim trade deal, with China doubting whether it can rely on any agreement with President Donald Trump and the US unconvinced Beijing will deliver on promised reforms, according to former US government officials.Christopher Hill, former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said that both nations recognised the need to get the “phase one” deal done, but he warned that both had “a…
December 10, 2019

China advisers play down concern over slowing economic growth ahead of key policy meeting

China has sought to play down concern over slowing economic growth and job losses ahead of a key economic policy meeting this week, with government-linked advisers and think tanks suggesting policymakers should focus on domestic restructuring.The Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC), an annual meeting attended by senior Communist Party officials, will set the government’s economic policy priorities for 2020.Specific targets will not be announced until March next year, when the Premier’s…
December 10, 2019

China new bank lending rebounds sharply in November after October’s holiday lull in activity

Chinese new bank lending rose sharply in November, rebounding from a near two-year low in October that was due in part to the effects of a week-long holiday on bank activity.Chinese banks extended 1.39 billion yuan (US$197.46 billion) in new yuan-denominated loans in November, double the 661.3 billion yuan (US$94 billion) in new loans in October, which was the weakest reading since December 2017, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China on Tuesday. The gain last month also…
December 10, 2019

China’s car sales sank 5.4 per cent in November marking 17th consecutive monthly decline

China’s car sales sank 5.4 per cent in November from a year earlier, putting the industry’s biggest global market on track to shrink for a second year after a 17th consecutive monthly decline.An industry group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said on Tuesday drivers bought just over 2 million sport utility vehicles, sedans and minivans.Demand has been dented by consumer jitters over cooling Chinese economic growth and a trade war with Washington.Sales for the 11 months…
December 10, 2019

Trade war: deal unlikely this week with US distracted by USMCA, but new tariffs not expected

With US trade officials putting the final touches to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, it is growing increasingly unlikely that a US-China trade deal will be completed this week.POLITICO reported on Monday night that US trade representative Robert Lighthizer would fly to Mexico on Tuesday to finalise the deal, known as the USMCA, meaning time is running out to make a substantive agreement with China, sources on both sides said.“A deal that is implementable must be concrete and detailed…
December 10, 2019

Trade war: China deal unlikely this week with US distracted by USMCA, but new tariffs not expected

With US trade officials putting the final touches to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, it is growing increasingly unlikely that a US-China trade deal will be completed this week.POLITICO reported on Monday night that US trade representative Robert Lighthizer would fly to Mexico on Tuesday to finalise the deal, known as the USMCA, meaning time is running out to make a substantive agreement with China, sources on both sides said.“A deal that is implementable must be concrete and detailed…
December 10, 2019

China’s pork price jumps 110 per cent, sending consumer inflation rocketing to eight-year high

A 110.2 per cent increase in the price of pork from a year earlier led to a further rise in China’s consumer prices in November, as African swine fever continued to take a toll on the country’s pig population, data released on Tuesday showed.The consumer price index (CPI) rose to 4.5 per cent from a year earlier, up from a 3.8 per cent gain in October, the highest reading since reaching the same level in January 2012, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.China’s consumer prices have…
December 9, 2019

China’s pig numbers rise but supplies still tight before Lunar New Year holiday, agriculture ministry says

China’s pig herd increased by 2 per cent in November compared with the previous month, the agriculture ministry said on Monday, the first increase in a year.Sow stocks were up 4 per cent on October, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on its website, the second consecutive month of a rise in the breeding herd inventory.The closely watched data comes after an epidemic of African swine fever devastated the world’s top hog herd, reducing it by 41 per cent year on year by October…
December 9, 2019

Hong Kong dollar peg: why the city’s linked exchange system is an important buffer against financial crisis

This is the first article in a three-part series looking at the outlook for Hong Kong's dollar peg system under the city’s current political uncertainty.Hong Kong’s dollar peg has been thrust into the spotlight as a result of six months of anti-government protests that have roiled the semi-autonomous city. The protests, which were sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill but morphed into wider calls for democratic freedoms and an investigation of alleged police brutality, have taken a sharp…
December 9, 2019

China hopes trade war deal will come ‘as soon as possible’, vows once again to reform economy

As the clock ticks towards December 15, when additional tariffs from both the United States and China would be applied to each other’s exports, Beijing has said it hopes that a trade war deal will be reached “as soon as possible”.Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce, said at a press conference in Beijing on Monday that “China hopes the negotiations can keep moving forward based on the principles of equality and mutual respect and reach a result that could satisfy all parties as soon as…
December 9, 2019

China combines three oil pipeline networks into a single operator in much-anticipated merger to improve efficiency in state sector

