The Two-Chinas Revolution

The Two-Chinas RevolutionThe pace of China’s financial reforms put in place since the 3rd Plenum in mid-November has confounded those who said at the time that nothing exciting would emerge from the meetings. In fact, Beijing has been pouring out new measures at a dizzying rate that looks likely to match the 1987 Big Bang that liberalized…

Chinese Exports Spell Trouble for the West

Chinese Exports Spell Trouble for the WestAs widely reported, Chinese export figures for November, issued last week, turned out to be a blockbuster month for the country’s exporters, rising by 12.7 percent from October. But what appears to have been missed is that while the figures spell encouragement for China’s exporters, they contain the seeds of trouble for the United States…

Beijing’s Ambitious Urbanization Plans

Beijing’s Ambitious Urbanization PlansBeijing’s top leaders, over the weekend met for the first time to set the formal road map for Premier Li Keqiang’s ambitious plan to move millions of people from rural areas into cities. Li and his planners believe that urbanization holds the key to stimulating domestic demand to revolutionize the export-led economy. The exodus of…

Illegal Money Takes Wing from Asia

Illegal Money Takes Wing from AsiaNearly US$1 trillion floated out of the developing world in the form of illegal capital flight in 2011, according to a new report released this week by the Global Financial Integrity NGO, with China remaining the champion. The amount actually could be a good deal higher, since the illegal narcotics trade, white slavery and other…

Bali Boost: WTO Lives, Snatched From Jaws of Defeat

Bali Boost: WTO Lives, Snatched From Jaws of DefeatIt would be churlish not to congratulate the WTO and especially Roberto Azevêdo, its dynamic director-general, for successfully passing a “Bali package” at the Indonesian resort well past the 11th hour on 7 December. The WTO Doha Round, launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, a few weeks after 9/11, had become a synonym of…

China Plans a Market Revolution

China Plans a Market RevolutionThe stock market reforms that China’s Securities Regulatory Commission posted last Saturday represent a near revolution for its financial markets and are the latest manifestation of Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s determination to continue the transformation to a market-based economy in which retail investors hopefully can expect rational market rules to prevail. The reforms, in gestation…

Turnover of power in the Middle East

Turnover of power in the Middle EastAs evidence of US disengagement from the Levant grows – the area encompassing Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Israel –the prospects are growing that the political vacuum will be filled by East Asian powers – particularly a China in search of energy self-sufficiency. Growing capital flows to the Middle East, notably to…

China: Responsible World Trade Stakeholder?

China: Responsible World Trade Stakeholder?There are reasons to quibble about how the invitation to China to become a responsible stakeholder in the international system might be interpreted, but former World Bank head Robert Zoellick’s intention when he framed it that way was clear and constructive. China was welcome to participate in managing the development of the rules as well…

China Paves Asia’s New Silk Road

China Paves Asia’s New Silk RoadOver the past decade, Central Asia has grown from a marginal position in Beijing’s strategic calculus to the top of its diplomatic priorities: China is fast emerging as a vital economic and political player in this strategically located and resource-rich region. In early September Chinese President Xi Jinping visited several Central Asian countries bringing billions…

Cross-border China-HK Share Trading On the Cards?

Cross-border China-HK Share Trading On the Cards?Beijing appears ready to approve a long-awaited “south through-train” program allowing qualified domestic individual investors unfettered access to Hong Kong’s stock market, with the possibility that it will be followed by a “north through train” in the near future allowing Hong Kong residents into the Shanghai market. Although no official announcement has been made, it…