The Red Dragon and the White Cross

The Red Dragon and the White CrossThe Chinese President Xi Jinping visited for Switzerland for the first time, stepping onto Swiss ground to attend the World Economic Forum WEF in Davos. But he used the chance for a state visit, stopping off in Berne to stroll past a Swiss honor guard with Swiss President Doris Leuthard. What brings that small European…

Asia in 2016: China

Asia in 2016: ChinaThe Chinese government had much to be irritated about in 2016, both at home from its gyrating stock markets, and abroad from an unfavorable international ruling on its South China Sea expansion and attacks on its economic policy from Donald Trump, now President-elect of the United States. The Chinese government rejected an international tribunal’s ruling…

A Questioning Asia Waits for the Donald

A Questioning Asia Waits for the DonaldWhen Donald J. Trump is inaugurated as President of the United States on Jan.20, we'll still be guessing which of his tweets foreshadows real intent and which are simply tactical ground-leveling prior to cutting deals, apparently Trump's preferred way of doing business. By the evidence so far, observers can only hope that the president-elect and…

Pakistan Begins to Learn Chinese Development Cost

Pakistan Begins to Learn Chinese Development CostDespite the official narrative in both Beijing and Islamabad, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) an ambitious US$51 billion plan to expand and upgrade Pakistan’s infrastructure that is an integral part of Beijing’s “one belt-one road” regional master strategy, is failing to yield the expected results.   With China-Pakistan bi-lateral trade tilting heavily to the former’s…

Is China’s High Savings Rate a Curse?

Is China’s High Savings Rate a Curse?The average savings rate in China is over 30 percent – that is above-average measured by any global average. In other words, a third of the income of a household does not flow back in the economy but stays blocked in a bank-account or somewhere else. Many, including the Chinese government, see this as a…

China’s Rising Pile of Infrastructure Debt

China’s Rising Pile of Infrastructure DebtWhile China’s emergence as the world’s second biggest economy has led many developing countries to Beijing as the panacea for all economic issues, especially those related to infrastructure development, the country’s leaders are awakening to a new reality: underperformance and debt heading for a crisis. A recent Oxford University titled “Does infrastructure investment lead to…

China’s Export Glut Threatens World Economy

China’s Export Glut Threatens World EconomyAt the height of the 2008 financial crisis, as the world peered into an abyss, China earned global gratitude by pumping a record amount of stimulus into its economy. Ironically, continued stimulus has left the Chinese economy with mounting debt and a production glut threatening world trade. Managing the asymmetry between leading markets and China…

A Cheaper Currency Can’t Rescue the Chinese Economy

A Cheaper Currency Can’t Rescue the Chinese EconomyThe latest figures show that China is putting paid to the simplistic story that a cheaper currency on its own boosts exports.  Don’t be fooled. The performance of the Chinese economy over the past year  is a demonstration of the truth of that. Since Aug. 11, 2015, when the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, abruptly…

Theresa May Dares to Risk Upsetting China

Theresa May Dares to Risk Upsetting ChinaAt last Britain seems to have a prime minister in Theresa May who means business, and is not primarily interested in playing to the gallery like her predecessor, David Cameron, and his Chancellor of the Exchequer henchman, George Osborne, did both at home and abroad. A Financial Times columnist has reported that Whitehall officials are saying it feels…

China Out-Pivots the US to the Middle East and Iran

China Out-Pivots the US to the Middle East and IranSince the signing of the controversial Iranian nuclear deal that lifted most international sanctions, China has emerged as a principal beneficiary. This is as much a result of aggressive Chinese push as it is difficulties faced by the West. China has pursued opportunities in the Iranian nuclear energy market, increased investment and expanded influence, with…
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