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Orange Wang



Articles by Orange Wang

China’s surging corn prices blamed on speculators as Beijing plays down fears of grain shortage

7 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s agriculture minister has blamed speculators for skyrocketing corn prices, as Beijing continues to reassure the public the world’s most populous country is not facing a grain shortage.Corn price recently hit an eight-year high following typhoons and floods that damaged the nation’s corn belt. A trip to the area by the South China Morning Post this month found swathes of cropland had been flattened, fuelling concern among local farmers about a steep drop in output.China’s imports of corn,…

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China’s corn heartland Heilongjiang grapples with shortage of farm workers

7 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Farmers in China’s northeastern province Heilongjiang – from the eastern plains to the western hills – are facing a common problem as they prepare for the autumn harvest: a shortage of workers.“It’s very hard to find farmworkers nowadays, there are few young people in the village, they would rather go [to the cities] to find a job than plant crops,” said a farmer surnamed Xu from Acheng district in Harbin, the provincial capital.With China’s rapid economic growth and astonishing pace of…

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China’s northeastern corn belt left flattened by typhoons, fuelling food-security concerns ahead of autumn harvest

8 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Farmer Zhao Ge lets out a series of sighs as he surveys the damage to his corn crops in China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang after three typhoons slammed the region in the past month.With his farm located in Longjiang county more than 800km (497 miles) from the coast, Zhao says he never anticipated typhoons being a problem. But the climate abnormality – previously unheard of in China’s main corn-growing region – looks to have a severe impact on output at a time when broader food…

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China food security concerns prompt rethink of soybean expansion

16 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China should halt the expansion of soybean farms to leave space for strategic crops including rice, wheat and corn to ensure adequate domestic food supply in light of rising tensions with the United States, industry leaders have said.The comments at this year’s China Soybean Industry International Summit Forum marked a turn away from Beijing’s previous push to boost domestic production and cut reliance on US soybean imports amid the trade war.China launched a soybean revitalisation plan in…

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As China’s economic recovery from the coronavirus gains momentum, what is the outlook?

20 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]From soaring sales of construction vehicles to strong increases in rail freight volume, and from record daily electricity generation and consumption figures to a rebound in car sales, a flurry of indicators provide further evidence that China’s economic rebound is gaining momentum.And in response, multiple banks, investment firms and rating agencies are revising up their forecasts for China’s economic growth for this year, after a series of economic data beat expectations in the first two…

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China and Tennessee talk investment amid Donald Trump’s decoupling drive

25 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Representatives of China and Tennessee met in Beijing on Sunday to discuss the prospects for Chinese investment in the US state amid a broader American push to decouple the world’s largest two economies.The discussions were part of the “North American Chinese Investment Summit”, the lone US-themed event at the second annual China International Fair for Trade in Services, which opened in China’s capital on Friday and will run until Wednesday.The investment discussions took place as the Chinese…

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Xi Jinping calls for freer service trade as China tries to counter decoupling

27 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China will open up its market further to the services trade and called upon other countries to help forge an “open and inclusive” environment, promoting China as the leader to restore global trade and growth after the coronavirus outbreak.Xi’s advocacy of international cooperation at the opening ceremony of the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the first big trade fair since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, came as opposition to China…

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China pitches services trade fair as proof of ‘unwavering confidence in opening up’ to foreign firms

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]President Xi Jinping is expected to speak on Friday at the opening of a massive trade fair in Beijing – the first such large-scale event on Chinese soil since the coronavirus pandemic began – as the central government tries to project the image of opening up its market to foreign companies after bringing the outbreak under control.Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that Xi would deliver his speech on Friday evening at the second annual China International Fair…

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China’s cabinet approves two new nuclear power plants in push to boost economy, cut pollution

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has given the green light to the construction of two new nuclear plants after granting no new approvals for more than a year, as the country continues to follow its old playbook of increasing infrastructure investment to boost the economy and employment, while improving future energy security amid escalating geopolitical tensions.The State Council, China’s cabinet chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, also stressed at its meeting on Wednesday that it would maintain a flexible monetary policy…

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China’s Sinochem boss hits out at anti-globalisation forces after US puts state firm on watch list

