Trump: ‘something could very well come out’ of trade talks with China’s Xi


December 1, 2018

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday “something could very well come out” of his meeting on trade with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, a Voice of America reporter said on Twitter.

Trump, who is set to meet with Xi over dinner on Saturday, made the comment in an interview with VOA, the reporter said.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann

Source: Reuters “Trump: ‘something could very well come out’ of trade talks with China’s Xi”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China looking to boost agricultural exports to India, President Xi tells PM Modi


December 1, 2018

MUMBAI (Reuters) – China was looking to boost agricultural exports to India while increasing imports of rapeseed and soymeal from the country, President Xi Jinping told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a G20 meeting on Friday.

China’s Xi also indicated greater trade in the pharmaceuticals sector between the two nations, India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, who was traveling with Modi, said, detailing the deliberations between the two leaders.

“On the economic side, President Xi Jinping referred to enhanced imports of rice and sugar from India and spoke of possibility of greater imports of soymeal and rapeseed,” he said.

The meeting at the G20 summit was the fourth between Xi and Modi this year as the leaders looked to build on a thaw in ties between the two countries after a military standoff on their disputed border last year, officials told Reuters on Thursday.

India’s commerce ministry and a six-member Chinese delegation signed an agreement on Wednesday allowing Beijing to inspect imports of Indian fish meal and fish oil in an effort to ease market access for exports of various farm products.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Abhirup Roy, editing by Louise Heavens

Source: Reuters “China looking to boost agricultural exports to India, President Xi tells PM Modi”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China has ‘stern’ words with U.S. over ship in South China Sea


November 30, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Friday it had lodged “stern representations” with the United States after the U.S. Navy sailed a ship through the contested South China Sea, passing near islands claimed by China.

Tension between the two powers in disputed Asian waters comes as their relationship has between strained by a row over trade involving increasingly severe rounds of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s imports.

The U.S. guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville sailed near the Paracel Islands on Monday to challenge China’s “excessive maritime claims”, the U.S. Pacific fleet said in a statement.

China foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, told a daily news briefing the U.S. ship had entered Chinese waters without permission and China had made its position known with its “stern representations”.

The Chinese army said it had sent ships and planes to watch the U.S. ship and to warn it to leave.

The Chancellorsville’s voyage was the latest in what the United States calls freedom of navigation operations aimed at challenging what it sees as Chinese activity limiting freedom of movement in the strategic waters.

In particular, the United States has criticized China’s construction of islands on tiny reefs and shoals and its installation of military facilities on them, including air strips and docks.

China claims “irrefutable” sovereignty over most of the South China Sea and the islands in it, and accuses the United States of raising military tension with its navy presence there.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all claim parts of the waterway, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year. Taiwan also claims the waters.

(This version of the story was refiled to remove extraneous word “said” from paragraph one)

Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Robert Birsel

Source: Reuters “China has ‘stern’ words with U.S. over ship in South China Sea”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


US Air Force Scared by Chinese Air Force’s Growing Superiority


US Air Force Times’ article yesterday titled “China aims to defeat the US Air Force without firing a shot. Here’s how” reflects such fear covered by the allegation of China copying the US so that Chinese equipment is similar to the US. However, the article cannot deny that China can also innovate as proved by its independent development of missiles.

We all know that China’s DF-21D and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles are capable of denying US aircraft carriers approach to Chinese coasts.

However, the claim of similarity at least reflects the writer’s admission that China’s equipment is equal in functions and performance. That, in fact, indicates the fear of US air force that Chinese air force’s superiority will grow to the extent that it may defeat its US counterpart without firing a shot.

The article is based on US think tank Rand Corp’s report that “was originally shared with Air Force leaders in September 2017, but was made publicly available this month (November 2018)” according to Air Force Times’ report.

Rand Corp’s report displays the following table of comparison between US and Chinese air force.

