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China-Australia relations: Canberra investing more on trade diversification in the face of Beijing’s ‘economic coercion’

March 31, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia will invest more to find new buyers for its exports in an effort to ease trade dependence on China, its treasurer said, in the face of “economic coercion” from Beijing that shows little sign of abating. In an interview with Bloomberg, Josh Frydenberg said the government was “investing more in trade diversification” after China subjected products ranging from coal to barley, lobsters and wine to punitive trade actions. “We are now, for example, sending more barley to Saudi Arabia, more…

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China population: ‘entirely possible’ will peak this year as provinces report more declines

March 21, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s population is likely to peak this year, a central bank adviser said, with several provinces already reporting declines in the population growth rate. Cai Fang, a member of the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy committee, said it is “entirely possible” that the world’s largest population will peak in 2022, according to a report in the 21st Century Business Herald. Separately, Yicai reported that seven out of the 16 provinces that have so far disclosed birth data saw negative…

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China’s yuan strength becoming ‘increasingly uncomfortable’ for Beijing amid economic slowdown

March 18, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China made its biggest push to weaken the yuan through its currency fixings this week as coronavirus-related curbs and rising commodity prices threatened to slow the economy.The weekly average of the gap between the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) daily yuan reference rate and market estimates widened to 68 basis points, the highest on record since Bloomberg started the survey with analysts and traders in 2018.The bulk of the move came on Monday and Tuesday, when the fixing deviated 150 pips…

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China ramps up US corn purchases as Ukraine war puts supplies at risk

March 18, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is ramping up corn purchases from the United States as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine snarls grain exports and puts spring plantings in doubt, pushing prices higher in Chicago.The world’s top importer scooped up 200,000 metric tonnes of corn last week for shipment in the season beginning September 1, US Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday, the most since December.While China was only the fourth-largest buyer for the week, the sale was notable since the Asian country had been…

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Russia’s VTB Bank offers up to 8 per cent interest for yuan deposits, as it hoards renminbi to skirt dollar sanctions

March 10, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]VTB Bank is offering a Chinese yuan savings account with a maximum interest rate of 8 per cent, as the Russian lender faces strict sanctions from the US and UK as those nations look to financially isolate Russia through widening penalties.Deposits can be opened remotely through VTB Online with a minimum amount of 100 yuan (US$16), according to a press release Wednesday. At VTB branches, clients can deposit a minimum of 500 yuan.VTB said the new offer will be the most profitable alternative to…

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As China’s sovereign bonds tumble from No 1 ranking, eyes turn to Russia as possible source of funds exodus

March 9, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s sovereign bonds have plunged from atop the global performance rankings to the bottom half in recent weeks, undermining their status as an alternative haven just as global markets have become roiled by the war in Ukraine.The return on yuan debt, excluding currency fluctuations, slipped to 29th among 46 sovereign markets tracked by Bloomberg since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The securities had topped the rankings in January when they…

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China edges closer to national pension system with ‘balancing’ of main retirement fund as population ages

February 23, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has taken another step toward setting up a national pension system, beginning the “balancing” of its main retirement fund to help regions with older populations continue to make payouts.National balancing was started on January 1 for the corporate employees pension fund to “allow shortfalls to be compensated by surpluses nationwide,” deputy finance minister Yu Weiping said on Tuesday.The central government has been slowly working to link the various provincial pension plans into a…

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India takes aim at China’s alleged trade coercion against Australia: ‘if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck’

February 14, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]India’s foreign minister has criticised China for its alleged economic coercion of Australia, in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, saying progress and prosperity over the past 80 years was the result of a trading system “governed by rules and not politically influenced”.Canberra’s ties with China, Australia’s largest trading partner, have nosedived since early 2020 when Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government called for an independent investigation into the origin of the…

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Alibaba, JD.com investors lead the shift to Hong Kong’s market from New York, as US-China financial decoupling gathers momentum

