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Amanda Lee



Articles by Amanda Lee

China facing soybean dilemma as it tries to balance phase one trade deal with self-reliance

5 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s demand for soybeans is expected to rebound in 2020 but the question remains where the supply will come from as it attempts to move away from over reliance on imports but also meet its commitments under the phase one trade deal with the United States.There are growing concerns regarding China’s food security as the relationship with the US becomes volatile, and since the beginning of the trade war, China has been reinforcing self-reliance on its industries including manufacturing and…

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China’s private firms demand tighter oversight of local governments as virus causes spike in late payments

12 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should establish a system to monitor the finances of cash-strapped local governments that fail to pay private businesses on time, fed up company executives say, a problem that is growing worse as the coronavirus ravages the economy.Governments with low creditworthiness scores could be punished, and jurisdictions banned from starting new projects, according to the proposals.Tax cuts to support growth and higher spending to combat the coronavirus pandemic have caused a spike in delayed…

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China sets out stall ahead of NPC with pledges for market-oriented, local government finance reforms

13 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has renewed its pledge to undertake market-oriented reforms of its economy and to better regulate local government finances ahead of what is expected to be lively debate at the meeting of the National People’s Congress this week on proper government policies to respond to the rising challenges in the domestic and foreign environments.The publication of the list of reform promises by the ruling Communist Party and the State Council, the government’s cabinet, came at a time when the world’s…

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China debt: how big is it, who owns it and what is next?

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is the nature of China’s debt? Broadly speaking, China’s debt can be divided into domestic debt and foreign debt.China’s domestic debt, denominated in yuan, consists of three components: corporate, household and government debt. Corporate debt includes borrowings by private sector and state-owned companies, while China’s public debt is a combination of national and local government debt. Household debt, meanwhile, is the combined debt of all people in a household, including consumer debt…

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Coronavirus: China doesn’t need big economic stimulus, advisers and former officials say

15 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China does not need to launch a large economic stimulus effort to address the damage being done by the coronavirus pandemic, a group of government advisers and former officials said at the weekend.In particular, they said, there was no need to copy the quantitative easing policy employed by a number of major central banks around the world.Beijing is expected to announce details of additional economic support measures at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress this week.However,…

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Coronavirus: China to revive special ‘off-budget bonds’ as pandemic stokes debt dilemma

24 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Chinese government has found itself in a tough spot. After years of trying to clamp down on the nation’s high level of debt, it is now being forced to watch it balloon again to rescue its coronavirus-stricken economy.But to make sure the extra borrowing does not become a feature of government finances, Beijing is using an accounting sleight of hand to keep a new bond issue “off budget” – and not a part of deficit spending.Still, Beijing must be careful, analysts said, as the additional debt…

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Coronavirus: China should raise US$700 billion from special bonds to kick-start economy, top adviser says

29 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should look to raise up to 5 trillion yuan (US$700.5 billion) from the sale of special bonds to stimulate the economy after the “unprecedented impact” of the coronavirus pandemic, a top government adviser said.The funds created by the debt sale – which would be in addition to already budgeted spending – were necessary to drive investment and restore consumer confidence, both of which had been ravaged by the health crisis, Liu Shangxi, president of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences,…

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Coronavirus: US farm sales to China hit by bumper soybean crop from Brazil, supply chain disruptions

April 24, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The coronavirus pandemic and strong foreign competition are obstructing a US push to increase sales of farm products to China, even as Washington banks on Beijing buying more of its agricultural goods as part of the phase one trade deal signed in January.While analysts say the pandemic has not affected soybean shipments from the United States, cheaper beans from Brazil have made them less competitive. The South American country is also benefiting from its largest harvest on record.US pork…

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Coronavirus: China reopens hundreds of cinemas as virus outbreak slows, but is anybody going?

March 25, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Cinemas in many Chinese cities began reopening last week after a weeks-long shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, but dismal box office takings highlighted just how far the consumer economy has to go before returning to normal.A total of 495 cinemas, or 4.4 per cent of China’s total, had opened by Tuesday, but they attracted only 1,003 cinema-goers – an average of about two people per cinema per day – according to statistics from Maoyan Entertainment, a firm monitoring nationwide box…

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Coronavirus: emergency G20 summit to contrast gung-ho US economic package with China’s softer approach

March 25, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]World leaders from the Group of 20 major economies, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, will convene an emergency virtual summit on Thursday to discuss the global response to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic damage it is causing.The summit will take place against a backdrop of an oil price war between two members, Saudi Arabia and Russia, and rising tensions between two others, the United States and China, over the origin of the virus, which has infected nearly 400,000 people…

