You can scan the News over time and see it evolve and change
'The expansion of these gigantic cities has been fast, disruptive and unprecedented in world history. It has also been accompanied by rapid price increases. But they have occurred primarily in the first-tier cities. Markets cannot easily price what they have never witnessed before.'
One message is clear: The Chinese government wants to foster a national transformation from "world's factory" to "world's market."
China has been reforming itself, a process known as "crossing the river by feeling the stones." The unprecedented experience, plus the country's scale, leaves the outside world uncertain of its future.
Global Times 1/6/2012
People's Daily 1/6/2012
The Wall Street Journal 1/6/2012
Manufacturing activity in China and across a wide swath of Asia slowed in May, heightening fears that the turmoil in Western economies is dragging down one of the few remaining engines of global growth.
China’s official Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of manufacturing activity, took a dive in May, falling to 50.4 from 53.3 in April. The fall was steeper than projections from nine of out 10 economists in a Dow Jones Newswires poll and comes amid concerns over slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy. (A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activity, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.) Analysts weigh in: The aggressive pullback in May’s PMI has once again confirmed that the economy is close to stalling. Following the release of dismal April output and investment data, the slide in PMI comes as little surprise. Even though still nowhere close to the collapse seen in the second half of 2008, the pace of drop—down by 2.9 points—was the sharpest since mid-2010. This indicates significant downside risk in the economy… – Xianfang Ren and Alistair Thornton, IHS Global Insight
More after the jump…
Faced with a raft of less-than-stellar statistics, China’s policymakers are changing gears, placing the emphasis firmly on growth. Evidence of the shift, which initially lifted spirits on stock markets in Japan and Hong Kong this week, has been welcomed around the world. It evoked memories of late 2008 and early 2009, when a massive Chinese stimulus program helped keep the global economy from sliding completely off the rails in the wake of the U.S. subprime lending crisis.
The question now: Will it be enough?
Caixin Online 31/5/2012
- The government is taking steps to address slower economic growth, but don't expect the freewheeling spending of previous years
The New York Times 31/5/2012
Spooked by a slowing economy, leaders have begun opening the financial spigots, but they are signaling that the spending will fall short of levels during the global downturn.
The Wall Street Journal 31/5/2012
The Wall street Journal 30/5/2012
Spanish construction firm ACS became the latest European company to unload assets onto eager Chinese buyers, as Europe's debt woes force firms to look to China for cash.
In the midst of gloom about China’s economic outlook, new labor market data provides an optimistic counterpoint — and a possible explanation for why a long-anticipated stimulus has been slow to arrive.
Data for 2011 shows private sector wages growing 18.3% year-over-year, up from 14.1% in 2010. Wages in the all-important manufacturing sector rose 20.1%.
That’s good news for two reasons.
Caixin Online 26/5/2012
- Added runways will serve an increasing number of planes over the next five years
The New York Times 26/5/2012
The sky is falling. No, it's just the euro. Oh, wait, it could be China, too, the engine that pulled the world out of the last global recession.
Reports of a weakening economy, combined with concern over moral decline, pose a question for China: Do Communist states, perhaps, have a natural lifespan?
The Wall Street Journal 26/5/2012
China doesn't need all the steel it is churning out, and talk of more infrastructure spending isn't turning prices around.
An initial gauge of China’s manufacturing activity fell in May, marking its seventh straight month in contractionary territory and stoking concerns the economy could slow sharply.
The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to 48.7 in May from a final reading of 49.3 in April.The PMI, a key indicator of manufacturing activity, follows weak performance by the world’s second-largest economy in April in many areas, including industrial production, trade, fixed-asset investment, money supply and the property market.
A reading below 50 in the PMI indicates contraction from the previous month, while anything above that indicates growth.
Analysts weigh in after the jump.
China Daily 26/5/2012
China began its challenge by requesting consultations with the US through the WTO to resolve the dispute.
The Wall Street Journal 24/5/2012
The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell in May, for the seventh straight month of contraction, stoking concerns the Chinese economy could slow sharply.
People's Daily 24/5/2012
A cooling economy may cause both a regional slowdown and plunging commodity prices, the World Bank warned.
Caixin Online 23/5/2012
- After leadership change, Chongqing has taken steps to embrace private enterprise instead of state-led business
The New York Times 23/5/2012
With low production costs, cheap labor and a flat tax rate, Bulgaria offered an ideal opportunity for Great Wall Motor, which now builds three models in the country.
The Wall Street Journal 23/5/2012
China's two stock exchanges moved to allow small firms to sell bonds via private placement, opening another fundraising avenue for the country's cash-strapped small-business sector
China Daily 23/5/2012
More foreign companies are looking to invest in Western China for new opportunities.
