The Deputy Director of the Expert Committee of the China Association of International Trade wrote an opinion article that People’s Daily then published. The article asserted that the statement that “China steals U.S. technology” is a total lie that the U.S. made up. It stated that the lie has risen to the level of “economic aggression,” which is alarmist. “By distorting the facts, the U.S. has tried to portray the development of China’s science and technology as a ‘threat to the world.’” It further pointed out that the purpose for this U.S. allegation is obvious. It is to “demonize China and fool the world.” The article then listed a number of China’s achievements. They include the following: 1) China has the second largest number of international patent applicants in the world and is expected to surpass the U.S. in three years. 2) China has increased its research funding, which accounted for 2.12 percent of GDP in 2017, up by 11.6 percent compared to 2016. 3) The annual amount of intellectual property fees that China paid has increased year by year. It is ranked the fourth in the world. 4) China has become a technology transfer country whose technology transfer fees were 311.5 percent higher in 2017 compared to 2016. 5) Chinese companies are the advocates and leaders in the advancement of China’s technological development.
The article concluded that China’s technological progress and development momentum comes from its own innovative development system. The scientific and technological interaction between China and the rest of the world is benign and mutually reinforcing. It is pure nonsense to accuse China of stealing American technology.
Source: People’s Daily, July 18, 2018
Huanqiu reported that the PLA will conduct large scale military exercises in the East China Sea from 8:00 a.m. on July 18 to 6:00 p.m. on July 23 lasting about six days. Eighteen days ago, the Ministry of Defense made an advance announcement about the exercises. One military expert told Huanqiu that “the military exercises are live exercises that are tailored to the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.” The article claimed that these are routine military exercises that have been conducted in the same region every year. An expert who asked for anonymity told Huanqiu on the 17th that, based on an analysis of the published information, the exercises are expected to be high level military exercises because they will last for six days, cover a large region, and involve different types of military forces and weapons. Since the Navy is leading them, generally speaking, all three major fleets will have their troops participate. This will include the navy, marines, air force, rocket army, and the support forces.
Source: Huanqiu, July 17, 2018
Xinhua reported that, on July 16, the spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission spoke at a press conference. He stated that the latest economic index for the first six months of 2018 suggests that China’s economy has been generally stable and the economic structure continues to be optimized and is improving. China’s fiscal deficit rate and government debt ratio are low, commercial banks’ capital adequacy ratios and provision coverage ratios are relatively high, and the corporate debt ratio is tending to decline. There is plenty of room for macroeconomic regulations and policies to be applied. He claimed that China will continue to adhere to the general tone of steady progress, maintain strategic strength, enhance the flexibility of macroeconomic policies, and strengthen coordination between policies to ensure the stability of macroeconomic fundamentals. As to the economic outlook for the second half of the year, the spokesperson stated that China needs to shift its development, structure, and economic transformation from over relying on foreign investments and exports to increasing its domestic spending and services. According to the spokesperson, “With the great resilience of the Chinese economy and the certainty of sustained and healthy development, we have the confidence, conditions, and sufficient ability to be effective in responding to the uncertainties of the world economy and to ensure the achievement of the goals and tasks that were set forth at the beginning of the year.”
Source: Xinhua, July 17, 2018
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce recently posted a notice on its official site regarding the news that, according to data from the General Administration of Customs, China’s June trade surplus with the U.S. reached US$28.97 billion, which is the highest level since the year 1999. The total exports to the U.S. in June amounted to US$42.62 billion, which is a new record. Overall Chinese June exports saw an 11.3 percent increase, while imports increased by 14.1 percent – both were lower than the same numbers in May. China’s overall June trade surplus was at US$41.61 billion. Experts expressed their belief that the record-setting numbers with the U.S. showed a healthy U.S. economy with strong growth as well as a slightly weakening Chinese economy. Some also thought China’s domestic spending was weak due to its lack of investments. Also, in June, China had a trade surplus of US$16.25 billion with the European Union, a trade deficit of US$2.89 billion with Japan, and a trade surplus of US$4.22 billion with Russia. In the first half of 2018, China had an overall global trade surplus of US$135.4 billion.
Source: The Chinese Ministry of Commerce Official Site, July 13, 2018
Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that the primary “weapon” China deployed in the trade war with the U.S. was China’s soybean tariff. China is the largest U.S. soybean buyer and the “punishment” was designed to have a negative effect on U.S. farmers, who mostly supported Trump in the last election. However, the significantly lowered price of U.S. soybean futures triggered a wave of non-Chinese buyers who even hoarded in volume. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, major U.S. soybean importers generated a year-over-year purchase increase of 27 percent for July-to-September U.S. soybean futures. These buyers include Mexico, Pakistan, and Thailand. Even Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of soybeans, is planning to buy more U.S. soybeans for domestic use and export Brazilian soybeans to China at a much higher price. Argentina, as the third largest soybean exporter, increased its purchase of U.S. soybeans due to domestic weather conditions.
Source: LTN, July 12, 2018
Major Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily recently reported that a number of real estate management companies in Beijing received orders from public safety authorities to remove all publicly displayed Xi Jinping posters and other materials that have his picture printed on them. The background of this move was a recent incident in Shanghai. A woman poured ink on such posters and then the method spread. It was rumored that the order for removing the posters came from Xi himself. At the current economic crossroads when China is facing a trade war with the U.S., in addition to this latest poster removal order, multiple unusual things have occurred recently such as an increased number of reports on Premier Li Keqiang. A project to study the years Xi Jinping spent in a county named Liang Jia He was called off. Another noticeable fact was that, on the front page of the July 9th People’s Daily newspaper, no mention was made of Xi Jinping’s name in any of the headlines. This was the first time in five years.
Source: Apple Daily, July 13, 2018