28 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The chairman of one of China’s largest state-owned multinational conglomerates has said his belief in free trade has been shaken by the fast deteriorating US-China relationship, just days after the Trump administration placed his company on a blacklist that may lead to sanctions.Ning Gaoning, one of the country’s best-known state enterprise executives, said China is now a lead advocate for free trade amid a rising current of anti-globalisation, a far cry from two decades ago when it was pressed…

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China’s coronavirus epicentre Wuhan returns to life, but economic scars run deep

September 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]When Wang Dandan moved to Wuhan for a job managing a newly built hotel last summer, she could never have guessed the front seat-view she would have of the city’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic.After the severity of the outbreak became clearer and authorities sealed off the central Chinese city on January 23, her hotel became the sleeping quarters for medical professionals deployed across the city.Thanks to its proximity to two major hospitals, the hotel was soon abuzz with doctors and…

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China’s service industries catching up as life returns to normal after coronavirus shock wave slammed economy

August 31, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]With a relaxation of rules for wearing masks and the loosening of social-distancing requirements, life has started to return to normal across China, allowing economic activities in the service sector to expand while offering a boost to balance the uneven recovery of the world’s second-largest economy, analysts said.China’s official non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for August jumped to 55.2 from 54.2 in July, beating expectations of an unchanged reading and reaching the highest…

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China’s ageing rural peasants labour into their twilight years as pensions ‘cover only oil and salt’

August 22, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chen Yunfeng, the chief of Yancang village in Henan province, has grown dismayed by the disadvantages that ageing rural peasants face in Chinese society.“We plant grains, but grains are cheap,” Chen said while puffing cigarettes under a no-smoking sign in his little office. “And we are getting old, but there’s little welfare.”According to Chen, who is in his late fifties, a peasant from the village can receive a monthly pension of just 112 yuan (US$16) after the retirement age of 60 – a tiny…

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China, US to hold phase one trade deal talks ‘in the coming days’

August 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China and the United States will hold trade talks in the coming days to review the progress in meeting the terms of the phase one trade deal, China’s Ministry of Commerce said.“The two sides have agreed to hold a call in the coming days,” said spokesman Gao Feng on Thursday when asked when the talks would be held.The US and China were reportedly due to hold talks last Saturday to review the implementation of the deal.US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he postponed the talks because…

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China food security: country faces ‘grain supply gap of 130 million tonnes by 2025’ as rural workforce dwindles

August 18, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China will face a domestic grain supply gap of about 130 million tonnes by the end of 2025, pointing to growing reliance on imports to feed the world’s most populous country, according to a new report from a government think tank.The forecast, which was released on Monday, comes amid heightened concern about food security in China, which has been ignited by anecdotal reports of grain shortages and calls by President Xi Jinping to cut back on food waste.China’s domestic supply of three staple…

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China drought, heavy rains spark concern over grain supply as Xi Jinping launches campaign against food waste

August 17, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Standing amid his sodden field sown with peanuts, Wang Wei pulls a clump of green leaves from the mud and frowns as he looks at the tiny, underdeveloped pods at the base of the plant. The farmer from Baoshang village in the central Chinese province of Henan grumbles they are much too small to ensure a good autumn peanut crop. Already reeling from a poor summer wheat harvest following drought in May and early June, heavy rain now threatens to hammer Wang’s output with a “double blow”. “I can’t…

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China corn video stokes food security fears amid coronavirus pandemic, flooding and drought

August 3, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s state agency in charge of its strategic grain stockpiles has sparked concern over the quality of national grain reserves, particularly corn, after a local unit moved to ban all photo-taking devices from its granaries.The order, by the storehouse unit of the China Grain Reserves Cooperative (Sinograin) in the northern province of Heilongjiang province last week, came as the impact of the coronavirus, heavy summer flooding and record purchases from the United States have increased worries…

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China tells US businesses they’re still welcome in country

August 2, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has stepped up its efforts to reassure American businesses, saying that Beijing still welcomes their presence in the country.Last week the vice-minister for commerce Wang Shouwen took part in an online symposium with delegates from members of the American Chamber of Commerce, including General Motors, Intel and Starbucks.“Currently China-US relations are facing a complex and grim situation,” Wang said, according to a statement published by the ministry on Friday.“We hope the US business…

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China’s agricultural imports surge in June, as worsening US ties stoke fears of supply disruptions

