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Articles by Agence France-Presse

China poverty: Beijing says it’s been eradicated, but what exactly has been achieved?

February 24, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China claimed last year it had met a long-trumpeted target of lifting all its people out of extreme poverty.President Xi Jinping heralded the feat as a “major victory” that the Chinese Communist Party had wanted to achieve before the centenary of its founding in 2021.But what do the numbers say?What counts as poverty?China’s poverty line is around US$2.30 a day – slightly above the World Bank’s lowest threshold of US$1.90 but below what is recommended for measuring higher income countries.Local…

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China poverty: Xi Jinping’s war drives some to riches, but leaves others behind

February 24, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]At his village along a “poverty alleviation road” in Hunan province, farmer Liu Qingyou shares a booklet detailing how Xi Jinping’s government has hoisted him and 100 million other Chinese from the breadline.In it, the cause of his family’s hardship is diagnosed as “illness” and “schooling”, followed by a list of ways the state has helped, from grain subsidies to improving the yield of their orange groves.Authorities designated his family as impoverished in 2014 as Xi ramped up a “targeted…

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: what are the 4 main challenges facing the new WTO director general?

February 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The coronavirus pandemic, log-jammed trade talks and a long-delayed meeting of member states are just a few of the crises awaiting Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as she takes the helm of the World Trade Organization (WTO) next month.The WTO needs a kiss of life – and fast – and the first female and first African director general of the global trade body will have to hit the ground running as she takes on the job in the middle of a major global recession.Here are the four main challenges the former…

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China-Australia relations: Canberra hits back at Xi Jinping’s ‘bullying’ remarks amid trade dispute

January 27, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for big countries not to bully the weak has exposed a “disconnect” between China’s behaviour and rhetoric, a top Australian minister said on Wednesday.Still smarting from punitive Chinese sanctions on a range of Australian products and a rumbling war of words between Beijing and Canberra, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg took issue with the communist leader’s altruistic-sounding Davos speech.Xi told the forum – which this year is being held entirely online – that…

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Coronavirus: World Bank cuts global growth estimate, but sees big Chinese recovery

January 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The World Bank on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for the global economy, and warned the situation could deteriorate if Covid-19 infections accelerate or the vaccine roll-out is delayed.The coronavirus pandemic also has worsened the risks surrounding the rising debt load in developing nations, and it will take a global effort to avoid a new crisis in those economies, the bank cautioned.After shrinking 4.3 per cent in 2020, the world economy is projected to grow by 4.0 per cent this year, two…

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China-Australia relations: lobster traders look closer to home to offset Beijing’s ban

December 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Even in the scorching Australian summer sun, long queues of customers snake around Fremantle harbour – a soothing sight for beleaguered local fishermen trying to replace lost business with China.Australia’s rock lobster exports are worth half a billion US dollars a year – and in normal times, 94 per cent of them go to China.But all that changed a few weeks ago, when Beijing imposed a near-total import ban on lobster, part of a broader politically charged “shadow trade war”.“It has affected us…

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Coronavirus: Taiwan’s rapid response pays economic dividends in 2020

December 25, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]As the world’s economies reel from the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan is on track to end the year clocking up enviable growth – a testament to its success in halting the deadly disease.Throughout much of the year, shoppers have thronged stores, restaurants have stayed busy, tourist attractions have remained open and factories have kept humming.In a remarkable contrast to comparable industrialised economies, which have taken a battering, official projections forecast growth of 2.5 per cent in 2020…

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Global economic outlook better than June, but ‘not out of the woods’, IMF says

September 25, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The global economic outlook is less bleak than projected in June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday, hinting that the organisation’s forecasts for growth will be raised next month.“Recent incoming data suggests that the outlook may be somewhat less dire” than projected in the Washington-based crisis lender’s World Economic Outlook published in June, spokesman Gerry Rice said, nothing that “parts of the global economy [are] beginning to turn the corner”.As the coronavirus…

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Coronavirus pandemic expected to slash China’s 2020 growth to 2.3 per cent, World Bank warns

March 31, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout could cause China’s growth to come to a standstill while driving 11 million more people in East Asia into poverty, the World Bank warned on Monday.The pandemic is causing “an unprecedented global shock, which could bring growth to a halt and could increase poverty across the region,” said Aaditya Mattoo, World Bank chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific.Even in the best-case scenario, the region will see a sharp drop in growth, with China’s…