Star cities in race for foreign capital
A new income-distribution framework is set for approval to redress the growing income gap.
China should 'focus more on Asian and emerging markets' for greater export success.
People's Daily 23/5/2012
Asia Times Online 22/5/2012
New 'brics' in ASEAN's wall
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations keen to join the big economies of the developing world should make a priority, individually and collectively, of dealing with the small "bric" - bureaucracy, regulation, interventionism and corruption - if they want to better compete in 2015 and beyond. - Curtis S Chin
The New York Times 22/5/2012
Wen Jiabao called for more growth, though he stopped well short of calling for the vast increase in bank lending and monetary supply that eased the financial crisis three years ago.
The Wall Street Journal 22/5/2012
China's imports of Iranian crude oil recovered in April after sharp drops earlier this year, suggesting Beijing remains a steady customer despite U.S. efforts to tighten sanctions on Tehran.
People's Daily 22/5/2012
The US is renewing its focus on Southeast Asia, but it is not a part of the efforts to contain China.
Caixin Online 18/5/2012
The United States Commerce Department concluded that Chinese producers had “dumped” their products on the American market.
The Wall Street Journal 18/5/2012
Lu Ting, Bank of America’s China economist, recently did something rare for a market analyst: He emailed a report with the subject line “We were wrong.” Like many analysts, Mr. Lu thought China’s economy would rebound in the second quarter. After a spate of poor economic indicators on Friday, he downgraded his second quarter forecast to 7.6% from 8.5% and cut his estimate of 2012 GDP growth to 8% from 8.6%.
So when yet another sign of trouble emerged this week – continuing weakness in Chinese bank lending in April – The Wall Street Journal turned to Mr. Lu, hoping he would bring the same candor to bear on the role of banks in boosting the Chinese economy. Edited excerpts after the jump.
The fall of disgraced former Communist Party high-flier Bo Xilai has put the economy of Chongqing, the southwestern mega-city he ruled from 2007 until March this year, under the microscope.
A gross domestic product that nudged past 1 trillion yuan ($158.5 billion) in 2011 means Chongqing’s economy accounts for just over 2% of the national total. But a massive population (more than 29 million at last count) and strategic position as gateway to China’s west give it an outsize importance.
So just how does Chongqing’s economy work? And what do people mean when they talk about a “Chongqing model?” Charts after the jump.
As good Marxists, China's leaders know that all economic systems carry within them the seeds of their own destruction. So it is with China's credit-fueled growth.
China Daily 15/5/2012
Capital flow from the European Union into China continued to drop sharply.
Caixin Online 15/5/2012
- Company still waiting for approval to expand operations amid reports regulators will thwart its efforts
- Requirement eased for second time this year due to concerns economy is weakening
Asia Times Online 15/5/2012
China eases bank lending
China's decision to ease bank lending follows unexpected weakness in the economy, as production growth falters along with fixed-asset investment. The one bright spot is a further dip in inflation. - Robert M Cutler
The New York Times 15/5/2012
After this week’s disappointing economic figures, China’s central bank said Saturday that it would reduce the share of deposits banks must set aside as reserves
Economists said the central bank’s decision to reduce cash reserve requirements for banks so they have more available to lend would not be enough to spur the economy.
Despite many hurdles, the number of private jets registered in China has risen to 137 from 32 in the past three years, and the business jet industry appears to be at a turning point.
The Wall Street Journal 15/5/2012
China is considering setting up a new way for foreign pension funds to invest in its vast capital markets, in the latest effort to prop up the country's listless stock market.
Foreign direct investment into China fell for the sixth straight month in April, the latest sign of trouble for the world's second-largest economy.
People's Daily 15/5/2012
Caixin Online 13/5/2012
- Regulators growing more comfortable with discarding special protection for domestic securities firms
The New York Times 13/5/2012
China’s incredible economic growth spurt shows signs of slowing, as April imports fell to near zero and exports were half of what was expected for the month.
The weak growth signaled that the effect of a prolonged credit crunch in the Chinese real estate sector, and of flagging demand from key export markets, was more severe than first thought.
The Wall Street Journal 13/5/2012
China's economy slowed sharply in April, throwing cold water on expectations for a rapid recovery in the world's main growth engine.
China's central bank said it will cut banks' reserve-requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage point, effective May 18, in a move to help boost liquidity and support the economy.
China Daily 13/5/2012
The cut will drop the RRR for the country's large financial institutions to 20 percent.
People's Daily 13/5/2012
Xinhua News 11/5/2012
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is to speed up the establishment of a special account and development bank so as to enhance members' ability to cope with new threats and challenges.
China Daily 11/5/2012
The US Federal Reserve approves plans that will open up new businesses for three Chinese banks.
