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Chief Economist: China’s Housing Market Will Always Go Up Unless Supply and Demand Are Balanced

On April 15, Chen Dongqi, Chief Expert and former Vice President of the Macroeconomic Research Institute which is under the National Development and Reform Commission spoke at the 2017 Top Chinese Economists Forum. Chen said that the imbalance between the supply of and demand for land and money is the root cause of housing prices being pushed up.

Chen said, “If you do not solve the supply and demand issue, prices for housing will continue to go up. Of course, they will not go up every day, every month, or even every year, but overall they will steadily go up … stabilizing for some time and then rising again.”

Chen implied that the local government should increase the supply of land to balance the demand for housing. Regarding the supply and demand for money, he said that the money supply has increased by a wide margin since the beginning of the century. Most of the money has gone to the construction business including the housing market.

Chen also dismissed the idea of introducing a real estate property tax to curb the price of housing. He believes that, before the institutional mechanism of the real estate market improves fundamentally, tax increases may lead to a new boost in the price of housing.

Source: Caixin, April 16, 2017
http://economy.caixin.com/2017-04-16/101079053.html

Shen Zhihua: North Korea Has Changed from an Ally to China’s Potential Enemy

On March 19, China’s famous Korean War historian Shen Zhihua gave a lecture at the Dalian Foreign Language University. Shen expressed in the lecture that China has screwed up its North Korean policy. He believes that North Korea is China’s potential enemy.

Shen Zhihua recommended that China should abandon the soured brotherhood myth (with North Korea), give up its support for North Korea, and turn to South Korea.

He believes that, judging from the current situation, North Korea is China’s potential enemy, whereas South Korea may be China’s friend. He also said that China and North Korea are not comrades anymore. Sino-Korean relations cannot be improved in the short term.

Shen stressed that intimate Sino-Korean relations are the product of the Cold War. After several decades of confrontation and the change in the international environment, this relationship has changed. Once the Korean Peninsula war breaks out because of the DPRK nuclear issue, China and South Korea will eventually bear the greatest consequences, although the United States and the DPRK are the responsible parties.

Shen Zhihua’s view sparked the anger of Chinese super-nationalists who accused him of betraying China’s ally with his attitude toward Pyongyang. China’s national news media did not cover his views and the related debates.

Shen said that, so far, his views have been tolerated, indicating that the government may be willing to tolerate greater criticism of North Korea, as well as a debate on Sino-DPRK relations. However, Shen Zhihua also admitted that a change in direction toward the DPRK may harbor risk.

It is noteworthy that, despite China’s implementation of the United Nations sanctions against the DPRK, China’s imports from North Korea in the first quarter increased by 10.8 percent year on year. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press conference that, although China will adhere to the sanctions resolution, outside of the sanctions framework, China also maintains a “normal relationship” with North Korea.

Source: Duowei News, April 19, 2017
http://global.dwnews.com/news/2017-04-19/59811385.html

Local Chinese Mined the World’s Oldest Fossils and Sold Them as Phosphate Fertilizers

Guizhou Weng’an County’s phosphate mining area of the Ediacaran stratigraphy, which was discovered 19 years ago, has been found to have the world’s oldest paleontological fossils (about 106 million years old). In recent years, however, large-scale mining activities have been developing the area. As a result, the fossils have been sold as phosphate fertilizer. The scientists from many countries in the world were stunned; they stood up and issued the most serious warnings (about such mining).

“Weng’an Biota not only belongs to Weng’an; it also belongs to China and to all of mankind. The whole world’s attention is on it. The action is irreversible and the fossils are an irreplaceable and precious natural heritage. The outcome should not just be a few bags of phosphate fertilizer.” Top archaeological and paleontology scholars from China, the United States, Britain, and other countries recently gathered at the Beidou Mountain phosphate mining site in Weng’an County and appealed to the Chinese authorities.

Zhu Maoyan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology, said, “Last November we already found the problem very serious. We located three sites still having research value as retention sites, but when we had an onsite inspection on April 1, one of the sites had already disappeared. It’s completely gone.”

Source: Kwong Wah Daily, April 11, 2017
http://www.kwongwah.com.my/?p=301673

Duowei: Chinese Arms Sales in Thailand Harbor Beijing’s Geo-Strategy

As an important neighbor of China, Thailand has purchased a variety of weapons and equipment from China, including the S-26 conventional submarine, VN-1 eight armored combat vehicles, Kashi-1C air defense missiles, guards-1B long-range rockets and more. On April 4, Thailand decided to purchase 10 more China VT-4 main battle tanks. It is less than a year since the last time Thailand bought China’s main battle tanks. In fact, not long ago, Bangkok, to a large extent, still chose to buy defense equipment from the United States and its Western allies.

