• The Mekong and South China Sea represent China's revisionist behavior.

    China's Revisionist Behavior has the Region on Edge

    China’s pattern of regional conduct has come increasingly into focus in recent times. Its behaviour is much less about maintaining the ‘status quo’, and much more about revising the established dynamics and contours in the region to its preferences. This revisionism is likely to become the primary source of tensions and potential conflict in Southeast Asia.

    Nowhere are China’s revisionist aims more evident than in the South China Sea and the upper reaches of the Mekong River, which straddles southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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  • Northeast China faces tremendous challenges as the country's rustbelt.

    Checking in on China's Rustbelt

    Northeast China is under heavy pressure to reduce overcapacity. As the economy is rebalancing, so must “China’s Rustbelt.” But how?

    In the next five years, China's steel sector should reduce capacity by 100-150 million metric tons, while the coal mining sector will cut capacity by 500 million tons, with another 500 million tons to be restructured in the following 3-5 years.

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  • Chinese real estate policies should vary across markets.

    China Real Estate Policies Should Not Be One Size Fits All

    While some observers claim China is heading for another property bubble, the big picture is more complex. There are signs of bubble formation in some cities and excessive inventory in others, but there is solid growth in many.

    A few weeks ago, international observers declared that China's real estate frenzy was back, as Shenzhen prices surged 50 percent. Others lamented that, while prices are soaring in some big cities, there are bubbles in other parts of the country. 

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  • China's Market Economy Status is around the corner and very contentious.

    Granting China 'Market Economy Status' is Proving Divisive in the EU

    The dispute over China's “market economy status” (MES) divides Europe by countries and industries.  It stems from China’s 2001 agreement to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which Beijing believes required countries to grant MES to China within 15 years – by December this year.

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  • There is uncertainty about China's plan for the Arctic region.

    Expect China to be an Arctic Player

    As climatic and environmental changes increase the accessibility of the Arctic, opening up the possibility of shorter shipping lanes and the ability to tap into large natural resource deposits, states within the region and beyond are beginning to look north.

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  • China has a huge presence in Africa, but not as much as the West.

    China's Global Influence in Context

    The rise of China has created new uncertainties. A crucial question is whether China actively seeks an alternative to the existing US-led liberal regional order. In addition, if it does, what sort of order would it be?

    In 2000, Aron Friedberg warned enthusiasts of multilateralism against exaggerating the ‘pacifying’ effects of regional trade. Friedberg predicted that the more economically powerful South Korea and China became, the more they would seek to undermine Japan’s regional status and eventually confront the United States.

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  • Managing growth expectations is China's newest gig.

    Hitting a New Growth Target

    China’s new growth target of 6.5-7% will ensure more flexibility amid deceleration at home and stagnation in the West. It is a balancing act between reforms and deleveraging.              

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  • There are ways to decipher Chinese trade figures, which is apparently necessary.

    Forces Impacting Chinese Trade Figures

    Investors are skeptical of Chinese economic data.  However, news yesterday that Chinese exports fell by a quarter in February shocked investors.  Many worry about the implications not just for China, but also for world growth.  It comes as the IMF is signaling it will likely cut its 3.4% global growth forecast next month.

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  • The WTO's decision to grant China MES would be complex.

    China's 'Market Economy Status'

    The future of the EU–China trade relationship — one of the largest in the world — will be substantially impacted by a debate over whether China should be granted ‘market economy status’ (MES) this year. Under the terms of China’s ‘Protocol of Accession’ to the World Trade Organization, WTO members are allowed to treat China as a ‘non-market economy’ until December 2016. After that time — at least in the Chinese interpretation — WTO members are to accord China MES.

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  • China's Xi hopes he can transform his country to a consumer-based economy.

    Is China's Xi on the Correct Economic Path?

    President Xi Jinping’s economic thinking – “Xiconomics” – reflects the kind of adjustment that is required by Chinese rebalancing in a challenging international environment.

    Three years ago, sinologists in the West – led by Barclays Capital – introduced the term “Likonomics” to describe the central tenets of Premier Li Keqiang: no stimulus, deleveraging, and structural reforms. By now, those policies were expected to push China toward a “temporary hard-landing” with quarterly growth plunging to 3%.

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