The moderation gives the Chinese government greater leeway to ease policy to boost the economy.
People's Daily 11/5/2012
Caixin Online 11/5/2012
- Regulators growing more comfortable with discarding special protection for domestic securities firms
The Wall Street Journal 11/5/2012
The China economy story at the end of the first quarter was slower growth but signs of an uptick in the March data.
Trade numbers for April throw cold water on that theory.
Growth in exports fell to 4.9% year-to-year, down from 8.9% in March. Exports to the troubled European Union were especially weak, shrinking 2.4% year-to-year.
It’s no surprise that the world is not buying as much of China’s exports. But import data also disappointed. Growth of 0.3% year-to-year was the lowest outside a holiday month since the dark days of the financial crisis in October 2009.
The Wall Street Journal 10/5/2012
Skeptics be damned: Barring a terrorist attack, pandemic or corruption crackdown, China will lead the boom in luxury goods for years to come, a new report says.
While many industry observers expect the country’s growth to slow this year, brokerage CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets says Chinese consumers will still be buying watches, handbags, jewelry and expensive clothes. “Wealthy individuals won’t slow down their spending,” said Aaron Fischer, a CLSA analyst.
The Fed approved plans by three state-backed Chinese banks to expand in the U.S., including the first acquisition of a U.S. retail-banking network by a state-owned Chinese lender.
China's trade surplus rose sharply in April amid weak import growth, a sign domestic demand could be slackening.
China Daily 10/5/2012
China's first domestically manufactured deepwater drilling rig drilled its first well in the South China Sea.New era for China's oil industry
The US Federal Reserve approved three Chinese banks to expand their business in US market.
China's exports rose 4.9 percent, while imports grew 0.3 percent from a year earlier in April.
Farm produce prices surged in China due to shortfalls in supply, and rising oil and other costs.
People's Daily 10/5/2012
By issuing the domestic currency, the government of every country enjoys seigniorage, which is a profit coming from domestic currency holders.
The New York Times 8/5/2012
Soft export orders at the Canton Fair are seen as a relatively significant sign of trouble for the overall Chinese economy.
The Wall Street Journal 8/5/2012
The National Development and Reform Commission has laid down the law: Unless 100% of a private-equity fund’s money comes from local sources, it will be treated as a foreign fund.
The question is, why is the NDRC getting involved at all?China’s foreign-investment rules are supposed to be the domain of the Ministry of Commerce.
Convincing President Obama to shut off tire imports from China was a big win for the United Steelworkers, who take a hard line on trade and China, in particular. So when Peterson Institute for International Economics researchers Gary Hufbauer and Sean Lowry calculated that the hard-won protection actually cost U.S. consumers nearly $1 million in added costs for every job saved, the Steelworkers yelled foul.
According to a lengthy Steelworkers response, the Peterson Institute analysis focuses too much on the cost of protection – how tariffs boost retail prices – and not enough on the benefits of protection. “The authors fail to recognize the massive investment in new plant, equipment and production that have been announced” since the U.S. decided to shut off imports in Sept. 2009 under a provision of a deal signed by China to get U.S. support to enter the World Trade Organization.
People's Daily 8/5/2012
The New York Times 5/5/2012
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China said the areas of agreement included “some important breakthroughs.”
People's Daily 5/5/2012
China Daily 4/5/2012
The US may loosen its restrictions on high-tech exports to China, said China's commerce minister.
People's Daily 4/5/2012
China Daily 2/5/2012
PMI climbed to 53.3 last month from 53.1 in March, the highest since March 2011.
The Wall Street Journal 1/5/2012
To save hours that would be spent navigating the maze of government websites, we present China Econtracker, an interactive tool for tracking the country's economic indicators.
Taiwan snapped two straight quarters of contraction, but an uncertain outlook for its major trading partners prompted Taipei to revise growth forecasts for the year.
People's Daily 1/5/2012
- China, Hungary pledge to step up cooperation
- China to actively promote nuclear disarmament
- China boosts imports with tariff cuts
- Trading fees to be lowered for investors
- Economic growth remains robust
The Wall Street Journal 28/4/2012
President Obama was so proud of the jobs saved by shutting off imports of Chinese tires he cited the action in his 2012 State of the Union Address. According to analysts Gary Hufbauer and Sean Lowry of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, known for its support of free trade, the victory had a heck of a cost: at least $936,000 for each job saved.
Here’s how their analysis works: They accept Mr. Obama’s claim that the action, which was legal under World Trade Organization rules, saved 1,200 jobs. But the result of slapping heavy duties on Chinese imports was a stiff increase in tire prices. The vast majority of the tires sold in place of Chinese tires were made in other foreign countries, the analysts say.
