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Articles by Orange Wang

China’s economy shakes off coronavirus ‘hiccups’, but outlook clouded by Beijing’s stimulus plans

1 day ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s first quarter growth rate of 18.3 per cent from a year earlier shows its economy has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, analysts said, but there is lingering uncertainty over the outlook due to Beijing’s plans to withdraw policy support.In the first three months, the Chinese economy expanded at its fastest rate since records began being published in 1993, but that masked a significant slowdown compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Analysts have forecast annual growth in the April…

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China’s FDI inflows surge at fastest rate in 13 years during first quarter, surpassing pre-pandemic level

2 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Foreign direct investment in China grew at the fastest pace in more than a decade during the first quarter of 2021, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce on Thursday.The news came amid lingering concerns that pandemic disruptions and rising international tensions could accelerate a supply-chain exodus from the world’s second-largest economy.Foreign direct investment – excluding financial sectors such as banking, securities and insurance – surged 43.8 per cent during the January…

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China GDP: first quarter growth tipped to jump above 20 per cent following historic contraction last year

3 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s first quarter growth figures this year could exceed 20 per cent from a year earlier, a record high that offers fresh evidence of the robust rebound in the world’s second largest economy and its central position in driving the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The rate of gross domestic product (GDP) expansion for the January-March period is expected to be the fastest in decades, analysts said, though the figure will be coming off a low comparison base, following a 6.8 per…

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China’s imports from US set record in first quarter, but their trade imbalance grows on strong Chinese exports

4 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Against the backdrop of a transpacific rivalry and amid uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus, China’s imports are on the rise, with its purchases from the United States setting record highs in both March and the first quarter of the year. Meanwhile, China’s export engine continues to fire on all cylinders.Regarded as the world’s factory and categorised as a developing economy, China has long faced overseas scepticism about its trade practice of selling more to other nations than it is…

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China GDP: ‘new uncertainties’ ahead for economy, Premier Li Keqiang warns, even with double-digit growth expected

5 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s unbalanced economic recovery faces “new uncertainties”, warned Premier Li Keqiang, even with its growth in the first quarter predicted to hit an eye-catching 19 per cent. Beijing is keen to maintain a cautious view towards the prospect for the world’s second largest economy, highlighted by setting a modest economic growth target of “above 6 per cent” for 2021, and is looking to keep necessary fiscal and monetary support in place.China is set to release its first quarter gross domestic…

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China’s toy exports in high demand during coronavirus lockdowns, especially in the United States

8 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s toy sector is booming, and the United States remains the top destination for those toys despite the impact of the coronavirus and protracted bilateral tensions between the world’s two largest economies. With the pandemic fuelling a “stay-at-home economy”, there has been a greater reliance on Chinese goods, according to the China Toy and Juvenile Products Association (CTJIPA). The industry organisation said in a white paper issued on Thursday that the total value of exported toys –…

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China’s Covid-19 vaccine drive ramps up as Beijing rolls out incentives from eggs to shopping vouchers

14 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]With one eye on the long line that snaked out in front of her, Beijing resident Wang Shuhui softly shook her head in frustration.After twice being summoned by her neighbourhood committee to get her Covid-19 vaccination, the woman in her 60s had finally relented and was now stuck in a queue with nearly 100 people waiting to get an injection. Posters advertising the area’s vaccination drive have sprouted up all over in recent weeks, from the white walls of the Yonghe Lama Temple to residential…

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China energy supply faces ‘no problems’ despite Australian coal ban, Myanmar conflict

18 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is not facing a shortage in energy supply this year despite an ongoing ban on Australian coal, a key source of power for the world’s second largest economy, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Tuesday.“No matter what the situation, with the support of local governments and close cooperation with a large number of enterprises, there should be no problems with energy supply,” said NEA director Zhang Jianhua on Tuesday when asked about the impact of the Australian coal ban.His…

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China manufacturing: can Beijing prevent a US-style collapse of its key sector?

