Saturday, 17 October 2009
China is seemingly on a diplomatic honeymoon with its neighbours. Over the last fortnight alone, Chinese leaders have met the leaders of eight of the 14 countries with which China shares a border - Russia, North Korea, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
China is still only a fringe player in the global market for arms exports, and the value of its weapon sales in 2007 was a tiny fraction of that of the United States. But observers say the mainland’s defence industry has huge potential to expand and could become a major global supplier.
Beijing has for the first time released a detailed report to back up its claim that the World Uygur Congress was behind the deadly ethnic riots in Xinjiang two months ago.
Beijing has stepped up its war on corruption by issuing a judicial interpretation confirming nine criminal charges introduced early this year, including “accepting bribes for exercising influence”.
Friday, 16 October 2009
It’s another gruesome morality tale of modern China.
For the past two years, staff at a public crematorium in a northeastern province have given grieving families urns filled with other people’s ashes to make their job easier.
Throngs of buyers from around the world swarmed through the world’s largest trade show at its opening Thursday, underscoring how China’s combination of a cheap currency and low wages is producing a resurgence of exports this autumn.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Central banks should fight the urge to raise interest rates until the global economy showed stronger signs of recovery and joblessness began to decline, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said yesterday.
In other words, we are not looking at a bubble in local asset markets yet. But, with monetary conditions extremely loose and appreciation pressure on Asian currencies including the yuan set to mount over the coming months, we could well be staring at another dangerously destabilising asset price bust around about this time next year.
Shanghai officials have effectively put property developers under starter’s orders for development of the city’s “last virgin territory”, announcing yesterday that a bridge linking Chongming Island with the city would open by the end of the month.
It’s not often that a day in which $1.3 billion worth of business gets done is described as ‘insipid’ and ‘boring’ by brokers who spent most of their time twiddling their thumbs and fighting to stay awake. Yesterday however, was one such day as the local market continued to flounder in a stupor that started on Monday.
The trials of Chongqing underworld suspects, the subjects of a recent crackdown, got off to a turbulent start, with an alleged gang boss and eight co-defendants reversing their confessions and denying involvement in organised crime.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
It is exactly three years since H-shares in Hong Kong last traded at a premium to their A-share counterparts in China. Since then, they have traded at a discount, ranging as high as 68 per cent at the start of last year to as low as 13 per cent today. Looking ahead, a downturn in the liquidity environment in China relative to a continued build up in excess liquidity in Hong Kong imply that the premium of H-shares over their A-share counterparts is set to return.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
For the countries of East Asia, including China, there was no decoupling from the financial crisis in the US and Europe, which caused East Asia’s exports to drop. But because its economies and banks are sound, by this year’s second quarter, East Asia was beginning to show growth. Stimulus packages in China and India increased those nations’ economic growth, which has had a ripple effect on their neighbours. For East Asia, the worst seems to have passed.
China is seeing a new wave of luxury living and lavish lifestyles, with a new generation of ‘little emperors’ showing off their wealth. But the gap between the rich and the poor is rising, and new tales of poverty are coming from - ironically - Hong Kong.
Monday, 12 October 2009
The global partnership of Ernst & Young is unwilling to help its Hong Kong office fund a legal settlement of about US$200 million agreed with the liquidators of Akai Holdings, the accounting firm’s bankrupt former client, according to people familiar with the firm’s operations.
Top business executives at Caijing magazine, the mainland’s most influential business publication, have resigned en masse, heightening speculation its ownership may change hands soon or that its managing editor and founder, Hu Shuli, may leave and start her own publication.