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Coronavirus: World Bank to lower global growth forecast over outbreak

February 4, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The World Bank will revise its global growth forecast downward due to the new coronavirus, the president of the multilateral lender said on Tuesday, amid fears the epidemic in China will harm global supply chains.The World Bank last month forecast a rebound in global growth this year after the easing of trade tensions between the US and China that had contributed to a decline in 2019.But World Bank President David Malpass warned the virus that has killed hundreds in China and closed businesses…

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Donald Trump says he may wait till after 2020 election to finish phase two of US-China trade deal

January 9, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Negotiations for the second phase of a pending trade deal with China will begin promptly but the outcome may wait until after this year’s elections, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday.Trump’s remarks come just days before Beijing’s trade envoy is due in Washington to sign a phase one agreement, marking a pause in the two sides’ nearly two-year trade war.The US leader also openly cast doubt on whether American farmers would be able to supply China with the massive increases in…

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Huawei to shift research facilities from hostile US to Canada, founder Ren Zhengfei says

December 3, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese tech giant Huawei, facing US criminal charges and economic sanctions, is planning to relocate its telecommunications research facilities from the United States to Canada, founder Ren Zhengfei said in an interview published on Tuesday.Speaking with the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Ren said the company is also considering building new factories in Europe to make fifth-generation, or 5G, equipment.The pivot comes as Washington steps up…

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China needs ‘vital’ economic reforms, World Bank chief David Malpass tells Premier Li Keqiang

November 21, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]World Bank chief David Malpass urged China on Thursday to further open up its economy and reduce state subsidies, echoing key demands made by the United States in protracted trade war negotiations.China is struggling to kick-start its economy, which expanded at its slowest pace for nearly three decades in the third quarter of 2019 amid cooling global demand for its exports and a looming debt crisis at home.“I encouraged new reforms and liberalisation,” he said after a round table meeting with…

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Trump says China ‘not stepping up’ in trade talks making him reluctant to strike deal

November 20, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Beijing so far has not made sufficient concessions in trade talks, making him reluctant to conclude a bargain.“I can tell you this. China would much rather make a trade deal than I would,” he told reporters while touring a manufacturing facility that produces computer for Apple.“I don’t think they’re stepping up to the level that I want.”Wall Street retreated further from record highs on Wednesday as pessimism mounted among investors about the…

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US-China trade deal could be signed by ministers instead of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, top White House aide says

November 15, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A partial trade agreement between the United States and China could be signed at the ministerial level, not by the two nations’ presidents, a top White House aide said Friday.Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, has fed optimism in recent days that efforts to complete the “phase one” trade deal announced last month by US President Donald Trump are making progress.Trump had said that he expected the text of a partial deal would be ready for signing with Chinese President Xi…

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Chinese investors take a shine to Greece’s ‘Golden Visa’ scheme

November 10, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Greece’s economy is receiving a boost from Chinese investors taking advantage of the country’s so-called Golden Visa scheme to live in Europe.Chinese investor Jiang Rungong, who moved to Greece three years ago from Shanghai, said he and his family could not be happier in their new home on the Athens coast.“We chose Greece because of its cultural heritage, its history, the democracy, the freedom. We really like its atmosphere,” Jiang said.“Since we got the visa, we’ve travelled to many European…

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi ‘confident’ of investment deal with EU as US-China trade was rages on

October 21, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s foreign minister said on Monday that he was confident of an investment deal being clinched with the European Union, while pressing for talks “as soon as possible” on a free-trade accord.In an interview in Paris, Wang Yi said the list of sectors China still refuses access to is shrinking, and the country is opening up more and more, thus “creating favourable conditions for the conclusion of a bilateral investment accord”.“We are very confident about the conclusion of this agreement” with…

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Phuket feels impact of US-China trade war as popular Thai resort struggles amid fewer mainland tourists, stronger baht

October 20, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island have been forced to slash prices with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as tourist chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht.

Located on the Andaman Sea and known for its beaches and nightlife, sun-drenched Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year after Bangkok and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18 per cent of…

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