21 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China must ensure manufacturing remains the backbone of its economy and not allow it to slowly wither, as had happened in the United States, economists say.Cai Fang, a former deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who now works as an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said manufacturing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) had been falling since 2006 and alarm bells were starting to ring.“The manufacturing sector has always been the most important and most basic part of…

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China’s industrial profits up 179pc at US$169.7 billion in Jan-Feb

22 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s industrial firms saw their combined profits for the January-February period soar 179 per cent year on year to 1.11 trillion yuan (US$169.7 billion), according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Saturday.The jump extends the upwards trend to 10 straight months as the sector continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Industrial profits rose by 20.1 per cent in December to 707.1 billion yuan.Beijing combines its economic data for January and February…

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China announces trade fair to boost Hainan’s duty-free status, show commitment to opening up

24 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China announced on Wednesday plans to hold a huge trade fair in Hainan as part of an effort to turn the tropical island into a duty-free destination, while sending a message that the country’s appetite for Western consumer goods was undiminished despite rising geopolitical tensions.Beijing also hopes the event will spur consumer spending, which is recovering slowly from the coronavirus pandemic, and is at the heart of the government’s “dual-circulation” strategy that aims to reduce China’s…

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China leaves key interest rate unchanged for 11th straight month as it moves to cautiously scale back economic stimulus

26 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged for the 11th straight month on Monday, in a further sign policymakers are proceeding cautiously to maintain sufficient support for the economy while gradually reducing stimulus to cut debt and defuse financial risks.The decision by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), which was widely expected, comes amid rising concern in domestic policymaking circles about a wave of excess liquidity from the Biden administration’s US$1.9 trillion…

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African swine fever still ‘major risk factor’ for China as it bans Malaysian pig imports over outbreak fears

March 12, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]African swine fever remains a “major risk factor” for China’s pig production after the government this week was forced to step up its efforts to control a resurgence of the disease at home and in neighbouring countries.With concerns the African swine fever re-emergence may threaten efforts to rebuild its national pig herd, raising questions about food security and consumer inflation outlook, China has issued a new import ban and also cracked down harder on fake vaccines for the deadly disease…

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China FDI up 34.2 per cent in US dollar terms in January-February

March 12, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China, excluding the banking, securities and insurance sectors, stood at 176.76 billion yuan in January and February, up 31.5 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce reported on Friday.In US dollar terms, FDI in January and February rose by 34. 2 per cent to US$26.07 billion, the ministry said.FDI in China shrank at the start of 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus, meaning the latest figures are from a low base.FDI…

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China inflation: rising factory-gate prices show ‘market’s concerns about outlook have emerged’

March 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A stronger-than-expected rise in China’s factory-gate prices last month has stoked concerns among Chinese analysts and market participants about a rise in inflation in China in the period ahead.Chinese government officials and analysts were already on edge about the possibility that US President Joe Biden’s US$1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package would cause the global economy to overheat and asset bubbles to develop in financial markets. The US Congress was expected to give final approval…

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China factory gate prices jump in February as producers pass on rise in raw materials prices

March 10, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s factory gate prices continued to rise in February, as producers passed on rising raw material prices, data released on Wednesday showed.The producer price index (PPI), which reflects the prices that factories charge wholesalers for their products, rose to 1.7 per cent in February from a year earlier, the highest rate since November 2018 and a sharp increase from the gain of 0.3 per cent in January.This was above expected, with a Bloomberg survey of analysts predicting a rise to 1.3 per…

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US-China relations: investment environment improving for American firms, AmCham survey shows

March 9, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]In a sign that China’s efforts to attract foreign investors and businesses is gaining traction, half of the American companies operating in China said the investment environment was improving, according to a survey released on Tuesday.Only 12 per cent of the 345 US firms surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said the investment environment was deteriorating, the lowest proportion since the question was first introduced in 2012.More than one-third of companies also said they…

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China’s post-Covid economic recovery intact in January and February, but rebound not yet ‘solid’, NDRC says

March 8, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s economic recovery from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic is “not yet solid”, although the trend of steady improvement continued at the beginning of 2021, the country’s top economic planning agency said on Monday.Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, cited a 24.2 per cent year on year rise in electric power generation in January and February and a 16.5 per cent increase in rail freight volume over the same period as examples of China’s…

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China GDP: Beijing cites ‘policy flexibility’ as reason for dropping specific growth target for 14th five-year plan

March 8, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has for the first time abandoned an overall economic growth target in its next five-year plan to provide the government flexibility to cope with risks at home and abroad, the country’s top economic planning agency said on Monday.Unlike in previous years, the 14th five-year plan for 2021-25 does not specify a target for the whole period, but will instead keep annual growth at “ a reasonable range”, with the first year set at above 6 per cent.Hu Zucai, the deputy director of the National…

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China trade: January-February exports, imports above expected on strong demand

March 7, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s imports and exports were stronger than expected in January and February, combined data released by the nation’s customs agency on Sunday showed, indicating China trade economy remained robust early in 2021 despite the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide.The surge in both exports and imports in percentage terms was due in part to the low comparison base from the same period last year when the coronavirus tore through the world’s second-largest economy.But even taking…