The first item in the table is already entirely wrong. It says that J-20 copies US F-22 and F-35. J-20’s canard pneumatic structure is entirely different from the conventional ones of F-22 and F-35.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Air Force Times’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/11/29/china-aims-to-defeat-the-us-air-force-without-firing-a-shot-heres-how/.


Argentina, China sign billion-dollar cargo railway renovation deal


Eliana Raszewski, Cassandra Garrison November 30, 2018

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina on Thursday said it had signed a $1 billion contract with a Chinese state builder for improvements to a rail line that transports raw materials, including the South American country’s main cash crop of soybeans.

The project with China Railway Construction Corporation Limited will repair or renovate 1,020 kilometers (634 miles) of railway that runs through the capital Buenos Aires, Rosario – the country’s main grains shipping hub – and Mendoza province, the country’s wine-producing region at the base of the Andes mountains in the west of Argentina.

The country’s once-vibrant grains cargo railway system has fallen into disrepair, leaving farmers to rely on trucks to transport soy, wheat and corn to the ports that dot the banks of the Parana River. That waterway, Argentina’s main export thoroughfare, leads to the shipping lanes of the south Atlantic. China is the main importer of Argentine soybeans.

“When the works are finished, the expectation is to go from 1.5 million tonnes of shipments this year to 3 million tonnes in 2025, and eventually to 8 million tonnes in 2030,” the transport ministry said in its announcement, which did not provide information about the deal’s financing structure.

The project, which will create about 3,800 jobs, will enable the line to support longer trains and reduce transportation costs by 55 percent, the ministry said.

A number of deals are expected to be announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Argentina this weekend, including a multi-billion dollar agreement for the Chinese-funded construction of a nuclear power plant.

China has widened its economic influence in Argentina in the last 10 years by positioning itself as a major financier of Argentine projects, mainly infrastructure, worth a total of about $18 billion, according to a Reuters review of Chinese state funding data compiled by the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based non-profit think-tank.

Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Additional reporting and writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Ross Colvin and James Dalgleish

Source: Reuters “Argentina, China sign billion-dollar cargo railway renovation deal”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China state paper says trade deal possible at G20 if U.S. ‘fair minded


Adam Jourdan November 30, 2018

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China and the United States can reach a trade agreement at the G20 meeting in Argentina this week, the state-run China Daily newspaper said in an editorial on Friday, but Washington must be “fair minded” if it wants to defuse spiraling tensions.
\
“Beijing wants a deal, just as Washington does. And it is willing to cooperate with Washington in dealing with concerns about trade if they are fair-minded,” the paper said.

“Should there be any other aspirations, such as taking advantage of the trade spat to throttle Chinese growth, then an agreement is unlikely to be reached.”

World leaders started arriving on Thursday in Buenos Aires ahead of the gathering of the Group of 20, where global trade tensions, fueled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, are expected to dominate the agenda.

Financial and commodities markets are closely watching the outcome of the summit, especially a planned meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, though the outcome is far from certain.

Trump sent mixed signals on Thursday about the prospects for a trade deal with China, saying an agreement was close but he was not sure he wanted one. China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday it was hoping for “positive results”.

Peter Navarro, Trump’s hardline trade adviser, will attend the meeting between the leaders, a U.S. official told Reuters. Another official said Navarro’s addition was meant to send a message to China about the administration’s resolve on trade. Navarro has advocated a tough stance against Beijing.

The China Daily editorial said even if a deal were struck it was unlikely to be a comprehensive solution to the trade impasse due to “diverging demands and agendas”. It cited tensions over Chinese technological development, a focus of U.S. concern.

“However, it should be feasible for some kind of agreement to be reached to prevent the dispute worsening if both sides are reasonable,” it said.

The rising tensions have seen the two countries hit each other with tit-for-tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars in sectors from automobiles to agriculture and energy, stymieing trade and redrawing global supply chains.

