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Miles Yu Refutes Wang Yi’s “Four Questions” Blasting the US

On March 7, 2024, at the press conference of the Second Plenary Session of China’s 14th National People’s Congress, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi raised four questions challenging the United States. On March 9, 2024, Miles Yu, former Chief China Adviser to the U.S. State Department, refuted Wang Yi’s questions point by point.

  • Wang’s Question #1: “If the United States always says one thing and does another, where is the credibility of [its being] a great power?”

Yu: There is credibility because the U.S. follows international norms, while the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is self-absorbed and delusional. The CCP’s credibility has long been lost. It has become isolated internationally, turning into a source of risk and conflict. Domestically, everyone is thinking of escaping out of China or lying flat (not doing work anymore). There is no credibility for the CCP.

  • Wang’s Question #2: “If the United States becomes nervous and anxious at the mention of ‘China,’ where is the confidence of [its being] a great power?”

Yu: The American people, the Chinese people, and the whole world are pleased to hear the word “China,” but they become nervous and anxious when they hear “CCP,” because the CCP is an enemy of freedom. “Why does the CCP become nervous and anxious at the mention of the ‘United States,’ which represents freedom and democracy? Where is the confidence of your glorious party?” Yu countered.

  • Wang’s Question #3: “If the United States only seeks its own prosperity and does not allow other countries to develop legitimately, then where is international justice?”

Yu: The development of the CCP is not legitimate and goes against international justice.

  • Wang’s Question #4: “If the United States insists on monopolizing the high-end of the value chain and only allows China to remain at the low end, then what of fair competition?”

Yu: The CCP uses the mechanism of international fair competition to undermine the principle of fair competition, endangering the global free trade system. Not only is the United States vigilant, but the entire global market economy system is also actively working to prevent the CCP’s anti-market behavior and policies.

Source: Epoch Times, March 9, 2024
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/24/3/9/n14198330.htm

CNA: Chinese Overseas Democracy Activists Hold Conference on Blueprints for Democratic China

Taiwan’s Centra News Agency report that Chinese overseas democracy activists Wei Jingsheng, Wang Dan, Wang Juntao, and others convened the “First Overseas Chinese National Consensus Conference” in Washington, D.C. to discuss blueprints for a democratic China following a future collapse of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The two-day conference on March 2 and 3, and on March 4 the group released a “Declaration of the First National Consensus Conference on China’s Democratic Movement.” The declaration enumerated a 10-point consensus on future democratic processes.

The declaration stated: “At this critical moment, people concerned about China’s democratization should seriously study the Chinese situation and the experiences and lessons of various countries in the world and propose plans and approaches for rebuilding a constitutional political system in China.” The declaration emphasized that “overthrowing the tyranny of the CCP” and “establishing a free, equal, just, and harmonious civil society” must be the first step towards democratic nation-building in China.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), March 5, 2024
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202403050211.aspx

Japanese Government: China’s Distressed Debt Securitization Increased by 46%

According to Nikkei Chinese Edition, the Cabinet Office of Japan has published its semi-annual “World Economic Trends” report. The report pointed out signs of stagnation in China’s economy and warned that they may last – “not only will the economy stagnate in the short term, but there are also concerns about halted growth in the medium-to-long term.”

Based on data from private Chinese databases, the Cabinet Office of Japan annually reports on the amount of securities issuance converted from non-performing loans. In China, loans with delinquent payments over 90 days are considered non-performing. For 2023, such securities issuance amounted to 46.6 Billion Yuan (US$ 6.5 Billion), a 46 percent increase from 2022 (32 Billion Yuan). This increase was significantly higher than in 2021 and 2022; those years saw year-over-year increases of less than 10 percent.

In 2023, half of the security issuance converted from non-performing loans originated from housing loans, amounting to 23.6 Billion Yuan. This figure was 2.5 times higher than the previous year’s metric for converted housing loans.

The Cabinet Office of Japan stated “It is necessary to continue monitoring whether there will arise an excessive transfer of (bad loan) risk onto the financial markets.”

Source: Nikkei, February 29, 2024
https://zh.cn.nikkei.com/china/ceconomy/54956-2024-02-29-09-41-11.html?start=1

Beijing Demands Banks Lend Financial Support to Real Estate Projects

To help the Chinese real estate sector, which is facing a daunting crisis as companies run out of capital to complete construction projects, Beijing recently ordered its banks to provide financial support to a massive list of real estate projects. This is another case of the Chinese Communist Party attempting to control markets via state power.

On January 5th, 2024, China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and its National Administration of Financial Regulation jointly issued a “Notice on Establishment of Coordination Mechanisms for Urban Real Estate Financing.” According to the notice, cities at the prefecture level and above are required to establish “coordination mechanisms” for urban real estate financing “with the team leader being the responsible comrade of the city government who is in charge of housing and urban-rural development.” These coordination mechanisms will present financial institutions with lists of real estate projects eligible for financing support within each given administrative region. Financial institutions are to assess the lists and will fast-track credit/financing approval for projects that are in good shape. For projects facing “temporary difficulties” but whose long-term financial outlooks are balanced, financial institutions are instructed to “provide support through extension of existing loans, adjustment of repayment arrangements, and issuing new loans” rather than “blindly withdrawing, suspending, or pressuring existing loans.”

