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Amanda Lee



Articles by Amanda Lee

China’s aviation capabilities stuck at ‘low-end’ as military-civil fusion weighs on innovation: official report

2 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s commercial aviation industry is lagging behind international competitors, with the country’s military-civil fusion strategy stifling innovation and state dominance of the sector hampering efficiency, according to a report from the Shanghai government.Shanghai has been at the forefront of China’s commercial aviation sector, which was identified as one of the key industries set for heavy investment in the 14th five-year plan for 2021-25.The city is home to the state-owned Commercial…

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China’s central bank should be more like the Fed, top researcher says

6 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should reduce its reliance on local government debt to finance economic growth and instead adopt an aggressive monetary policy like that of the US to boost consumption, a top Chinese researcher said, as Beijing ramps up its efforts to control the risk of excessive borrowing.Unlike the US Federal Reserve, China’s central bank has resisted cutting benchmark interest rates or buying bonds to pump money directly into the financial system, a stimulus method known as quantitative easing.The…

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US-China relations: Beijing’s plan for aviation supremacy faces bumpy ride as American export controls show no signs of easing

20 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s plan to become a powerhouse in civil aircraft manufacturing could be derailed by US export controls on aviation products, as tension between Beijing and Washington shows no sign of easing despite a new administration in Washington. A trade war between the world’s two biggest economies has morphed into a battle for tech supremacy that has spilled over into the aviation sector in the past two years.Amid fears that US global competitiveness could be compromised and critical technology…

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Chinese aviation firm Avic: why is it on a US sanctions list and what do we know about it?

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) is at the forefront of China’s plan to become more technologically self-reliant and a key supplier for a commercial aircraft that Beijing is trying to bring to market. But it has also been caught in the crossfire as relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated in recent years.In December 2020, seven of its subsidiaries landed on the US Commerce Department’s list of Chinese companies with alleged military ties. As such, they are…

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China digital currency to ‘provide backup’ for Alipay, Tencent’s WeChat Pay if ‘something happens’ to internet giants

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A key objective of China’s sovereign digital currency is to maintain financial stability should “something happen” to Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, the two private platforms that dominate the nation’s vast digital payment market, the country’s central bank has said. China is steaming ahead with the roll-out of its digital yuan, carrying out pilot trials in cities across the country as it shifts to a cashless society that will give authorities unprecedented powers to survey the nation’s…

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C919: China seen certifying passenger jet this year, but can the plane claim market share from Boeing and Airbus?

March 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]While China expects that its home-grown C919 passenger jet will be officially certified to fly this year, analysts say the nation’s aviation industry is far from capable of filling the void left by Boeing, which remains entangled in a political dispute between Beijing and Washington.China’s rapid economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, strong government support, and the country’s continued ban on Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX jet on safety concerns all provide an opportunity for the C919…

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China’s coal imports from Russia may increase as supply from Australia ‘expected to decline’

March 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Russia is aiming to supply more coal to the world’s biggest energy consumer, as Beijing is also seeking to diversify China’s coal supply away from Australia amid ongoing tensions with Canberra, according to analysts.China remains Russia’s biggest trading partner, but Russia’s trade balance since May has turned from a surplus to a deficit, largely due to a fall in exports of oil and gas and an increase in imports of electrical machinery and equipment, said Liam Peach, emerging markets economist…

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China population: Beijing mulls eliminating gender gap in retirement age as demographic crisis looms

March 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The retirement age for women in China is lower than that of men, reflecting work and child care burdens from decades ago. As China’s population ages and its work force declines, the retirement age gap is coming under scrutiny, with changes possible in the near future. This is the first of a series of stories on women’s issues in China and Asia to coincide with International Women’s Day.Amid growing concern about a demographic crisis, China is moving closer to narrowing the age of retirement…

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US-China relations: companies in south China have no appetite for decoupling, but expect tensions to grow, says AmCham

February 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Most small and medium-sized companies operating in China’s south plan to stay in the country despite concerns that frictions between Beijing and Washington are likely to grow this year, according to a new survey from the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.Although companies are slightly more positive about the relationship in 2021 than previous years, some 86 per cent of businesses believed the US-China trade dispute is “very likely” or “probably” likely to expand, said the special…

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China’s top 5 infrastructure projects set to cost US$131 billion, but overall investment set to drop amid debt fears

February 14, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Deteriorating local government finances and concerns about mounting public debts are likely to result in China gradually curbing local government infrastructure projects this year, analysts said, although the top five approved last year are still set to cost close to 850 billion yuan (US$131.7 billion).China’s total fixed-asset investment rose to 51.9 trillion yuan (US$8 trillion) in 2020, an increase of 2.9 per cent compared to the previous year, but at the same time, its overall debt level…