The United States has levied additional duties of between 10 percent and 25 percent on $250 billion of Chinese goods this year as punishment for what it calls China’s unfair trade practices, with the 10 percent tariffs set to climb to 25 percent next year. China has responded with its own tariffs.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Michael Perry

Source: Reuters “China state paper says trade deal possible at G20 if U.S. ‘fair minded’”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Putin says Russia will supply soy beans, poultry meat to China


Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum “Russia Calling!” in Moscow, Russia, November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

November 28, 2018

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would supply soy beans and poultry meat to China and that the United States had effectively given up on that market.

Putin was speaking at the Russia Calling annual investment forum.

Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Polina Nikolskaya; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Edmund Blair

Source: Reuters “Putin says Russia will supply soy beans, poultry meat to China”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China to widen market access for foreign investors: President Xi


China’s President Xi Jinping stands next to Spanish Parliament chairman Ana Pastor and Spanish Senate chairman Pio Garcia Escudero outside the Senate as part of a state visit in Madrid, Spain, November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Belén Carreño November 28, 2018

MADRID (Reuters) – China will widen market access for foreign investors and step up protection of intellectual property rights, China’s President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday ahead of the G20 meeting of world leaders in Argentina.

Speaking before the Spanish upper house of parliament during a two-day stop in Madrid, Xi also said China planned to import $10 trillion worth of goods over the next five years.

“China will make efforts to open, even more, its doors to the exterior world and we will make efforts to streamline access to markets in the areas of investment and protect intellectual property,” Xi said.

Xi made no reference to U.S. President Donald Trump, who on Monday said he expected to move ahead with raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from the current 10 percent.

But in a joint declaration adopted after Xi’s meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Spain and China said they backed “an open and balanced global economy based on WTO rules, reaffirming their commitment to fighting protectionism and unilateralism.”

Two very small groups of demonstrators, one expressing opposition to China’s human rights record and one waving a “Welcome” sign, gathered outside the senate as the Chinese leader spoke.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan earlier stood side by side with Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia in the crisp Madrid winter sun outside the Royal Palace to receive full military honors from the king’s guards.

China and Spain on Wednesday signed an accord on the export of Iberian ham to China, as part of a series of deals inked during the state visit.

But Spain will not sign up to Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” a wide-ranging development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving global infrastructure projects, a Spanish government source said.

Additional reporting by Judy Hua in Beijing; Writing by Paul Day and Ingrid Melander; Editing by William Maclean

Source: Reuters “China to widen market access for foreign investors: President Xi”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Belt and Road Facilitates Winning Trade War, Competition with the US


When Chinese President launched his Belt and Road initiative, he knew that to switch to innovation- and creation-led growth China has move its labor intensive industries abroad, but there had to be infrastructures of transport and power generation there. He has the vision five years ahead of Trump’s launch of trade war.

Chinese labor intensive industries should have been busy to relocate in Belt and Road areas abroad while Xi has been striving to carry out his ambitious Belt and Road projects. However, just as pointed out in Reuters’ report “Supply chain reaction: trade war refugees race to relocate to Vietnam, Thailand” today, there are problems “ranging from red-tape to skilled labor and limited infrastructure”. Anyway, quite a few has relocated or are making preparations to relocate due to Xi’s reform that encourages innovation and creation while discourages expansion of labor-intensive industries.

The report says that there is “a frenzy of activity across Asia in recent months: executives are requesting product samples, touring industrial parks, hiring lawyers and meeting with officials”. However, those are mainly foreign executives as Chinese ones began doing so earlier due to Xi’s reform.

Xi cannot drive away foreign labor-intensive industries in China to release land, labor infrastructures and other resources to make way for foreign investment in high technology. Trump’s trade war is now helping Xi do so.

Due to the need for infrastructures in the countries those enterprises will move to, Belt and Road projects will much more profitable and in hot demand. They will attract those who are now demonizing the projects as debt traps .

