Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

23 July 2018

China Is a Climate Leader but Still Isn’t Doing Enough on Emissions, Report Says

By Edward Wong

China has become a global leader in policy and diplomacy on limiting the effects of climate change, but it still needs to take significant steps to curb its own carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report released on ThursdayThe report, written by David Sandalow, a former United States energy official now at Columbia University, takes a broad look at emissions and coal use in 2017 in China, which is by far the world’s top emitter of the heat-trapping gases that accelerate climate change. The study also analyses recent policy moves on climate by the country’s government and by the Communist Party. China has wide-ranging climate policies, enshrined in the national Five-Year Plans and in blueprints at provincial and local levels. As a result, the report says, it is on its way to meeting major climate change goals, including lowering a measure known as carbon intensity, having carbon dioxide emissions reach a peak no later than 2030 and having a fifth of energy come from non-fossil-fuel sources by that year.

Spooky Action: Sorting Hype from Reality in China’s Quantum-Tech Quest

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In its quest to offset U.S. techno-strategic advantages, China aspires to emerge as a “science and technology superpower” (科技强国) and leap ahead in quantum science through a new national megaproject. From the launch of the world’s first quantum satellite to setting a new world record with the entanglement of eighteen qubits, which reflects notable progress towards a future quantum computer, China’s advances are impressive. The billions invested in research and development, including through the construction of a new National Laboratory for Quantum Information Science, which could become the world’s largest quantum research facility, highlight that China aspires to lead in the development of these transformative technologies.

China Is Winning in the South China Sea

By Lynn Kuok

Two years after an international tribunal rejected expansive Chinese claims to the South China Sea, Beijing is consolidating control over the area and its resources. While the U.S. defends the right to freedom of navigation, it has failed to support the rights of neighboring countries under the tribunal’s ruling. As a result, Southeast Asian countries are bowing to Beijing’s demands. The tribunal’s main significance was to clarify resource rights. It ruled that China cannot claim historic rights to resources in waters within the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone of other coastal states. It also clarified that none of the land features claimed by China in the Spratlys, in the southern part of the South China Sea, generate an exclusive economic zone.

Xi Jinping’s Superpower Plans

By Elizabeth Economy

As a regular visitor to China, I was surprised earlier this year when I heard for the first time a Chinese official refer to his country as a superpower (chaoji daguo). But China’s view of its place in the international order is changing quickly. In a little-noticed speech last month, before a packed house of China’s senior foreign policy officials and scholars, President Xi Jinping put the world on notice: China has its own ideas about how the world should be run and is prepared, as he put it, to “lead in the reform of global governance.” Gone is the era of Deng Xiaoping, who called China “a large developing country” and insisted that the country maintain a low profile in foreign policy. These days one seldom even hears officials mention the motto of Mr. Xi’s immediate predecessor, Hu Jintao, who described China as “peacefully rising.” Mr. Xi has made clear that he aims to create a new geostrategic landscape.

22 July 2018

Trade Troubles: China Is Poised to Bring Down the Global Economy

by Gordon G. Chang

The Chinese economy is in distress, and the country’s currency and markets, reflecting unease, are tumbling. Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, has no solutions. The only thing he is doing is incurring more debt. That’s extremely unfortunate because an overly indebted Beijing is again set to push the world into recession. China, through predatory policies, precipitated the global downturn last decade, and it looks like it will cause the next one as well. Last time, the Chinese benefitted handsomely from worldwide misery. This time, they will not be so fortunate and will almost certainly end up being the greatest victims.

The Trade War—What Is Not in the Price

Veteran financial traders often lament that their younger coworkers have never lived through a bear market. But it is fair to say that no one alive has experienced a trade war comparable to what the United States under President Donald Trump is starting. Before the tariffs now being imposed on a range of products from China, it was solar panels, washing machines, steel, and aluminum. What's next? We believe it is a foregone conclusion that the "national security" auto case will result in tariffs—likely against high-end cars from European and Japanese automakers—before the November midterm elections. Why? Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer, Trump's top trade advisers, believe they know what to do based on the U.S. experience in the "car wars" with Japan in the 1980s.

In China, Unweaving the Tangled Web of Local Debt

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A slower economy, sluggish construction growth, weaker local government revenue and a sharp jump in maturing debt could boost the risk of default for some local government-related debt, particularly in the central and southwest regions.
Despite previous announcements, Beijing may step in to assist or even bail out some loans if defaults accelerate. The urgency of the risk will compel the central government to accelerate efforts to revamp the country's tax structure, but its ability will be limited by the uncertain economic situation.