The Xinhua state news agency published an article on February 18 stating that the National Administration of Financial Regulation “held two special meetings to deploy and implement work related to the urban real estate financing coordination mechanism” following initial release of the notice. “By now, most cities have established the coordination mechanism. They have proposed ‘white lists’ of real estate projects and forwarded them to banks.”

According to Xinhua, preliminary data collected by Financial Times (China) showed that 15 commercial banks, including the six major state-owned banks and several joint-stock commercial banks, have engaged financial support for nearly 13,000 projects. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has worked on over 2,000 projects, Agricultural Bank of China on over 2,700 projects, and China Construction Bank on over 2,000 projects.

Source:
1. China’s Government Website (Gov.cn), January 5, 2024
https://www.gov.cn/zhengce/zhengceku/202401/content_6925683.htm
2. Xinhua, February 18, 2024
http://www.xinhuanet.com/money/20240218/0688b047bcf246c18b117a962c4a217c/c.html

People’s Daily on Blinken’s “Table and Menu” Statement

At the Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 17, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. is in a “strategic competition” with China. He remarked, “If you are not at the table in the international system, you’re going to be on the menu,” emphasizing the importance other countries actively participating in the “multilateral system” alongside the U.S.

People’s Daily published a “quick commentary” responding to Blinken’s “table and menu” statement. Below are some key excerpts from the People’s Daily response:

“This blunt statement by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken once again exposes the fundamental logic of American politics and diplomacy as ‘law of the jungle,’ where the strong prey upon the weak. American politicians are faithful followers of a wolfish culture.”

“America’s history of territorial expansion, wealth accumulation, and strengthening of national power is a history of external plunder, filled with destruction of other countries and the tears and blood of innocent people. From the massacre and land seizure of Native Americans, to the enslavement and exploitation of Africans, to interference and control in Latin America, to the creation of one humanitarian disaster after another in the Middle East — the U.S., in safeguarding its own interests and hegemony, has engaged in launching wars, imposing sanctions, and recklessly subverting other countries. Violence, coercion, deceit, and plunder are the ‘standard options’ in its toolbox, putting everyone on its [dinner] ‘menu.’ Meanwhile, it disregards and tramples upon the morality and order of which its politicians often speak.”

“In recent years, the U.S.’ bullying has become more rampant and ugly. The reason is that America’s hegemonic status is being challenged as the U.S.’ own problems continue to emerge while the increasingly balanced global power and the collective rise of developing countries lead to a deeper hegemonic anxiety. The U.S. has begun to use its military and financial hegemony to continuously transfer crises to the world, reaping benefits all the while. Those placed on the ‘menu’ by the U.S. are not only developing countries but also its allies.”

“In the U.S.’ cruel ‘table and menu’ calculation, European countries seem to sit at the table as allies of the U.S. most of the time. However, the U.S. also puts European countries on its ‘menu’ when necessary, making them the objects on which American capital and politicians feast. The U.S. did just this in exploiting the Ukraine crisis to pressure and squeeze Europe, or in using subsidies to induce companies to move their production bases from Europe to the U.S. This is the basic logic of American politics. This is why Europeans often lament: ‘Americans have stabbed us in the back.'”

Source: People’s Daily, February 22, 2024
http://world.people.com.cn/n1/2024/0222/c1002-40181269.html

Xinhua: “How Much of a Storm Can the West Stir up Using the Death of Navalny?”

Xinhua News Agency published an article claiming that the U.S.-led Western world has used the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny to “stir up trouble, with the aim of targeting Russia’s upcoming Presidential election.”

The article said that as soon as the news of Navalny’s death came out, “the Western world, led by the United States,” began to collectively condemn Russia, calling Navalny’s death “political persecution.” The Xinhua article quoted several Russian politicians and think tankers who condemned the behavior of Western media and politicians as “absolutely unacceptable and inappropriate.” The article called Navalny an “outdated” political figure and said that he is a “tool” of the Western world to criticize Russia.

According to the article, “Navalny ‘s political stance was constantly shifting between alignment with right-wing, center-left, and nationalist groups. He eventually became an internet sensation, portraying himself as an anti-corruption ‘fighter.’ In the 2013 Moscow mayoral elections, he won 27% of the vote, ranking second. However, since then, his political influence in Russia continued to decline, and the size of the opposition rallies that he called for steadily diminished. Polls in recent years showed his national approval rating hovering near 1%.”

Source: Xinhua, February 23, 2024
http://www.news.cn/world/20240223/b58fee46c52c468eb4f52b5f0293f823/c.html

Beijing Says Restrictions on Sales of Stocks Do Not Count as Market Intervention

To force an upward trend in stock market prices, Beijing is taking measures to restrict major institutional investors from conducting net sales of stocks during the opening and closing phases of stock market trading in China. Additionally, Beijing has prohibited institutions from shorting A-share stocks via stock index futures.

On February 22, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) responded to reports on the restrictions published by foreign media. The CSRC stated that the regulatory authorities “do not intervene in normal market transactions.” They said that their actions are a measure to “fulfill regulatory responsibilities on trading, and they do not represent a restriction on selling [stocks].” Rather the restrictions are to “crack down on illegal activities such as market manipulation and insider trading.”

Sources:
1. Radio Free Asia, February 22, 2024
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/Xinwen/10-02222024151556.html
2. Xinhua, February 23, 2024
http://www.xinhuanet.com/money/20240223/d1c45ad547734c3ab892fac1aab2d3cd/c.html