When low-tech enterprises in China have moved to Belt and Road areas or switched to higher-tech sectors and when low-tech foreign investment has been replaced by high-tech one, Chinese economy will take off again. Moreover, the Belt and Road projects will make areas involved rich and become growing markets for China’s export.

It is very clear Belt and Road will facilitate China in winning trade war or economic competition with the US.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Beuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-vietnam-insight/supply-chain-reaction-trade-war-refugees-race-to-relocate-to-vietnam-thailand-idUSKCN1NX2XZ


Exclusive: China envoy warns of dire consequences if U.S. hardliners hold sway


David Brunnstrom, David Lawder, Matt Spetalnick November 28, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China is going to this week’s G-20 summit hoping for a deal to ease a damaging trade war with the United States, Beijing’s ambassador to Washington said on Tuesday, while warning of dire consequences if U.S. hardliners try to separate the world’s two largest economies.

Speaking to Reuters before heading to join Chinese President Xi Jinping’s delegation at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Cui Tiankai said China and the United States had a shared responsibility to cooperate in the interests of the global economy.

Asked whether he thought hardliners in the White House were seeking to separate the closely linked U.S. and Chinese economies, Cui said he did not think it was possible or helpful to do so, adding: “I don’t know if people really realize the possible consequences – the impact, the negative impact – if there is such a decoupling.”

He drew parallels to the tariff wars of the 1930s among industrial countries, which contributed to a collapse of global trade and heightened tensions in the years before World War Two.

“The lessons of history are still there. In the last century, we had two world wars, and in between them, the Great Depression. I don’t think anybody should really try to have a repetition of history. These things should never happen again, so people have to act in a responsible way.”

Asked whether he thought the current tensions, which have seen the two sides impose tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods, could degenerate into all-out conflict, Cui called the outcome “unimaginable” and the two countries should do everything to prevent it.

Cui said China did not want to have a trade war and sought a negotiated solution to the impasse stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands for far-reaching Chinese concessions to correct a $375 billion goods trade deficit with China.

“We are against any trade war,” the ambassador said, but added that China would “fight to safeguard our own interests.”

“We believe that the key to a negotiated solution to the trade issues is a balanced approach to the concerns of both sides and honestly so far I have not seen sufficient response from the U.S. side to our concerns.”

“We cannot accept that one side would put forward a number of demands and the other side just has to satisfy all these things.”

White House chief economist Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday that Trump was open to a trade deal with China but was prepared to hike tariffs on Chinese imports if there is no breakthrough on long-standing trade irritants during a planned dinner on Saturday in Buenos Aires with Xi.

TREASURY DEBT

Cui said he did not believe Beijing was seriously considering using its massive U.S. Treasury debt holdings as a trade war weapon, citing concerns that such a move would destabilize financial markets.

“This is very dangerous, this is like playing with fire,” he said when asked if China would consider selling Treasuries or reducing purchases should trade tensions worsen.

Trade and economic analysts have often said China could slow its purchases of U.S. Treasuries or sell off its holdings to pressure Washington into a deal.

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury debt, with $1.15 trillion on Sept. 30, according to the latest Treasury data, compared with $1.19 trillion a year earlier. As of Monday, there was about $15.97 trillion of total public Treasury debt outstanding.

Cui said China’s Treasury holdings were a good example of the economic interdependence between the United States and China.

He said Trump and Xi had “a very good working relationship and personal friendship” formed in three previous face-to-face meetings, including two formal summits, and that had been shown by a long phone conversation in early November.

White House insiders say there remain substantial differences within the Trump administration over how far to push China.

The division groups on one side anti-China hardliner and trade adviser Peter Navarro, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and those who favor a complete re-evaluation of the relationship. On the other side are pragmatists led by Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, concerned about the harm deepening friction could do to the U.S. economy and markets.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Matt Spetalnick and David Lawder; Editing by Chris Sanders, Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: China envoy warns of dire consequences if U.S. hardliners hold sway”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.