The devil’s bargain for AI companies working in China

By Kaveh Waddell
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American tech companies and research institutions — involved in the development of artificial intelligence in both the U.S. and China — face elevated ethical questions as the two superpowers race for dominance in the field. Why it matters: U.S. labs face the real possibility that collaborations with Chinese companies and universities will end up bolstering Beijing’s goal of dominating global civilian and military AI. What’s going on: China’s prestigious Tsinghua University recently laid out a vision for how it will develop AI for military applications, flagging a close relationship between universities, private companies, and the armed forces. In China, such collaborations are the default, but in the U.S., companies and institutions are still grappling with how willing they are to work with the military. Google recently withdrew from a Pentagon drone-surveillance program when some employees revolted.

China military MILITARY REFORM Welcome to the modern military: China’s new combat units prepare for electronic warfare

Minnie Chan

The war games, which started on Monday and test reconnaissance, electronic communication, cybersecurity, air strikes and other battle skills, are aimed at increasing ground troops’ understanding of modern warfare, and fostering new strategic ground force commanders after a sweeping PLA overhaul. More than 50 combat units involving about 2,100 officers are taking part at five training bases. They include airborne troops, special forces and electronic warfare experts from ground forces from the Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern and Central command theatres, according to official social media accounts. The ground force said the war games started simultaneously at the Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base in Inner Mongolia, and four military institutes in Chongqing, Hefei and Hebei provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

21 July 2018

The Crisis Facing America


We still do not know what hold Vladimir Putin has on Donald Trump, but the whole world has now witnessed the power of its grip.  Russia helped Donald Trump into the presidency, as Robert Mueller’s indictment vividly details. Putin, in his own voice, has confirmed that he wanted Trump elected. Standing alongside his benefactor, Trump denounced the special counsel investigating Russian intervention in the U.S. election—and even repudiated his own intelligence appointees.  Join The Masthead, our new membership program, and get exclusive content—while supporting The Atlantic's future.

How E-Commerce Is Transforming Rural China

By Jiayang Fan

Xia Canjun was born in 1979, the youngest of seven siblings, in Cenmang, a village of a hundred or so households nestled at the foot of the Wuling Mountains, in the far west of Hunan Province. Xia’s mother was illiterate, and his father barely finished first grade. The family made a living as corn farmers, and had been in Cenmang for more generations than anyone could remember. The region was poor, irrigation was inadequate—the family often went hungry—and there were few roads. Trips to the county seat, Xinhuang, ten miles away, were made twice a year, on a rickety three-wheeled cart, and until the age of ten Xia didn’t leave the village at all. But he was never particularly unhappy. “When you are a frog at the bottom of the well, the world is both big and small,” he likes to say, referring to a famous fable by Zhuangzi, the Aesop of ancient China, in which a frog, certain that nowhere can be as good as the environment he knows, is astonished when a turtle tells him about the sea. As a child, Xia said, he was “a happy frog,” content to play in the dirt roads between the mud houses of the village.

Unpacked: The US-China Trade War

David Dollar

In Unpacked, Brookings experts provide analysis of Trump administration policies and news. Subscribe to the Brookings Creative Lab YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest from Unpacked. THE ISSUE: On Monday July 9, in the most extensive trade protections in nearly a century, the White House implemented a 25 percent tax on Chinese imports. China retaliated in force with a 25 percent tax on U.S. automobiles and agricultural products, such as soy beans. The tariffs accompanied the ongoing U.S. tariffs on imports of steel, aluminum, washing machines, and solar panels, pushing the countries into an all-out trade war. “As the U.S. imposes tariffs [on China], half of that pain will be felt by other countries. So, yes, there will definitely be collateral damage, including to U.S. firms that produce and operate in China”

American companies and Chinese Belt and Road in Africa

Yun Sun

When it comes to Africa, it is no secret that the United States and China have very different philosophies. China adopts a more state-led approach, with state-owned enterprises and policy banks spearheading Africa’s infrastructure development. The U.S. is more willing to let private companies and the market take the lead on commercial development, while the U.S. government itself puts more emphasis on the continent’s capacity building and governance challenges. A long-standing question has been whether these two powerhouses could join forces and cooperate to advance Africa’s development. Such discussions have happened between the two governments. In 2014, it was reported that Obama’s signature Power Africa initiative was considering partnership with China on improving electricity in Africa. Around the same time, China reportedly approached the U.S. on collaboration on the ambitious Inga-3 hydropower projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, years have gone by without much progress on these speculations due to multiple considerations, especially political, economic, and reputational.

1 Billion People. 100,000 Characters. 1 Typewriter.


All bureaucracies produce mountains of paperwork, and Mao Zedong’s sprawling authoritarian regime in China was certainly no exception. To process it all, the country needed a very special typewriter: the Double Pigeon. Under Mao, the Double Pigeon, known for its signature pale green color, was the preferred model among ordinary Chinese functionaries, Communist Party cadres, universities, banks, and police stations. But look closely and you’ll see that the Double Pigeon was no Remington knockoff. For starters, it lacked a keyboard. Instead, the machine relied on a rectangular bed containing 2,450 metal cubes (“slugs,” in typesetters’ lingo) — one for each of the most commonly used Chinese characters.