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Coronavirus: China’s southern manufacturing hub facing supply shortage as global fears grow

March 18, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Almost a third of companies in China’s southern manufacturing hub are facing a supply shortage as the coronavirus takes it toll around the world, a survey of companies showed.The survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China also showed that 15 per cent of the 237 companies which took part in the survey conducted from March 9 to 14 said they had already run out of some supplies.Just over half said their manufacturing ability had been “slightly” impaired by supply chain disruption,…

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Coronavirus: China’s central bank will use ‘variety of measures’ to cut loan costs for firms

March 15, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank on Sunday said it would use “a variety of measures” to bring down the cost of borrowing for companies that have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.“The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will continue to take a variety of measures to promote a decline in loan interest rates, and to support the resumption of production and economic development,” Sun Guofeng, head of the PBOC’s monetary policy department, said at a press briefing in Beijing.Those measures included using…

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Coronavirus: China airlines post record revenue loss in February as passenger volumes plunge

March 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese airlines posted a record loss of 20.96 billion yuan (US$3 billion) in February after tens of thousands of flights in and out of the country were cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Thursday.Passenger traffic plunged by 84.5 per cent to 8.34 million people while cargo volumes slumped 21 per cent to 297,000 tonnes last month compared to the same time last year, data from the aviation regulator showed.February was…

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China forges ahead with airport construction binge, despite signs of slowing air traffic growth

March 9, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is pressing ahead with plans to build an average of 14 airports every year over the next 15 years, despite passenger and cargo growth showing signs of slowing after a period of rapid expansion.Already equipped with some of the world’s largest airports, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) wants to add another 215 to reach a target of 450 by 2035, helping to turn China’s aviation industry into a strategic part of its trillion-dollar economy.In the short-term, the airport…

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Coronavirus sends China’s aviation industry into free fall, damaging hopes of becoming global hub

March 5, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]This is part of a five-part series looking at how the coronavirus epidemic affects China’s relationships with the rest of the world. Part three focuses on how the virus is causing China to lose ground in its quest to become a global aviation power.China’s aim to become an international aviation hub is taking a beating, as fears of a global coronavirus pandemic continue to intensify.The coronavirus, which causes the disease officially known as Covid-19, started in the Central Chinese city of…

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Chinese frog breeders call for help as wildlife trade ban shuts down business

March 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Frog breeders in southern China have appealed directly to authorities to allow them to keep rearing the animals despite a national ban on the wildlife trade triggered by a deadly coronavirus epidemic.The appeal was made in two petitions posted online – one by a group from Jiangmen in Guangdong province and the other by breeders in Hainan province.“The government’s forestry department has banned trading of all wild animals, including our 10,000 tonnes of domesticated Thai tiger frogs. Where do…

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China likely to introduce new measures to bolster coronavirus-hit economy, analysts say

March 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing is expected to launch new policies to support economic growth, observers say, after figures showed the coronavirus outbreak hammered activity in the nation’s manufacturing and services sectors in February.Analysts have cut their forecasts for China’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth from a consensus of about 4 per cent to a contraction of up to 6 per cent following the publication of the data on Saturday.But most said the government would continue to shy away from…

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China’s cabinet makers lose US anti-dumping case as trade tensions remain despite phase one deal

February 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese producers and exporters of wooden cabinets and vanities will have to pay additional duties on imports to the United States after losing an anti-dumping case lodged by their American competitors in a sign of ongoing trade tensions despite the signing of the phase one trade deal in January.The US Department of Commerce said it had determined that Chinese firms had sold wooden cabinets and vanities at “less than fair value in the United States at rates ranging from 4.37 per cent to 262.18…

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Coronavirus: China’s airlines offer domestic flights for as little as US$4 as industry struggles amid outbreak

February 26, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A one-way air ticket from the coastal economic hub of Shanghai to the inland municipality of Chongqing, a journey of over 1,400km (870 miles), now costs less than a cup of coffee, with Chinese airlines slashing prices in a bid to boost weak domestic demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.The cancellation of around 10,000 flights a day, or around two thirds of the total number of flights scheduled every day in February, has placed huge financial pressure on airlines and airports.The Civil Aviation…

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China to refund US trade war tariffs on some medical devices amid coronavirus outbreak

February 21, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China said on Friday it would refund tariffs already paid on a list of 55 US-made products including medical devices, engine components and timber products.The list of products includes some medical devices that are essential for the diagnosis of coronavirus, which causes the disease officially known as Covid-19, and which has already infected more than 75,000 people and killed more than 2,000 in China. These products include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parts and X-rays tubes, a key…

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Coronavirus: Chinese banks face test as bad debts tipped to rise while economic growth tumbles