August 1, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese imports of agricultural goods surged in June as buyers stockpiled farm products to hedge against possible supply disruptions caused by deteriorating relations with the United States and fill gaps in domestic production, analysts said.By the end of the month, imports of grains – including wheat, barley, corn, rice, sorghum, and soybeans – had jumped 80.6 per cent from a year earlier, accelerating from the 32.4 per cent increase recorded in May and a sharp reversal from the decline of 6.4…

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China import expo to go ahead despite trade tensions, lingering coronavirus uncertainty

July 30, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Beijing is ramping up publicity for its third annual China International Import Expo (CIIE), as the country seeks to promote itself as a defender of free trade and linchpin for global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.Despite growing tensions with major trading partners and ongoing economic uncertainty triggered by the pandemic, China is pushing ahead with the physical event in Shanghai from November 5-10.The expo, which began in 2018 as China was locked in a trade war with the…

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China’s economic recovery from coronavirus impact set to signal dialing back of monetary stimulus measures

July 24, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China has started to ease up on the emergency monetary measures it used to support its economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak, according to analysts.Having avoided a recession with a stronger-than-expected economic rebound in the second quarter, and with concerns looming of creating excess debt and financial bubbles, pundits say Beijing sees less of a need for extra cheap money.But it is too early, they speculate, for the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, to abandon…

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China bought more US debt in May despite talk of financial war amid rising trans-Pacific tensions

July 21, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China modestly increased its holdings of US Treasury securities in May, the first in three months, despite rising trans-Pacific tensions and growing talk of a financial war between the world’s two largest economies.China added US$10.9 billion of US Treasury securities in May from a month earlier, after cutting its holdings in each of the previous two months, according to a report released by the US Treasury Department last week.The modest growth came at a time when fears are growing that…

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China provinces show strong signs of second quarter economic rebound after coronavirus

July 20, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China’s provinces showed positive signs of growth in the first half of the year, offering fresh evidence of an economic recovery in the second quarter amid ongoing risks from the coronavirus pandemic and increasing geopolitical uncertainty.While a number of large provincial economies contracted in the first half of the year compared to a year earlier, the size of the declines narrowed sharply compared to the first quarter, implying positive growth in the April-June period. Provincial…

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China first major economy to return to growth since coronavirus shock, but doubts remain about second half outlook

July 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China on Thursday became the world’s first major economy to report positive economic growth after the coronavirus shock, although major questions remain over whether the momentum seen in the second quarter will continue in the second half of the year.On the surface, the world’s second biggest economy posted an impressive rebound in the April-June period, underpinned by improvements in industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment. But the outlook is clouded by escalating…

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China GDP: first major economy to show a recovery from coronavirus damage with 3.2 per cent growth in second quarter

July 16, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]China avoided a recession after its economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, the first major economy to show a recovery from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The world’s second largest economy had shrank by 6.8 per cent in the first three months of the year, the first contraction since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976.The median forecast of analysts polled by Bloomberg had predicted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 2.4 per cent in the…

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China’s trade with Europe seen as key amid US frictions after June imports, exports suggest recovery from coronavirus

July 14, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Chinese exports will continue to face downside pressures due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy, but the stronger-than-expected trade performance in June provides hope for a further improvement in the second half of the year, analysts said on Tuesday.Chinese exports returned to growth last month, with a rise of 0.5 per cent from a year ago, beating the 2.0 per cent decline expected by the market and improving sharply from the 3.3 per cent slump in May, according to…

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Coronavirus: Beijing’s economic recovery from June outbreak offers hope ahead of China GDP release

July 10, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The sight of more than a dozen patrons sitting on stools outside a popular barbecue restaurant on Beijing’s famous Gui Jie food street waiting to be seated is not only good for China’s services industry, but also offers hopes that it can maintain a delicate balance between containing the coronavirus and growing its economy.This typical scene on a normal Wednesday evening would have been unthinkable last month when the street lived up to the literal translation of its name, ghost street, after…

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China’s exporters turn to the domestic market, but can it offset coronavirus demand shock?

July 7, 2020

[unable to retrieve full-text content]A lipstick maker in the Chinese city of Yiwu used an online sales platform in some 17 different overseas languages to woo Spanish, Russian, Saudi Arabian, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, and Vietnamese clients, but until this year, had largely ignored the domestic market.Like many other Chinese exporters, Aris Cosmetics tailored its product for foreign buyers, with many requiring a minimum order of 5,000, with unit prices as low as 30 US cents.But after the global coronavirus pandemic wiped out at…

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