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China’s tourism industry expected to remain weak early in 2021 amid fresh coronavirus travel curbs

February 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s tourism industry showed signs of recovery towards the end of last year, but analysts believe holiday spending is unlikely to pick up in coming months.Some 25.25 million people joined package tours in the fourth quarter, down by nearly half from the same period a year earlier, according to data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Wednesday.Still, participation in package holidays recovered gradually throughout 2020, from 4.98 million in the first quarter at the height of…

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China, east Asia boost share of global trade in 2020 after rapid recovery from coronavirus pandemic: UNCTAD

February 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China and some east Asian nations racked up gains in their share of global exports in 2020, propelled by their ability to weather the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a United Nations report released on Wednesday.China boosted its share of global trade the most, followed by Taiwan and Vietnam, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.The United States, which is locked in a trade and technology rivalry with China, saw its overall export share decline more than…

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China population: concerns grow as number of registered births in 2020 plummet

February 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Concerns over the outlook for China’s population have grown after the number of newborns recorded in the country’s household registration system declined 15 per cent during a coronavirus-hit 2020.Last year, a total 10.035 million of newborns were recorded in the household registration system, known as hukou in China, down from 11.79 million in 2019, according to figures released by the Ministry of Public Security on Monday.The figure is not China’s official birth rate for 2020 as the hukou…

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Why are China’s small rural banks important, and what problems do they face?

February 6, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s smaller commercial banks in rural areas have come under increasing scrutiny by federal banking regulators. This is not only because of their vital importance in funding the rural economy, but also because their balance sheets have become weaker due to mounting loan losses.Rural commercial banks are unique to China’s state-dominated banking sector. According to the latest figures from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), there are 1,641 rural banks in China…

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China names ‘highly capable, effective technocrat’ as WTO ambassador as Beijing awaits Biden’s moves on trade

February 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has appointed a former assistant commerce minister, described as a “highly capable and effective technocrat”, as the country’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as Beijing prepares for a different approach from the United States to the global trade body.Law graduate Li Chenggang has also been appointed as deputy permanent representative to the United Nations office in Geneva, as well other international organisations in Switzerland, the official Xinhua New Agency reported…

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China debt: Guizhou among indebted western areas facing ‘greatest’ repayment pressure amid default fears

February 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s underdeveloped western areas, particularly the heavily indebted province of Guizhou, are set to face increasing pressure over the next five years due to rising debt levels that could potentially trigger risks in the state-dominated banking system, according to a new report.Caixin reported last week that a state-owned investment company, Zunyi Bozhou District State-Owned Assets Investment and Management Group which is better known as Bozhou Investment, defaulted on an infrastructure…

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Beijing bank regulator orders crackdown on illegal property loans

January 31, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The Chinese capital’s bank regulator has ordered an investigation into the illegal use of personal loans to invest in real estate amid growing fears of a property bubble.The Beijing branch of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission told banks in the city to conduct a comprehensive examination into personal and business loans issued since the second half of last year.They must “immediately rectify problems found and strengthen internal accountability”, according to a report by…

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China’s economic recovery continued in January at slower pace as virus outbreak takes toll

January 31, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s economy recovery continued in January but at a slower pace, as the resurgence of coronavirus in parts of the country took a toll on business sentiment, led by a sharp drop in service sector morale.The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) – a survey of sentiment among factory owners in the world’s second-largest economy – fell to 51.3 last month from 51.9 in December, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).December’s reading was below the median…

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Global public debt to rise ‘modestly’ after US$14 trillion spent to tackle coronavirus economic damage, IMF says

January 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Global public debt is set to rise “modestly” in 2021 after some US$14 trillion was spent last year to tackle economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).The IMF estimated in its “Fiscal Monitor Update” published on Thursday that global public debt is set to reach 99.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, up slightly from 97.6 per cent at the end of 2020.Governments around the world used the money to support their virus-hit…

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Global economy to grow 5.5 per cent in 2021 after 3.5 per cent contraction in 2020, IMF forecasts

January 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The world economy will grow by 5.5 per cent this year, reversing the 3.5 per cent contraction that it saw in 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects in its latest global economic forecast.Growth will also be boosted by the continued strong economic rebound in China, as well as by policy support in large economies such as the United States and Japan. In addition, the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines could boost economic activity in the second half of the year.The 2021 growth…

