Many contributors to this blog have mentioned before Xi Jinping’s expansive anti-corruption campaign (myself, Miller, Helvey, and Brister). China Daily reports that Guangdong official Wang Kewei has become the latest casualty of this purge. Charged with violating Party ethics guidelines and State laws, Wang is the second senior official in the Guangdong Provincial Department of… Continue reading R&D Spending Plagued with Embezzlement, China Eyes Reform
You might not be aware that Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets center and NBA legend, is a delegate in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Though China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), is technically unicameral, the CPPCC is often considered the Upper House of China’s Two Assemblies. According to Yao, “the CPPCC… Continue reading Yao Ming Posts Up for the Elephants
To follow up on Bloomer’s post regarding China’s currency valuation (the CNY will now be allowed to fluctuate up and down by as much as 2% per day against the USD), China is undertaking some other serious financial reforms under President Xi Jinping. Former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said over two years ago that Chinese… Continue reading China’s Next Reform: Private Banking
To follow up on Austin Tamayo’s latest post about China’s stance on Russia’s annexation of Crimea following the toppling of Ukraine’s Kremlin-friendly President Yanukovych: it is useful to examine China’s response, both explicit and implicit. Last week China announced that its defense budget for 2014 would be USD 132 billion, an increase of 12.2% over… Continue reading The Politics of Annexation
As Austin Miller wrote in his previous post, Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is having a stark effect on luxury purveyors in China: in fact, “a leading cognac brand has seen sales fall by 30%,” sales of shark fin dropped 70% in 2013, and imports of Swiss watches were down 24% in the first quarter. But… Continue reading Is Chinese Luxury Coming Home?
I seem to recall Professor Smitka mentioning in class sometime last week that, despite all the outcry over Beijing’s smog problems, New Delhi’s are actually far worse. Well Professor, the New York Times has vindicated you: over the weekend, the Times published a story claiming that “lately, a very bad day in Beijing is an… Continue reading Is New Delhi’s Air Twice as Bad as Beijing’s?
According to a report from The Economist, twelve were killed last Friday (the 24th) in yet another instance of sectarian clash in Xinjiang Province, China. On the 15th, Chinese authorities had arrested Ilham Tohti. Accused of, among other things, “separatist activities,” Mr. Tohti is a professor, economist, and member of the Uighur minority native to… Continue reading Unrest in the Rimlands
Three weeks ago, George Soros observed that there are “eerie resemblances” between the global financial crisis of 2008 and China’s credit markets. In a blog post on the 20th, I warned of the dangers of China’s local debt crisis, particularly the “shadow banking” element. Today, a Chinese trust investment worth USD 496 million (RMB 3… Continue reading CNN Hacker Launches Currency Reserve Debate
The Chinese economy grew only 7.7% in 2013, the slowest rate since 1999 but still in excess of the government’s target of 7.5%. Despite the slowdown, foreign analysts remain optimistic about future growth, framing the slowdown primarily in terms of avoiding a “hard-landing” and, according to Reuters, transitioning to “better quality development.” Ryan Rutkowski (Peterson… Continue reading China’s Growth Slowdown Signifies Sustainability, Realism
Local Chinese debt—borrowing by provinces, counties, and townships—has grown 67% since 2010, faster than the 40% growth of the national economy during the same period. On December 31st, UBS Securities’ chief China economist Wang Tao described this rate as “alarming,” a day after the National Audit Office released a report tacking this debt at USD… Continue reading China’s Local Debt Crisis