China’s arms sales to this U.S. ally, Thailand, is intended to convey its strategic intentions to the United States: It is important for China to maintain the stability of the surrounding areas, including the stability of the South China Sea. China’s arms sales to Thailand cannot fundamentally change America’s Asia-Pacific policy, but such sales can be used as a means to show China’s attitude towards U.S. Asia-Pacific policy. Its political significance is far greater than its economic and military significance.

China’s military exchanges with Thailand, as well as with other countries and regions at different levels also show the outside world that China has the intention to bear more responsibility to maintain regional security.

The China-Philippines Scarborough Shoal incident, the Sino-Japanese Diaoyu Islands conflict, the China and South Korea “THAAD” dispute, and the Sino-U.S. “freedom of navigation” incident in the South China Sea all have made China’s peripheral security situation deteriorate. The United States’ shadow in these events was everywhere. In the military field, although China has made progress, the gap between the two countries is still very big. In order to encourage the United States to accept China’s rise, it is not enough to stay at the level of being firm strategically. Perhaps more and more intensive arms trades will show that China’s desire to play a more leading role in regional security is not only at the stage of having the idea, but has been put into action.

Source: Duowei, April 5, 2017
http://global.dwnews.com/news/2017-04-05/59808944.html

China’s Bottom Line on North Korea Nuclear Issue: The Security and Stability of Northeast China

In a commentary on North Korea’s nuclear crisis, Global Times, a newspaper under People’s Daily, published an article giving China’s bottom line if the U.S. chooses to challenge the North Korean regime unilaterally. The article stated:

“If the U.S. wants to solve North Korea’s nuclear issue, it is necessary to reduce the differences among the peripheral countries and form some key consensus. At the same time, it must also open up channels of communication with Pyongyang and leave some open space to allow the pressure on North Korea to take effect.”

“China hopes that the North Korean nuclear issue gets resolved as soon as possible. However, no matter what happens, China has a bottom line. China will protect China’s Northeast territory at all costs for its safety and stability. Related to this, North Korea’s nuclear activities must not cause any pollution in Northeast China. In addition, North Korea cannot go through the kind of turmoil that will produce a massive output of refugees. On the other side of the Yalu River, it cannot have a regime hostile to China. The U.S. military cannot march to the Yalu River.”

“If Washington wants to strengthen cooperation with Beijing to solve the North Korea nuclear issue, its policy should not be against China’s above concerns.”

Source: Global Times, April 5, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-04/10425899.html

People’s Daily on Japan’s Intention to Deploy “THAAD”

A Japanese news agency reported that, on March 30, the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Japanese government purchase the United States “THAAD” anti-missile system. People’s Daily published an article asking, “Korea’s ‘THAAD’ dispute has not yet cooled down. Now Japan is immediately following in Korea’s footstep. What is Japan up to?”

The article commented that Japan already had the intention a long time ago. As early as the end of 2016, the Japanese Ministry of Defense set up a Committee to hear testimony as to whether to import the U.S. military equipment for the “THAAD” anti-missile system. In January this year, Japanese Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada went to the United States Anderson Air Force Base in Guam to inspect the U.S. military’s “THAAD” system. He said Japan would finalize the blueprint for missile defense by the summer of 2017.

In an interview with the newspaper, Zhou Yongsheng, Professor at the International Relations Institute of China Foreign Affairs University, said, “North Korea’s missile threat to Japan is not so urgent. Japan claims that it is to prevent the DPRK’s ballistic missile threat, but defense is only a small part of the anti-missile system. Once the system is completed, it will greatly help Japan to achieve its strategic goal of amending its constitution, finalizing a complete military system, and becoming a military power.”

Zhou also said, “The deployment of ‘THAAD’ is also one of the means by which Japan will move closer to the United States. Arms trade is an important step for the United States to develop its strength. Japan’s purchase of the ‘THAAD’ anti-missile system is to enhance the relationship with the Trump administration and with U.S. arms manufacturers. It has also made the deployment of the U.S. global anti – missile system more complete.”

Source: People’s Daily, April 3, 2017
http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0403/c1002-29186738.html

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