January 15, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Some of the biggest Chinese tech firms are seeing investors boost their proportion of Hong Kong-traded shares away from American Depository Receipts, as tougher US regulatory oversight and elevated bilateral tensions darken the prospects for such firms on Wall Street.Nine Chinese firms that have a US primary listing and either secondary or dual primary-listed status in the Asian financial hub have seen increased proportion of Hong Kong shares in the past year, according to Bloomberg’s…

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China may delay its much-feared property tax amid price slump in nation’s real estate industry

January 6, 2022

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s property tax could be another casualty of the slump in the housing market, with analysts expecting the government to hold off on expanding trials of the levy because of a real estate-led economic slowdown.In October last year, China’s parliament authorised the limited property tax in Shanghai and Chongqing be expanded to more cities, with some analysts forecasting that it could begin by the end of 2021. However, the rapid deterioration of the real-estate sector and the lack of any…

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China’s common prosperity push is accelerating, but how will life change in 10 years under Xi Jinping?

December 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]It has been a year of overwhelming change for China, and the fundamental shift in the relationship among the country’s government, businesses and citizens is a long way from complete.President Xi Jinping’s push for so-called common prosperity – aimed at narrowing the nation’s persistent wealth gap – underpins moves to limit the power of China’s technology giants, to cool ever-rising house prices, to encourage philanthropy and to embrace clean energy.The drive has dovetailed with a clampdown on…

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China’s income tax cuts ‘important stimulus’ in push to stabilise economic growth

December 30, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will extend some personal income tax breaks, with certain measures to benefit high earners more, as the government seeks to encourage household spending as part of efforts to stimulate economic growth.Preferential taxes on year-end bonuses will stay in place until the end of 2023, lower taxation on equity incentives will continue through next year and exemptions on some tax payments will be given to low income earners, according to a State Council statement released on Wednesday.The…

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China injects US$31 billion into financial system to alleviate rising liquidity pressure

December 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has boosted its injection of short-term cash into the banking system to the highest level in two months, as demand for liquidity climbed before year end.The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) added 200 billion yuan (US$31 billion) worth of cash into the financial system through seven-day reverse repurchase agreements, more than offsetting the 10 billion yuan coming due. The move came after an indicator for short-term borrowing costs soared the most in a year on Monday – a sign of liquidity…

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China food security: pork self-sufficiency push to raise demand for global grain stocks

December 23, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s reaffirmation of a long-term goal to be almost entirely self-sufficient in pork production means it will keep scooping up global grain supplies to feed the world’s largest pig herd.The country, which consumes half of the world’s pork, will maintain a target to produce 95 per cent of the protein at home until 2025.It wants to be self sufficient in poultry and egg, 85 per cent for beef and mutton, and 70 per cent for dairy, the agriculture ministry said, adding that they form part of…

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China urges ‘hardest-hit’ solar firms to fight against US, India trade restrictions

December 15, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is urging solar companies to fight against trade policies from countries such as the United States and India that are creating challenges for the industry.Companies should use legal weapons to fight trade restrictions against solar products, while the industry should enhance its autonomy, resilience and credibility, Wang Xin, deputy chief of the Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau at the Commerce Department, said in a virtual presentation at a solar industry conference on Wednesday…

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China’s diesel exports set to climb after averting supply crisis, domestic stock ‘to build over winter’

December 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has averted a full-scale diesel crisis after refiners quickly ramped up production, with excess supply poised to flow into a regional market starved of the industrial fuel.Top processors China National Petroleum Corporation and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, better known as Sinopec, started boosting production in September under government coordination as demand surged following a broader energy crunch.While some fuel retailers were forced to ration diesel volumes and at least…

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China’s zero-Covid policies causing ‘major’ knock-on effects for snarled global supply chains

November 25, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s increasingly extreme zero-Covid policies are standing in the way of a full recovery for the shipping industry and prolonging a crisis that has snarled ports and emptied shelves worldwide.In its attempts to keep the coronavirus out, China has continued to prohibit crew changes for foreign crew and recently imposed as much as a seven-week mandatory quarantine for returning Chinese seafarers.Even vessels that have refreshed their crew elsewhere have to wait two weeks before they are…

