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Andrew Mullen



Articles by Andrew Mullen

China inflation: commodity costs push factory-gate prices to rise at fastest pace since August 2008

15 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Factory-gate price inflation in China remained high in August, rising to the highest level in 13 years, data released on Thursday showed.The producer price index (PPI), which reflects the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, rose by 9.5 per cent in August from a year earlier, from a gain of 9 per cent in July the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.This was the fastest pace since August 2008 and was also above expectations, as a Bloomberg survey of analysts had…

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China’s services activity ‘plunges’ after coronavirus flare-ups

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Activity in China’s services sector “plunged” in August due to a series of coronavirus outbreaks, a private survey showed on Friday, matching the findings in the official data released earlier this week.The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) – a gauge of sentiment among smaller, private firms – fell to 46.7 in August from 54.9 in July. It was the first time that services activity shrank since April 2020.The result was well below expectations by analysts polled by Bloomberg,…

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China’s economic recovery woes increase as services sector activity contracts

24 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s services sector activity contracted in August to the second-lowest level on record, further adding to evidence of a slowing economy after the key indicator missed expectations.The official non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) – which measures morale in the services and construction sectors – fell to 47.5 in August, from 53.3 in July, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday.The figure was below the median forecast of a Bloomberg survey of…

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US-China trade war timeline: key dates and events since July 2018

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The US-China trade war began in July 2018 under the administration of then-US president Donald Trump, eventually leading to tariffs on some US$550 billion of Chinese goods and US$185 billion of US goods.

A phase-one trade deal between the two sides was signed in January 2020, although relations have not significantly improved under the administration of US President Joe Biden.

06/07/2018: US-China trade war begins

US places 25 per cent duties on around US$34 billion of imports from China,…

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What is China’s common-prosperity strategy that calls for an even distribution of wealth?

August 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is common prosperity?At an economic leadership meeting in August, Chinese leaders agreed that China must pursue a goal of “common prosperity” – where citizens share in the opportunity to be wealthy – as the main objective for the next stage of its development, while stressing the need to maintain an airtight economy that allows for that smoothing out of wealth.According to the meeting notes, common prosperity was described as a means to “properly deal with the relationship between…

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China inflation: factory-gate price growth quickened in July, higher than expected

August 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Factory-gate price inflation in China remained high in July, data released on Monday showed.

The producer price index (PPI), which reflects the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, rose by 9 per cent in July from a year earlier, from a gain of 8.8 per cent in June the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

This was above expectations, as a Bloomberg survey of analysts had predicted a rise of 8.6 per cent.

“The price increase of industrial products expanded…

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Canada escalates WTO case against China’s blocks on its canola seed exports

July 27, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Canada has succeeded at the second time of asking to establish a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel to look into China’s restrictions placed on its canola seed exports, which have been in effect for over two years.China suspended imports of canola seeds from Richardson International and Viterra in March 2019, while also making shipments from other Canadian firms subject to enhanced inspections, due to the detection of pests.The first attempt by Canada to establish a panel was blocked by China…

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China jobs: inside the world’s biggest workforce

July 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]This is the first in a series of stories on China’s job market, looking at its history, the role of migrant workers, inequality and the future for its graduates entering the workforce.China has always placed a high priority on support for the job market, seeing a high level of employment as being the main ingredient in overall social stability. In addition, the working element of the country’s 1.4 billion population is crucial to driving economic growth.A major concern for Beijing is ensuring…

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China’s exports of coronavirus-critical medical products nearly tripled in 2020, with US$105 billion in goods shipped

July 2, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China exported the largest amount of coronavirus-critical medical products in 2020, with the US$105 billion worth of equipment shipped overseas – almost three times the level seen a year earlier, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).Global trade in medical goods hit US$2.3 trillion in 2020 as the world responded to the coronavirus outbreak, which was first reported at the end of 2019 and declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization at the end of January 2020…

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China’s US trade deal commitments more than 30 per cent short of year-to-date target, report says