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US-China relations: Biden containment plan requires Beijing respond with ‘grand strategy’

March 4, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has a window of opportunity within the next two years to develop a “grand strategy” to defend itself against new containment policies under the Biden administration, Chinese academics say.The transition of power in Washington and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic have given Beijing a chance to plan its next move – and even grab the upper hand – in its relationship with the United States, they said.But with numerous challenges ahead, China must also improve relations with…

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China warns ‘side effects’ of US economic stimulus risk causing sharp market correction

March 2, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The “side effects” of aggressive economic stimulus policies in the United States and other developed countries have started to surface in the US stock market, China’s top financial regulator warned on Tuesday, saying officials in Beijing were “very worried” that foreign asset bubbles could burst soon.Guo Shuqing, Communist Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), identified the US market – the world’s largest – as the greatest bubble risk in the global economy when asked on Tuesday…

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Boeing 737 MAX: China’s flight ban won’t be lifted until safety concerns ‘properly addressed’

March 1, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s aviation regulator said on Monday that major safety concerns with Boeing’s 737 MAX “have not yet been fully resolved”, in a sign the model is still a long way from returning to service in its largest market.The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) was working closely with the American planemaker, as well as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and had conducted comprehensive, in-depth technical reviews of the model, said deputy director Dong Zhiyi at a press conference…

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China’s fiscal risks ‘extremely severe’, former finance minister warns ahead of key meetings

February 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s fiscal situation is “extremely severe with risks and challenges”, former finance minister Lou Jiwei has warned, citing fallout from aggressive US stimulus policies, the global economic slowdown during the pandemic, an ageing Chinese population and mounting domestic local government debt.Lou offered his sharp critique in December but the assessment has only been made public more recently, with just days to go now before China’s political elites meet for their annual legislative session…

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China’s economic recovery continued but slowed more than expected in February

February 28, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s economic recovery continued in February, but at a slower-than-expected pace, with all major sectors posting their lowest growth rates since last spring.The data encompasses the Lunar New Year holiday period, during which economic activity usually slows. But a spike in coronavirus infections in northern China in January might have depressed activity in February more than usual, especially in the service sector, after the government urged workers not to return to their hometowns for the…

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China sets 15-year transport expansion plan as it seeks to double size of economy by 2035

February 26, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The world’s largest high-speed rail network could nearly double in size over the next 15 years as part of China’s ambitious new plan to expand public transport – signalling that the government will continue to splash out on large infrastructure projects as it pursues its goal of doubling the size of the economy by 2035.Beijing aims to increase the national high-speed railway network to 70,000km (43,500 miles) by 2035 – an 84 per cent increase from the estimated 38,000km at the end of last year,…

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China’s food security at core of Beijing’s new five-year rural-revitalisation plan

February 22, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is placing greater emphasis on food security and self-reliance to feed its 1.4 billion people, according to its annual blueprint for rural policies amid the pandemic, with an emphasis on utilising new agricultural technologies.The new plan puts a comprehensive revitalisation of the countryside at the heart of the national agricultural strategy in the next five years.The Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council, the nation’s cabinet, published their first joint policy…

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China food security: time to boost domestic output as focus on imports ‘fundamentally incompatible’

February 12, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]As it bids to ensure the security of its food supply, China will switch to paying more attention to improving its domestic production having relied on record import levels during a coronavirus-hit 2020, a trade which is likely to stabilise or even start to drop this year.Included in its dual circulation strategy, food supply self-reliance has become a hot political issue and economic priority ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party this year.That is likely to impact the…

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China-Australia relations: Beijing warns overseas students in Australia, saying ‘vicious incidents’ threaten their safety

February 5, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China is again warning its students studying in Australia, telling them to be aware of a “serious threat” to their safety.In an alert issued on Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Education pointed to “successive vicious incidents of overseas students being attacked in many places in Australia”, without giving specific examples.It also noted that international travel still poses great risks amid the coronavirus pandemic, urging overseas students to “conduct proper safety risks assessments, and be…

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China’s monetary tightening seen as a ‘warning to the public’ to cool market expectations ahead of holiday

February 3, 2021

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s central bank has once again drained money from the financial system in the midst of market concerns that its stimulative monetary policy has reached a “turning point” in the face of weakening economic data due to fresh coronavirus outbreaks.Even though the world’s other major economies, particularly the United States, are mulling new stimulus packages to combat the economic damage caused by the pandemic, Beijing has been considering fine-tuning some of its temporary support policies…

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