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China population: one-child policy blamed as 12 million children missed in 2010 census emerge

November 24, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China undercounted the number of children born in 2000 to 2010 by at least 11.6 million – equivalent to Belgium’s current population – partly because of its stringent one-child policy.The latest statistical yearbook released by the government puts the number of children born during that period at 172.5 million, well above the 160.9 million in that age group recorded in the 2010 census.The difference could be the result of some parents failing to register births to avoid punishment if they…

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China Foreign Exchange Committee tells banks to limit speculative trading as yuan surges

November 21, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]An organisation formed by key participants in China’s currency market urged banks to limit speculative foreign-exchange trading after the yuan climbed to a six-year high versus peers.The China Foreign Exchange Committee (CFEC)– founded under guidance from the central bank – encouraged lenders to be risk-neutral when trading foreign exchange for themselves and for clients, according to people familiar with the matter.Banks were advised to better track their proprietary trading and improve risk…

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China digital currency: police make arrest over alleged US$47,000 e-yuan scam

November 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Police in China arrested a suspect for allegedly scamming over 300,000 yuan (US$47,000) from a woman using the central bank’s new digital currency.The suspect called the victim earlier this month and impersonated police to obtain her personal information including ID number, bank account details and a photo of her face, Chinese media Thepaper.cn reported on Tuesday.The suspect then registered a digital yuan e-wallet for the victim and transferred the money from her bank account, before…

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China-Australia relations: Canberra needs to ‘sit down’ with Beijing over CPTPP, trade minister Dan Tehan says

November 17, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Australia will need to be able to conduct ministerial discussions with China as part of a process for the world’s second-largest economy to join a regional trade agreement, trade minister Dan Tehan said.“You have to able to sit down and work through specially on market access issues,” Tehan told Bloomberg Television from Singapore on Wednesday.“So we would need some sort of ministerial dialogue to be able to work through that market accession.”The remarks underline ongoing tensions between…

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Boeing sees Biden, Xi meeting as ‘encouraging sign’ to get 737 MAX back in Beijing’s good graces

November 15, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Boeing is optimistic that it will soon be logging Chinese orders and deliveries of its 737 MAX after the nation’s regulator signalled it is close to ending a more than 2.5-year grounding of the single-aisle workhorse.“We’re hopeful,” said Stan Deal, head of Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, on Sunday. “We’ve seen some orders on freighters that have come through, and we’re just encouraged. We know that President Biden and President Xi are talking next week, so those are all encouraging…

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China’s economic recovery set to slow further, with ‘worst yet to come’ for both supply and demand

November 12, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s economy likely continued to weaken across the board in October with little signs of bottoming out.A set of key economic data to be released Monday will be closely studied for signs that the slowdown is serious enough to prompt authorities to step up economic support.The weakness in the economy is coming from both the supply and demand sides, similar to when the economy was initially hit by the coronavirus in early 2020. But the causes of supply shocks have shifted to electricity…

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China’s economic growth next year to be supported by fiscal policy, ‘limited’ need for ‘aggressive’ monetary easing

November 2, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s fiscal policy will provide the main support to economic growth next year while significant monetary easing is unlikely, according to a former adviser to China’s central bank.“The economy overall really is still OK and we will see average growth this year at around 8 per cent,” Huang Yiping, a former member of the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) monetary policy committee, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.“So the need for aggressive easing is quite limited.”The PBOC will have to act…

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Coronavirus, power crisis send China vegetable prices soaring, but inflation risks set to be temporary

October 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Vegetable prices have soared in China in recent weeks, costing more than meat in some cases, and creating another headache for consumers already hit by power shortages and strict coronavirus curbs.Wholesale vegetable prices surged 28 per cent in the four weeks through until October 22, and is now at the highest level since February, data from the Ministry of Commerce shows.Due to multiple factors, such as cooler weather and rainfall, the prices of some edible agricultural products, especially…

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