How China Plans to Scare Away America's Aircraft Carriers

by Zachary Keck

In this sense, the DF-26 fits in perfectly with the direction China’s nuclear and conventional force doctrines are headed. With regards to its nuclear arsenal, recent years have seen Beijing building a more mobile, survivable force. As a 2017 RAND Corporation report noted, “China has been transitioning to a more survivable, road-mobile theater nuclear force for many years.” More recently, according to a report by Ankit Panda, China has been flight testing a new nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) based off the DF-21. In some ways, a more mobile, survivable force makes China’s No First Use declaratory policy more credible, since Beijing is better able to withstand a first strike. At the same time, the greater accuracy of precision-guided missiles like the DF-21 and DF-26 gives China a better nuclear warfighting capability. It’s also worth noting that having dual-use missiles continues Beijing’s pattern of intermingling its conventional and nuclear forces.

20 July 2018

China’s Strong Economic Growth Figures Belie Signs of Weakness

By Keith Bradsher

SHANGHAI — On the surface, China’s economy is humming along smoothly. It’s the numbers behind the numbers that point to mounting challenges for the world’s other economic superpower. The Chinese government on Monday reported that the economy grew 6.7 percent in the three months that ended in June compared with a year ago. That is pretty close to the rate that China has reported quarter after quarter over the past two and a half years. The pace puts it comfortably within its target of achieving growth of around 6.5 percent for the full year. Those figures belie warning signs elsewhere. More detailed data show weakening investment in infrastructure and less exuberant spending by China’s usually ebullient consumers. Private businesses complain that government efforts to tame debt have made it hard for them to borrow money. A tiny but growing number of Chinese companies have defaulted on their loans. The currency has lost some of its value. Chinese stocks are in bear market territory.

Is China Influencing Pakistan’s Elections?

By Muhammad Akbar Notezai

As an emerging power in the region, China is closely watching the developments taking place in the South Asia region. It is in China’s best interests to have friendly governments in neighboring countries, and to a large extent, Beijing is succeeding. China has been meticulously working to attract South Asian countries, big and small alike, by all means. One of China’s friendliest neighbors is Pakistan. When al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was assassinated by U.S. forces on May 2, 2011 in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbotabad, Pakistan put all its eggs in China’s basket. As a result of this paradigm shift, Pakistan has put the highest priority on its friendship with China. For Pakistan, whether China can replace the United States or not is a separate debate, but one thing is sure: since 2011, China has increased its presence in the country, as seen most readily in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the multibillion-dollar project announced in 2014.

U.S.-China Trade War: How We Got Here

For understanding trade law, I rely on the work of others. A trade war[1] is, among other things, a legal process—at least in the United States. Congress has delegated a lot of authority over the regulation of international commerce to the executive branch, which has given the Trump Administration a lot of latitude. But Trump and his team are still working within the framework of U.S. trade law (“232s”, “301s,” “201s,” etc.). And they are not working, rather consciously, fully within the framework of the World Trade Organization. The big cases—the 301 versus China, the (coming?) 232 versus autos—are being pursued through U.S. law, and they will be subject to a challenge in the WTO. An alternative strategy—challenging China in the WTO for violation of its WTO commitments—hasn’t been the administration’s focus.

Three Recommended Papers

The Coming American-Russian Alliance Against China


Both nations have a reason to fear a coming change in the international order that will impact them both. And as history shows us time and again, a rising power that seeks to overturn the international system can make the most dedicated enemies join forces—and fast. I can only be talking about one thing: a growing and more powerful China. No one should be shocked by such an assertion. The simple fact is that we could very well be at the start of a colossal shift in how America and Russia view each other as they gear up to take on a much bigger foe. And we should be clear: if projections hold, the Chinese economy will someday surpass America’s and Russia’s—combined. As economic power translates into clear military strength, the writing could be on the wall for what may come. 

No One Wins from America's Latest Round of Chinese Tariffs—Here's Why

by Samuel Rines 

This is not a trade war. For the moment, the main participants, China and the United States, have primarily stuck to slapping tariffs on each other’s goods. To a degree, this shows a bit of restraint from the participants. But this is going to change. This is an economic war. Yes, it has been labeled a trade war, but that belies the underlying motivations, concerns, and consequences. In the globalized modern economic framework, tariffs are a blunt, somewhat ineffective weapon to coerce friends and foes to trade fairly. However, as we have seen recently, there are ways for multinational corporations to avoid much of the blows. Harley-Davidson stated it would shift production of its iconic American motorcycle outside of the United States to avoid the European Union's retaliatory tariffs. BMW also reported its manufacturing plant in South Carolina would suffer as it shifted production for similar reasons.