June 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China was more than 30 per cent short of its 2021 commitments under the phase-one trade deal with the United States during the first five months of the year, according to new analysis of trade data between the world’s two largest economies.The US and China signed their long-awaited deal in January 2020, and the terms outlined in the agreement took effect one month later.As part of it, China committed to buying an additional US$200 billion worth of goods and services over 2020-21, relative to…

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China blocks Canadian move to set up WTO probe into ‘serious, negative’ canola seed restrictions

June 29, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China as expected blocked Canada’s first request to establish a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel to investigate Beijing’s restrictions placed on imports of Canadian canola seeds.China suspended imports of canola seeds from Richardson International and Viterra in March 2019, while also making shipments from other Canadian firms subject to enhanced inspections, claiming that pests were detected.Canada claims discussions with China in October 2019 “failed to settle the dispute” and confirmed…

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Canada’s canola farmers hope WTO complaint against China can ease costly blocks on seed exports

June 27, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Canola farmers in Canada hope the escalation of a complaint over restrictions placed on its seed exports to China, which have been in effect for over two years, can help resolve the issue that is estimated to have already cost the industry up to US$1.9 billion.China suspended imports of canola seeds from Richardson International and Viterra in March 2019, while also making shipments from other Canadian firms subject to enhanced inspections, claiming that pests were detected.The case will now be…

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China-Japan relations: Tokyo complains to WTO over import taxes on its stainless steel imports

June 16, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Japan has requested consolations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over anti-dumping duties that have been placed on its stainless steel products since July 2019, the Geneva-based body confirmed on Tuesday.The request, which was circulated to WTO members on Tuesday after having been submitted on Friday, claims the measures imposed on steel billets, hot-rolled coils and hot-rolled plates appear to be inconsistent with various provisions under the General Agreement on Tariffs and…

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US sheds light on latest China trade talks, raising concerns about ‘unfair, market-distorting industrial policies’

June 11, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Concerns surrounding China’s “unfair and market-distorting industrial policies” and the “need to level the playing field” for American companies in China were raised during Thursday’s latest round of trade talks, according to the US Department of Commerce.China confirmed Commerce Minister Wang Wentao spoke with his American counterpart Gina Raimondo on Thursday, with the talks described as a “candid and pragmatic exchange of views”.Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng refused to provide any…

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China’s three-child policy: why was it introduced and what does it mean?

June 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is China’s three-child policy?On May 31, 2021, China’s Communist Party Politburo meeting, chaired by President Xi Jinping, announced it will allow each couple in the country to have up to three children in a marked departure from its previous two-child limit.A statement released after the meeting said major steps were needed to address the deepening problem of the ageing population.“Birth policies will be further improved. A policy that allows a couple to have three children will be…

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China’s one-child policy: what was it and what impact did it have?

May 31, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What was China’s one-child policy?China’s one-child policy was rolled out in 1980 by Deng Xiaoping and was strictly enforced after the population had increased to 969 million in 1980 from around 540 million in 1949.It restricted most couples to only a single offspring, and for years authorities argued it was a key factor in supporting the country’s economic boom.It was enforced by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, with a system of fines for violators and often forced abortions…

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US-China relations: is there still a trade war under Joe Biden’s presidency?

May 23, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]How did the trade war start?During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to reduce the trade deficit with China. He claimed it was based in large part on unfair Chinese trading practices, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, a lack of market access for American companies in China, and an uneven playing field caused by Beijing’s subsidies for favoured Chinese companies.China, meanwhile, believed that the United States was trying to restrict its rise…

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China census: all eyes on population data with results set to shine spotlight on critical social issues

May 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will release the outcome of its eagerly anticipated census on Tuesday, with attention focused on the change in the nation’s total population given its potential to shape government social policy and the country’s economic outlook.National Bureau of Statics (NBS) commissioner Ning Jizhe will head a press conference starting at 10am in Beijing, China’s State Council Information Office confirmed on Sunday, after the initial results of the once-in-a-decade census were delayed from their…

