Potholes in China’s Silk Road

Potholes in China’s Silk RoadThe acknowledgement by Xu Shanda, a retired Chinese deputy director of the State Administration of Taxation, last week regarding potential losses of Silk Road projects has drawn widespread attention as it challenges the prevailing myth of an indomitable and inevitable system in which ultimately all roads will lead to Beijing. The Silk Road endeavor, expected to…

‘Make in India’ Resonates with Chinese Corporates

‘Make in India’ Resonates with Chinese CorporatesAs India and China squabble over Beijing squashing Delhi's move at the UN to ban Azhar Mazoor, the alleged mastermind behind northern India terrorist attacks, and New Delhi retaliates by threatening to stonewall the entry of Chinese companies into the country, the ground reality paints a far less acrimonious picture. Away from the geopolitical rancor,…

China’s Overseas Investments Come with Baggage

China’s Overseas Investments Come with BaggageWhile China’s huge overseas investment plans continue to attract attention from developed and developing countries alike, equally important is the skepticism prevailing about the profitability of these investments. They do not come merely as “investments” in the strict sense of the term. Certain repercussions follow, ranging from transfer of ownership of assets to potential political…

Flee from Chinese CDOs!

Flee from Chinese CDOs!China is about to go down exactly the same path that led to America's and thus the globe's financial meltdown of 2008.  In a nutshell, the China Banking Regulatory Commission wants China's banks to issue collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) to domestic as well as international markets.  Some RMB50 billion has been granted by the regulators already. CDOs basically…

China’s National People’s Congress Deals with a New Mao

China’s National People’s Congress Deals with a New MaoWith the dual meeting of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference, which runs through March 16, China confronts a phenomenon it has not seen since the days of Mao Zedong. President Xi Jinping is consolidating power through the creation of steering committees that oversee reform, the internet, legal affairs, national security…

The Globe Catches the Japanese Disease

The Globe Catches the Japanese DiseaseSeven years after the Great Recession, the world economy continues to struggle. After a wrenching financial crisis morphed quickly into a severe downturn in the global business cycle, the subsequent recovery has been unusually weak, lacking the vigor that normally insulates the world from subsequent shocks. With a multitude of shocks continuing to batter today’s…

Can China’s Infrastructure Bank Transform the Region?

Can China’s Infrastructure Bank Transform the Region?The Asian Infrastructure Bank, the brainchild of Chinese leader Xi Jiping, is being increasingly projected as an anti-World Bank and International Monetary Fund institution. But that is far from reality. Instead of challenging the old establishments, the AIIB, as it is known, seems to really fit into the global financial system. Whereas institutions like the…

China’s Wooing of Iran May Not Pay Off

China’s Wooing of Iran May Not Pay OffIran’s emergence from pariah status may seem to coincide nicely with China’s push for One Belt One Road links through Asia. China is already Iran’s biggest trading partner, buying much of the 2 million barrels a day of the oil Iran currently exports – an amount likely to be increased by another million barrels over…

China’s Belt and Road Show an Expanding Girth

China’s Belt and Road Show an Expanding GirthPresident Xi Jinping has been in Saudi Arabia, a country described by one enthusiastic mainland reporter as a meeting place of One Belt One Road, a reference to the overland belt and maritime road by which China proposes to embrace Eurasia and even Africa. That raises the issue of how this slogan posturing as a…

King Coal ‘Golden Age’ Over: Report

King Coal ‘Golden Age’ Over: ReportIn a little-noticed report put out at the end of last month, the International Energy Agency reported that for the first time in almost two decades, global coal demand growth came to a stop in 2014, mostly because of slowing economic growth in China and across the OECD.  Coal is considered the biggest driver of…