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China’s GDP growth targets should be scrapped to help put cap on local government debt, top central bank adviser says

January 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should permanently stop setting annual economic growth targets, as its overall level of borrowing and debt is rising at the fastest rate since 2009, following the global financial crisis, according to a senior adviser to the country’s central bank.Ma Jun, a member of the monetary policy committee of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and its former chief economist, has outlined a number of risks facing the Chinese economy. He warned that continuing to set gross domestic product (GDP)…

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Debt at China’s state-owned firms in spotlight as credit tightening raises default pressure

January 14, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s big state-owned firms are likely to face growing pressure to make payments on their debt this year as Beijing moves to tighten credit growth, government researchers and analysts said.Last year, Chinese state firms defaulted on 71.8 billion yuan (US$11.1 billion) worth of debt, accounting for 51 per cent of all defaults, and the largest default total for state firms since China first allowed onshore bond defaults in 2014, according to data from the National Institution for Finance &…

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Coronavirus: Chinese steelmaking hub hit, with highway closures reducing output and delivery

January 7, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Mainland China’s biggest coronavirus outbreak in months – in the northern steelmaking hub of Hebei province – has triggered curbs on transport, including truck deliveries of steel.But analysts expect the price of the metal to drop in the short term after a strong rise supported by the nation’s economic recovery.“As Hebei enters a state of war [with the coronavirus], together with a deep plunge in the temperature, the [steel] demand cannot be wholly met,” said Fubao Information, a data-analytics…

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China’s digital currency trial returns to Shenzhen for round two, with twice the participants and double the payout

January 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Shenzhen, China’s technological hub, will start its second trial of the nation’s digital currency this week, giving away virtual gift packets to its citizens as the nation steps up its testing efforts in a bid to launch the world’s first sovereign digital currency.The Shenzhen government said it will give away 20 million yuan (US$3.1 million) via “red packets” – gift envelopes traditionally given out during holidays and special occasions – to residents of Shenzhen’s Futian district via a…

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C919: what is China’s home-grown alternative to Airbus, Boeing duopoly, and why is it important?

January 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is the C919?The C919 is a narrow-body jet being built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), a state-owned company based in Shanghai, to compete with Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320.How is the C919 being developed?The Chinese government formed Comac in 2008 to design and build the single-aisle C919.However, most of the parts are imported from foreign manufacturers, including the engine, avionics, control systems, communications and landing gear.According to a report…

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Former Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei attacks regulators for ‘failure’ to act over risk

December 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s former finance minister Lou Jiwei has criticised the country’s financial regulators, saying they had ignored systemic risks.In a speech made at the China Wealth Management 50 Forum in Shenzhen on Sunday, Lou highlighted a number of regulatory failures in the supervision of banks and bond markets and warned the country’s mounting debt threatened the economy.He said the country’s central bank had not taken precautions against systemic risks, citing its handling of the collapse of Baoshang…

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China faces urgent ‘unprecedented challenge’ to develop jet engine as foreign hostility grows

December 17, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China must be able to produce its own jet engine for commercial use as the world’s second biggest economy can no longer “leverage market access in exchange for technology” due to increasing foreign hostility, a senior engineer from state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) says.Liu Daxiang, deputy director of the science and technology committee at Avic, said aviation technology had accelerated this century and competition was getting “more fierce”.“The established countries in…

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Boeing 737 MAX: plane’s return to China riddled with uncertainty as tensions with US rage on

December 11, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]As Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX took off for its first commercial flight in 20 months this week, the company is still facing challenges getting the passenger jet into the air in the critical Chinese aviation market, where its business has become entangled in tension between Beijing and Washington.Brazil’s Gol Airlines became the first carrier to return the plane to service on Wednesday, following two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people and raised questions about its safety.The US…

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China debt: local government default risk grows as authorities struggle to repay credit

December 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s regional economies are under growing pressure to meet debt repayments after a years-long spending spree, as trillions of yuan worth of credit is set to mature next year, according to analysts.A series of recent defaults by state firms that count local governments as majority shareholders have raised doubts over the ability of some authorities to pay back debt, including off-balance sheet borrowing through so-called local government financing vehicles (LGFVs). The risk of default has…

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China’s commercial plane aspirations are overblown and no threat to Boeing or Airbus, Washington think tank finds

December 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing’s plan to make its own commercial aircraft to break up the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus remains a costly pipe dream, according to a Washington-based think tank.While Beijing has pumped at least US$45 billion into the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to make commercial planes, including the C919 passenger jet, the odds that China can make the project a success “are between slim and none”, said Scott Kennedy, a senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic and International…

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