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Duowei News: How Should China React to the Trump Administration’s Recent Trade Restrictions?

On May 29, ten days after China and the U.S. agreed to hold off on starting a trade war, the White House announced that it will “impose a 25 percent tariff on US$50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the ‘Made in China 2025’ program. The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter.” Duowei News published a commentary article on the same day. The article stated that the statement that the White House made certainly proved that those China hardliners were not happy about the last joint statement to hold off on the trade war. It demonstrated the unpredictability of Trump’s political style and that there are conflicts between China and the U.S. that are difficult to resolve. The article suggested that, first of all, China should maintain its strategic strength and be mentally prepared for the difficulties and risks facing China – U.S. relations. It stated that unlike Japan, who the U.S. forced to sign the “Plaza Accord” 30 years ago, which led to the long-term stagnation of its economy, China has more chips and strengths to play in this game. Secondly, China should clearly recognize the gap between China and the U.S. in both hard power and soft power. According to the article, China needs to take ZTE as a big lesson where ZTE, the No.2 player in the telecommunication industry in China and a tycoon in the telecommunication industry in the world, was forced into an idle state because of its over-reliance on U.S. technology. The article concluded, “When a country like the U.S., which surpasses China by dozens of years in its core technology, still holds such a strong sense of crisis against China, how can China not remain clear-headed?”

Source: Duowei News, May 29, 2018

RFA: Catholic Pastors Wear Red Uniforms to Receive Patriotism Training

Radio Free Asia reported that the State Administration of Religious Affairs recently organized a trip called, “Love the Party Patriotism-Red Patriotic Journey.” It was held in the Jinggang Mountains in Jiangxi Province and the representatives of five religions, including dozens of pastors who the Roman Catholic Church recognized, participated. The report stated that the trip was organized for these representatives so they could “study and exchange understandings of Xi Jinping Thought as well as socialist core values.” The photos posted online showed a group picture of the representatives. Some of them were wearing red army uniforms and holding a banner that had the word, “patriotism” on it. The official website of the National Religious Bureau did not disclose relevant information about this trip. The article quoted the comments that several religious figures living overseas made. One person commented that participating in a trip like this is a disgrace to religion. Another comment said that the activity clearly shows that Xi Jinping suppresses religion on the one hand while conducting united front and reorganization activity on the other hand. While many churches in China face suppression, the three-Self Patriotic church organizes large scale activities to study socialist core values. According to the article, during their weekend service, some churches even include the study of Xi Jinping Thought and Patriotism as part of the agenda.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 24, 2018

Deutsche Welle: South German Newspaper Stopped Publishing China Watch Supplement

Deutsche Welle Chinese recently reported that a German newspaper, the South German Newspaper (Süddeutsche Zeitung) decided to stop publishing the supplement called China Watch, which China Daily provided. The South German Newspaper, published in Munich, Bavaria, is one of the largest daily newspapers in Germany. China Daily is the Chinese government’s official newspaper designed for readers outside of China. In recent years, many Western newspapers have periodically published China Watch as a supplement, including such famous newspapers as the Washington Post, New York Times, British Daily Telegraph, French Le Figaro and Business Daily in Germany. Although the South German Newspaper refused to comment on the reason for discontinuing publication of the supplement, its choice did receive a lot of praise from political observers and human rights organizations. As part of China’s strategy of broadening China’s influence on public opinion in the West, China Watch took the approach of utilizing the channels available through traditional Western media.

Source: DW Chinese, May 19, 2018

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

China’s Resident Deposit Balance Saw a Sharp Decline in April

Well-known Chinese news site Tencent recently reported, based on data that the Chinese central bank recently released, that as of the end of April, the balance of the total deposits of China’s residents fell to RMB 67.4 trillion, which was 1.32 trillion less than the same number at the end of March. This is the largest single-month decline in history. It also represents a 2.1 trillion year-over-year decline. For many years, China has been considered a country with a high rate of savings. However, in 2017, the balance of resident’s deposits started to see a net reduction. In 2008, China’s household savings rate was 53.2 percent. In 2017, that rate dropped to 7.7 percent. In the first quarter of this year, all major domestic national banks saw negative growth for the balance of individual savings. In the same period of time, consumer spending did not show any significant growth. Statistics showed that people have been putting more and more money into investment funds and the real estate market. The savings decline can have a major impact on the economy. It may result in slower bank investments into the economy, an increased cost of borrowing, and more resources sucked into the real estate bubble.

Source: Tencent Financial News, May 18, 2018

Duowei: China’s Rise May Be Entering a Bottleneck Period; Two High-Level Officials Disclosed “Internal and External Problems”

Recently, the “2018 China Enterprise Credit Development Forum and the 9th Public Welfare Ceremony for Integrity” were held in Beijing.

He Zhen, former Deputy Chairman of the NPC Financial and Economic Committee, said in a speech at the forum that China’s local debt is estimated to be about 40 trillion yuan ($6.24 trillion). Although the scale is still within the acceptable range, none of the local governments want to repay their debts. “Now, if you want someone to repay these debts, he will say that we don’t even have the money to pay wages; we are having big financial difficulties. What are we going to do? Therefore, regarding those debts that are owed at present, before any mention is made about paying down the principal, they can’t even pay the interest that is due.”

He believes that China has issued too much currency. The data shows that, at the end of 2017, M2 was 167.68 trillion yuan , ($26.158 trillion), which is 25 percent of what China’s GDP was that year and is higher than any other country in the world.

At another conference, Li Ruogu, President of the China Export-Import Bank, expressed his views on China’s external situation. He specifically mentioned that the U.S.’s judgment about China has undergone a fundamental change. Sino-U.S. trade friction is essentially a controversy on the direction of China’s development.

Li Ruogu said that Sino-U.S. relations will not continue along the path they have taken over the past 40 years. Specifically, in the United States, no matter what party or class, most of them advocate a tough attitude towards China. This allows the U.S. to move beyond the partisan line on its China strategy and operate quickly and effectively.

Source: Duowei News, May 22, 2018

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