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Geo-Strategic Trend - 3. page

China Ranked Number One on Wealthy Population Leaving the Country

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently published a report based on multiple studies done on wealthy Chinese leaving the country. According to research that Shanghai Hurun conducted in 2017, 46 percent of wealthy Chinese with income between RMB 10 million (around US$1.57 million) and 200 million (around US$31.3 million) have considered leaving the country. Another research report that New World Wealth published also showed, in 2017, that around 10,000 wealthy Chinese (net worth above US$1 million) moved overseas, making China the country that had the largest number of wealthy people leaving. The most popular destinations for these Chinese are the United States, Australia, and Canada. In the past three years, Australia has been the most popular destination. Among the key drivers for people to leave, a better education for their children and China’s high real estate cost sat at the top.

Source: Sohu, May 19, 2018

Huanqiu Opinion Article: It’s about Time to Let Australia Pay the Price

Duowei News reported that, on May 22, the Guardian reported that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop raised objections to China’s military activity in the South China Sea during the G20. On May 22, Huanqiu published an opinion article which stated “It’s about time to let Australia pay the price.” According to the article, last year Australia and China’s relationship hit rock bottom. Australian officials have constantly complained to the media about China’s infiltration and interference in Australia. All the negative media coverage not only hurt the relationship of these two countries but also damaged the living environment of the overseas Chinese living in Australia. The article went on to state, “It is about time to show China’s position and make Australia pay the necessary price for its past attitude toward China.” The article further stated that in order to teach Australia a lesson, China could substitute other trade imports for certain imports from Australia, such as wine and beef. If China could reduce its imports by US$10 billion from total imports of US$76.4 billion, it would shock the Australians. The article went on, “We need to teach them a lesson. Also we can let the outside world understand that it is not a good thing for them to pick a fight with China.”

1. Huanqiu, May 22, 2018
2. Duowei News, May 22, 2018

Tianqi Lithium to Acquire World’s Second Largest Lithium Manufacturer

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that China’s largest Lithium-based battery material vendor Tianqi Lithium is in the process of acquiring 24 percent of Chile’s Sociedad Quimica Y Minera (SQM) with US$4.3 billion. SQM is the world’s second largest Lithium manufacturer. Canadian fertilizer manufacturer Nutrien previously owned the shares. Tianqi already owns 2.1 percent of the shares of SQM. The additional 24 percent can allow Tianqi to name three seats in the eight-seat SQM board. SQM currently produces 48,000 tons of Lithium Carbonate annually. The expected production in 2019 is 100,000 tons. Lithium Carbonate is the primary material to make rechargeable batteries to be used in products like hybrid cars. Since 2000, the global market for Lithium Carbonate has been growing at an annual pace of 7.2 percent. The deal is still pending approval from the Chilean government, which is conducting an antitrust review.

Source: Sohu, May 17, 2018

BBC Chinese: Hong Kong Reporters Were Beaten up in Mainland China

BBC Chinese recently reported that, not long ago, unknown attackers beat up reporters from Hong Kong media. One latest example was Hong Kong’s Now TV reporter Xu Junming. Five under-cover policemen beat him while he was reporting on a hearing that the Beijing Lawyers’ Association had organized. Their Discipline Committee was punishing human rights lawyer Xie Yanyi. Xie represented Falun Gong practitioners in court. Xu is fully licensed and authorized to report in Mainland China. Another example occurred four days earlier than that. Two unknown men attacked Hong Kong Cable TV reporter Chen Haohui in Sichuan Province while he was reporting on the 10-year anniversary of the 512 Wenchuan Earthquake. These incidents triggered a wave of criticism in Mainland social media. According to Reporters Without Borders, China was ranked number 176 in the Freedom of Press Index, only better than Syria, Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea.

Source: BBC Chinese, May 17, 2018

China’s State Media Asks South Korea President Moon Jae-in Not to Be Too Obedient to (the United States)

On April 27, China’s state media, the Global Times published an editorial entitled, “The Korean Summit Achieved Progress; the United States Should Follow the Trend.” The article stated that the Kim-Moon Jae-in meeting wrote about the goal of denuclearization and in “the Panmunjom Declaration,” was striving for an end to the (Korean) war.  However, all the writings were visions; they were not exact plans. The fundamental reason is that these issues ultimately require the United States to come out and talk directly with North Korea. South Korea can only convey its willingness. Its bargaining power is limited.

One cannot help but say that South Korea has played an important role in breaking the deadlock on the peninsula and ushering in today’s negotiations. The situation in the past few months has proved that Seoul will take the initiative to guide the situation as long as it can create and fight for the opportunity. It used to be too obedient to Washington. In the future, Seoul should be more courageous in upholding (and acting on) its own opinions.

For example, President Trump said more than once that he may meet Kim Jong-un or he may not. However, whether Trump will meet Kim Jong-un should not merely be a unilateral decision of the White House. The Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae) should have the right to participate fully in forming opinions. Because what the United States will do is closely related to the interests of South Korea, Seoul is not an outsider, no matter whether Kim and Trump will meet and how they will meet.

Source: Global Times, April 27, 2018

China Sends Export Shipment to Iran – Signaling Its Challenge to Washington

According to an article that Deutsche Welle published, President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal on May 8. Two days later, China sent a freight train carrying 1,150 tons of sunflower seeds heading to Tehran, the capital of Iran. The article commented that it is hard not to conclude that the timing of the shipment was a signal that China and Iran sent to challenge the decision that the Trump administration made. The article stated that China entered into a trade agreement with Iran two years ago with a trade target to grow to US$600 billion over the next ten years. For China, Iran is a major component of its “One Belt One Road” project in opening up the middle Europe and China – Africa economic corridor. Meanwhile China buys 1/3 of its oil from Iran and is the largest oil buyer for Iran. In the first quarter of 2018, China’s imports from Iran averaged 658,000 barrels of oil each day, up 17.3 percent from the same period in 2017. The article also mentioned that the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China opposes the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Source: Deutsche Welle, May 11, 2018

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