China has combined the oil pipelines operated by the nation’s three state-owned energy companies into a single network, in a long-anticipated consolidation to improve efficiency and ensure adequate supply.The National Oil and Gas Pipeline Network Group was formally established on Monday in the Chinese capital, according to a notice by state news agency Xinhua.The new group would own 500 billion yuan (US$71 billion) in combined assets, and be responsible for managing a pipeline network that’s…
December 9, 2019

China sets up state-owned national oil, gas pipe company in drive to ‘boost competition’, Xinhua says

China announced on Monday the establishment of a national oil and gas pipeline company in a move intended to boost competition, the official Xinhua News Agency said.The long-awaited state pipeline company aims to provide other investors fair market access to infrastructure that is mainly controlled by China’s three national oil companies, Xinhua said.“The new company will separate [oil and gas] transportation, production and sales, and open [transportation] to third-party entities, which will…
December 8, 2019

China should slash business tax rates if it wants to compete with the United States, study says

China should cut business tax rates to help its manufacturers better compete with foreign firms and offset the impact of the trade war, according to a government-sponsored study.Released on Sunday at the 2019 Sanya Forum in Hainan province, the report by the SEEC Research Institute in Beijing said the government should seek to gradually reduce the corporate income tax rate to 20 per cent from the current 25 per cent, and cut the value added tax rate by a further three points to 10 per cent…
December 8, 2019

The Chinese blacklist that companies pay US$2,500 an hour to avoid

China Railway Construction Corp deployed thousands of workers over four years to build part of a coal-carrying line from Inner Mongolia to Jiangxi province.The project cost about 200 billion yuan (US$28.5 billion) and was heralded by state media last year as an exemplar of “safe production” with no injuries or deaths. Except there were, and China Railway’s project managers were covering them up.Tipsters exposed the conspiracy to local reporters, and a state-run China Railway unit eventually…
December 8, 2019

China’s corporate social credit system blacklist that companies pay US$2,500 an hour to avoid

China Railway Construction Corporation deployed thousands of workers over four years to build part of a coal-carrying line from Inner Mongolia to Jiangxi province.The project cost about 200 billion yuan (US$28.5 billion) and was heralded by state media last year as an exemplar of “safe production” with no injuries or deaths. Except there were, and China Railway’s project managers were covering them up.A tip-off exposed the conspiracy to local reporters, and a state-run China Railway unit…
December 8, 2019

China’s clampdown on illegal meat puts US$2 billion trade at risk

China’s crackdown on illegal meat imports has left India, one of the biggest exporters of buffalo meat, scrambling for a new buyer.Beijing has adopted stricter border controls due to African swine fever, meaning Indian buffalo meat exports into China that usually flow through Vietnam have all but stopped. Indian exporters are now hoping Indonesia can more than triple its meat imports from the South Asian nation to make up for the heavy losses this year.Tighter border controls in China have hurt…
December 8, 2019

China’s clampdown on illegal Indian buffalo meat puts US$2 billion trade at risk

China’s crackdown on illegal meat imports has left India, one of the biggest exporters of buffalo meat, scrambling for a new buyer.Beijing has adopted stricter border controls due to African swine fever, meaning Indian buffalo meat exports into China that usually flow through Vietnam have all but stopped. Indian exporters are now hoping Indonesia can more than triple its meat imports from the South Asian nation to make up for the heavy losses this year.Tighter border controls in China have hurt…
December 8, 2019

China’s exports fell again in November, as trade war pain continues to hit economy

China’s exports fell by 1.1 per cent in November, marking the fourth successive decline, as the pain of the trade war continues to hit the world’s largest trading nation.The export slump was below the expectations of a group of analysts polled by Bloomberg, who had forecast 0.8 per cent growth. This was also worse than last month’s slight 0.9 per cent decline. Imports, meanwhile, grew for the first time since April, increasing by 0.3 per cent last month. This beat the Bloomberg poll which had…
December 8, 2019

China’s exports fall again in November, as trade war continues to bite

China’s exports in November fell 1.1 per cent from a year earlier, marking a fourth successive monthly decline as the pain of the trade war continues to hit the world’s second-largest economy.The dip was below the expectations of a group of analysts polled by Bloomberg, who forecast 0.8 per cent growth, and worse than last month’s 0.9 per cent drop.Imports, meanwhile, grew 0.3 per cent in November – their first monthly increase since April and only the second this year – beating the Bloomberg…
December 7, 2019

Chinese government advisers warn against major stimulus to keep economy on track

China should refrain from using a large stimulus to guarantee a specific growth target in 2020 and proceed with structural reforms to unleash its potential, government advisers said on Saturday.On Saturday, Levin Zhu Yunlai, former chief executive of the China International Capital Corporation, told a financial forum that “short-term problems are not hard to solve”.But he warned: “Any [government] measures would have negative effects.“New problems surface in order to solve old ones. It’s a…