In all, Americans spent $1.12 billion more than they otherwise would have on tires. Divide that by 1,200 jobs, and the cost is $936,000 per job.
Prices for the grain jumped 4.6% after the federal government reported the sixth-largest export sale ever for corn, which analysts believe is headed for China.
Making sense of the messy reality of China today is a serious challenge. But Jonathan Fenby, head of the China team at the emerging markets research firm Trusted Sources, former editor of the South China Morning Post and author of the History of Modern China, has better claim than most to be equal to the task.
In his new book “Tiger Head, Snake Tails” he takes on the challenge of providing a balanced assessment of China’s many strengths and manifold weaknesses in just 411 short pages. Always aiming to go one better, China Real Time Report caught up with him to get the lowdown in just eight questions.
The Beijing International Auto Show is quickly becoming the global car industry epicenter. European brands such as Lamborghini all brought world-premiere vehicles to the stage in China. WSJ’s automotive critic Dan Neil takes a walk through the show.
China's auto factories are stepping up still tiny exports as domestic growth slows, raising the stakes in global auto markets by heightening competition with local and foreign brands.
China, hosting the president of South Sudan, pressed the East African nation and neighboring Sudan to exercise restraint, as fighting on their disputed oil-rich border continued.
The Chinese city of Chongqing accumulated tens of billions of dollars in liabilities during Bo Xilai's term as local Communist Party chief, as it juiced growth that helped launch the former high-flyer's campaign for a top political post.
The president of South Sudan is in China seeking support for an oil pipeline to lessen his country's dependence on Sudan as a bomb attack by its rival threatened to trigger an all-out war.
Chinese auto maker Roncheng Hawtai Motor Co. is angling for a seat at the table as a major player in its home market by getting out the good china. As in porcelain.
The Shandong Province-based automaker unveiled a high-concept version of its humdrum B11 midsize sedan at the Beijing auto show featuring a striking paint job and matching interior that invoked a late Ming dynasty vase.
Michael Dunne is president of Dunne & Company, a Hong Kong-based consultancy specializing in Asian car markets, and a leading expert on China’s auto industry. He is the author of “American Wheels, Chinese Roads: The Story of General Motors in China.”
Foreign auto makers are feeling a whole lot better about China’s drive for electric vehicles, thanks to a set of new guidelines released by Beijing last week.
China had stunned the car-making world in the spring of 2009 when officials in Beijing declared plans to take unilateral leadership of the global electric vehicle industry. Under the plan, China was to build capacity for 500,000 electric cars a year by 2012, rising to several million by 2020. Global car companies were expected to transfer key electric vehicle technologies to their Chinese partners in exchange for continued access to the lucrative Chinese car market.
It was the kind of offer that companies from Europe, American and Japan were not sure they could refuse. With Volkswagen and others making more than 30 percent of its global profits from China, Beijing enjoyed all the leverage. In a twist, foreign firms stalled for time. They lobbied hard for rights to build more of their own gasoline engine powered products while remaining as non-committal as possible about technology transfer.
That slow-walk strategy seems to have paid off, at least for now.
China has over the past decade risen to become the world’s second-largest economy, opening up vastly more opportunities for the country’s 1.34 billion citizens to improve their lives and become strong leaders in their jobs and society.
Yet those opportunities are largely still limited to men. That’s one takeaway from a new report, “Rising to the Top: A Report on Women’s Leadership in Asia,” from the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the New York-based organization Asia Society, which places China among several key Asian countries in which women’s leadership remains stunted by social preferences and biases that favor males.
The New York Times 28/4/2012
Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said China wanted to double trade with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to $100 billion a year
China has reached a stage at which all “miracle economies” have slowed significantly, but not disastrously — and that’s good news for the United States.
A closely watched survey shows April’s factory output contracted for the sixth month in a row, but improved notably from March.
Caixin Online 28/4/2012
- Chinese investment in the central European country will continue to grow on a stable corporate environment, developed capital markets and transparency
- The river has been polluted at phenomenal rates over the past few decades, and scientists say this has had a devastating effect on fisheries.
- Narrowing current account surplus highlights need to increase internal demand, especially domestic consumption
- China must address its lack of globally competitive companies to meet the next challenge to its development
- Europe's problems are its own making and no amount of Chinese assistance will end the crisis
- Central bank, two World Bank Group bodies in agreement seen as opening China's financial market
- The planned roll-out of yuan futures contracts in Hong Kong comes amidst a slew of announcements to expand the use of the yuan in international trade settlements
- Financial reforms should emphasize market entities over interest and exchange rates.
- Carmaker plans to sell 800,000 vehicles abroad by the end of 2015
- While there's broad agreement China will continue to urbanize rapidly, there is disagreement as to how exactly
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