US v. China Showdown: Is China still communist?

My first job in China was to manage a joint venture in a remote mining town.  Our partner was an old-line Chinese state owned enterprise—a real communist organization.  The CEO…

US v. China Showdown: China is still a low income country

  My experience is that, when Americans go to China for the first time, the first two things they notice and comment on are 1.) that Chinese people often don’t…

US v. China: The “Frenemy” Showdown

Donald Trump has said China is “raping” the US.  He accused China of perpetrating the greatest heist in history by taking wealth from the US.  Then he broke 40 years…

US out of TPP: Is that good for China?

Signaling that he is indeed serious about trade, one of Donald Trump’s first acts in office was to put a halt to US participation in the Transpacific Trade Partnership or…

Chinese History Lesson 2: PUSHING (DRUGS) INTO CHINA

As trade with China grew countries like England ran a trade deficit with China which led to the outflow of silver to pay for Chinese imports. Opium sales, from opium raised in India, reverses the outflow of silver.  

This month in a nutshell

This month in a nutshell

A “secret” summit and

an economy that can’t gain traction

 

Xi visits Obama (and America hardly noticed)

Presidential summits are usually long on hype and short on substance. This one was short on both. President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US was timed to coincide with the Pope’s visit

This Month in a Nutshell

This Month in a Nutshell

The Middle Kingdom is the Center of Attention

 From driving global markets and to irking Donald Trump, China was never far from the headlines in August.

 

Devaluation thrusts China into US campaign

It started when China executed a minor devaluation of its currency (which was actually a readjustment that bowed to market forces). Some took this as the first step in an inevitable currency war which then became a political football in the American presidential campaign, with Donald Trump leading the way.

This Month in a Nutshell

This Month in a Nutshell

The stock market crashes.

 The government panics.

 The economy keeps slowing.

 Debt keeps growing.

 

Stock market debacle adds to the pressure on China

China already had a full plate, even before the stock market debacle that began in June and continued through July. In addition to the plethora of issues any nation faces (in China’s case, environmental degradation, terrorism from a discontented minority, tensions in the South China Sea, a huge corruption problem, etc.), China began 2015 at the most critical point of its transition from an export and investment driven economy to one led by innovation and consumer demand. We say China is at a critical point because, not only does it have to adjust to a lower, “new normal” growth rate due in part to stagnate export markets, but the debt China has added over the past five years (debt to GDP increasing from 125% to more than 250%) is putting China’s long term growth at risk.

This month in a nutshell

The economy is STILL weak, plus the stock market is falling (for now). Will China pile on the debt to try to keep things moving?

 

Between the recent hacking incident and tensions in the South China Sea, can US-Sino relations stay on an even keel?

 

June didn’t answer these questions, but it brought them closer to a head.

This month in a nutshell

The economy gets weaker.

Liberalization gets stronger.

The stock market soars higher.

Warnings in the South China Sea gets harsher.

 

Balancing growth and debt remains China’s greatest challenge

As more economic indicators suggest China’s economy continues to decelerate, concern mounts that growth, instead of adjusting to a “new normal,” will fall to an unacceptably low level that will have a serious impact on employment and the ability of China to regain momentum. China implemented another minor stimulatory measure in May, but also took actions that seem to pave the way for much larger fiscal stimulus, should the government decide it is necessary. But is more debt really what China needs? Just as it was at the beginning of 2015, the central question for China’s economy remains how China will balance debt with growth. Prudence has been the theme so far, but that could change.