February 19, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s banking system will be seriously tested by the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, which could derail growth and trigger a spike in bad debt if banks are told to lend to virus-hit sectors of the economy, analysts said.The virus outbreak, which has killed more than 2,000 people and infected more than 74,000, is expected to cut China’s gross domestic production (GDP) growth by 1-2 percentage points in 2020 and drag it down to 3 per cent or lower in the first quarter. Many analysts say…

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Coronavirus: China’s online sales of disinfectant, hair care accessories, massage chairs increase as consumers stay at home

February 15, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Online sales of disinfectant, hair care accessories, massage chairs, air purifiers, and disposable gloves have grown multiple times over the past few days as many Chinese consumers are forced to stay home because of the coronavirus outbreak.Restaurants, cinemas, hotels, and shops have all been forced to close because of the outbreak, which has infected more than 60,000 people. There are also still restrictions in place which mean some factories remain shut, while some companies have asked their…

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Coronavirus hitting China’s manufacturing sector worse than Sars as Covid-19 slows production

February 14, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]For Huang Meiyun, deputy manager of a hat manufacturer and retailer from Jiangsu, the coronavirus outbreak could not have come at a worse time.“Originally we had plans to deliver our products [after the Lunar New Year holiday],” said Huang, who works at Foremost in Nantong, a city 150km north of Shanghai in the eastern Jiangsu province.“Because of the outbreak, we just couldn’t do it. Customers have been chasing us. It’s not just about orders being cancelled now, we have had to adjust as well …

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Coronavirus: does China have the financial power to repair the economic damage caused by the outbreak?

February 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The coronavirus outbreak is expected to significantly worsen China’s fiscal situation that is already under pressure from an economic slowdown, raising the question over whether Beijing can afford to loosen the purse strings to help, analysts said.Production in the world’s second largest economy has been largely halted in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 45,000 people and killed over 1,100 across the country.Such measures have disrupted many of China’s…

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China’s most indebted provinces face further woes in 2020 as pressure to help slowing economy grows

January 27, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Under pressure to help boost the economy by spending on infrastructure despite increasingly having less money at their disposal, some of China’s most indebted provinces are set to find themselves in worse positions in 2020 as debts only continue to rise.Local governments sold 4.36 trillion yuan (US$630 billion) of bonds last year, up about 6 per cent from 4.12 trillion yuan from 2018, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday, adding to the total outstanding local government debts of 21.31…

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Explained: The economic importance of China’s Lunar New Year as the Year of the Rat begins

January 25, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Families across China celebrated the beginning of its new year on Friday, which began with one of the planet’s greatest migrations, and will continue with a month of nationwide factory closures along with a spending spree that has the potential to have a big seasonal impact on the economy.Known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, all of China, the most populous country in the world, takes a holiday at once to mark the occasion, drawing comparisons with Thanksgiving, Christmas or the Super…

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China’s provinces revise 2018 GDP estimates amid questions about economic data quality

January 23, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]More than a third of China’s provincial governments have downgraded their 2018 gross domestic product estimates following a crackdown from Beijing on local governments falsifying data to exaggerate their economic performance.The National Bureau of Statistics said last year it would unify the way it calculates provincial and national economic output from early 2020, amid scepticism about the reliability of Chinese economic figures, particularly at a local level where governments have strong…

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China bracing for US tech war with plan to cut reliance on imports of key components to just 25 per cent

January 15, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is aiming to increase its reliance on domestic production for key components, including chips and controlling systems, to 75 per cent by 2025, according to a former minister.The target reflects Beijing’s determination to reduce its dependence on imports by expanding its national manufacturing innovation centres to 40 from the 15 at the end of 2019.Domestic production can currently only provide around a third of the key components required by China, but Li Yizhong, the former industry and…

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China aims for ‘steady’ yuan despite US trade war turbulence

January 12, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will keep its monetary policy and yuan steady despite “complex external pressure”, a senior Chinese central bank official said just days before the expected signing of a phase one trade deal.Addressing a forum in Beijing on Sunday, central bank deputy governor Pan Gongsheng, who is also the head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said China was one of the few countries to retain a “normal” monetary policy amid the international trend for negative interest rates.“China is one…

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China’s rural banks struggling under pressure of overdue loans as slow growth, trade war take their toll

December 16, 2019

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Faced by the “cliff-like” plunge in the main business of their largest group of clients, which has entered an “unprecedented cold winter period”, the tale in northern Hebei province is one that is replicated across the country, China’s small rural banks are scrambling to raise new capital as they struggle to contain a rapidly rising number of overdue loans.Due to sluggish domestic growth and the impact of the trade war with the United States, 29 rural banks this year have applied to the China…

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