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China-Australia relations: Beijing blocks ‘premature’ move to set up WTO probe into Australian barley tariffs

April 29, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China as expected blocked Australia’s first request to establish a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel to investigate Beijing’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on imports of Australian barley.It imposed an 80.5 per cent tariff on Australia’s barley exports in May following the conclusion of an 18-month investigation, with the WTO confirming that Canberra filed a complaint with the Geneva-based body in November.According to a Geneva trade official, Australia said at Wednesday’s…

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China’s 14th five-year plan for 2021-25 discussed, unpacked explained

March 29, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A key drafter of China’s 14th five-year plan and several of Beijing’s top economists will take part in a high-level panel meeting on Tuesday to discuss the mainland blueprint and how it can create new opportunities for Hong Kong.The five-year plan, which was approved at the National People’s Congress during its annual “two sessions” meeting in Beijing earlier this month, sets out the country’s main economic and political goals for 2021-25.Watch the event live belowHu Zucai, vice-chair of China…

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US-China relations: trade talks will take place ‘when the time is right’, says new US Trade Representative Katherine Tai

March 29, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A trade meeting between China and the United States will take place “when the time is right”, new US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has said.The Office of the US Trade Representative confirmed Tai spoke to some 14 international trade officials during her first week in office, having been sworn in on March 18, although this did not include Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s chief trade negotiator. The phase one trade deal calls for the US Trade Representative to meet every six months with…

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China GDP: economic growth target of ‘above 6 per cent’ for 2021 confirmed by Premier Li Keqiang

March 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China set an economic growth target of “above 6 per cent” for 2021 as the country continues its strong rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic last year, Premier Li Keqiang announced Friday at the National People’s Congress in Beijing.China’s economy is widely expected by analysts to grow by more than 8 per cent this year, helped by the low base from last year’s weak growth. The International Monetary Fund forecast in January that China’s economy would grow by 8.1 per cent in 2021…

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China’s services sector: what is it and why is it important to the economy?

March 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]What is China’s services sector?China’s services sector is made up of various industries, including warehousing and transport services; information services; securities and other investment services; professional services; waste management; health care and social assistance; and arts, entertainment and recreation.China’s services sector accounted for 54 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, followed by the industrial sector at 39 per cent and the agricultural sector at 7 per cent,…

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EU-China relations: services sector seen as untapped potential for growth in relationship after goods trade overtakes US

February 19, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Even as China overtook the United States as the European Union’s biggest trading partner last year, the services sector offers untapped potentials to grow the relationship which reached €586 billion (US$707 billion) in 2020, according to the president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.China’s trade volume in goods with the 27-member European Union (EU), excluding Britain, reached €586 billion in 2020, according to the latest data.Both the EU’s exports to and imports from China…

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China coal: why is it so important to the economy?

February 12, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Why does China need coal?China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal.Thermal coal is widely used for power generation, which accounted for 57.7 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption in 2019, a decline of 10.8 percentage points from 2012. But that was still far higher than cleaner energy sources – including natural gas, hydro, nuclear, solar and wind.Coal is also used by poorer households in many parts of the country for both heating and cooking.Coking coal is also a…

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China inflation: manufacturers charging more for their products for first time in a year

February 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s producer price index (PPI) rose for the first time in a year due to a rise in demand as the economic recovery continued and as factories passed on rising input prices, data released on Wednesday showed.PPI, reflecting the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, rose to 0.3 per cent in January from a year earlier, compared with minus 0.4 per cent in December.This was in-line with the Bloomberg survey which had predicted a rise to 0.3 per cent.PPI was last positive in…

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US-China trade war: phase one trade deal largely a ‘failure’, as purchases fall well short of targets

February 8, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A large part of the phase one trade deal between China and the United States that entered into force almost one year ago was a “failure”, according to a new report, although “several elements are worth keeping and building upon”.The US and China signed their long-awaited deal in January 2020, with the conditions of the agreement beginning one month later. As part of it, China committed to buying US$200 billion in additional goods and services over 2020-21 on top of 2017’s levels.But a report…

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