January 30, 2009
OBAMA PHONES HU, FIRST MEETING SET
EU-China Summit Back On - Agreements Signed
January 29, 2009
China Starts World's Largest Oil Production Floating Platform
Airbus Avicopter JV Deal for A350 Plant in China
January 28, 2009
Win-Lose-Lose for USA in China IP Dispute at WTO
WEF: Yuan Talk Misguided
January 27, 2009
Commodities Up on Chinese Demand
Is the commodities bust ending? The Baltic Dry Index (measures activity in commodities shipping) moved to 1,000 ending a 3 month snap and may signal a reverse of its cliff dive since last October. The shares of iron-ore heavyweight Vale do Rio Doce traded up in Brazil while USA steelmakers USX and Nucor are up on NYSE on profitability. Vale credits increased Chinese demand
and a belief that China will continue to grow...
Labels: panic of 2008
January 26, 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Xin Nien Kuai Le! Gong Hai Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year everyone! Many blessings to you and your family.
Year 2009 is a Chinese Brown Earth (Soil) Cow Year. Read more
at the link...
Labels: new year
January 23, 2009
Volvo's Chinese Future
Bloomberg reporting today that Ford is planning to sell Volvo
and the likely buyer could be a Chinese automaker. Shanghai Automotive, Chery, Dongfeng, Chang'An (where Ford already has a joint venture), and aspirant Guangzhou Motors are believed to be interested. Gasgoo
, however, is not reporting any Volvo China connection at this time...
Labels: chinese autos
Does China Manipulate its Currency?
But what can the USA do about it? Unlike Japan, the USA cannot tell Beijing what to do. So there will be no "Plaza Accord" with Beijing to force a major appreciaiton of the Yuan. Beijing is not afraid of the USA. That was amply demonstrated on January 11, 2007, when the Chinese shot down one of their weather satellites to demonstrate they can take out any rival's communications ability.
This week's Economist mag recognizes the currency conundrum: the choices for Obama are between the proverbial rock and a hard place: veto any Congressional measure to impose countervailing duties on Chinese imports or put them in place only to see them reversed by the WTO before massive price inflation occurs.
Labels: currencies, free trade, yuan
January 22, 2009
China Q4 2008 End Year Macro Data
... Retail sales for the year reached $1.59 trillion (US dollars) showing Chinese have a long way to go to supplant the American consumer. State investment topped $2.5 trillion value and will likely increase with Beijing stimulus plans...
Beijing Passes Universal Health Care
The Beijing government's all-powerful State Council passed a plan to bring basic medical coverage to all Chinese citizens
as a national goal. The plan will spend 850 billion Yuan (just under $125 billion US dollars) by 2011 to provide basic medical insurance to at least 90% of the population, cover all approved prescription drugs, reform public hospitals (a reference to cracking down on the rampant corruption and bribery in Chinese medicine?), and other measures detailed in the link above.
China is a major market for exports of US made medical equipment so new opportunities should increase...
January 21, 2009
Geithner Confirmation: China Currency "Significant Issue"
"I believe that it is in the interests of the global economy, not just our interests, that our major trading partners move over time to a more flexible exchange rate system."
Geithner pointed out that other major trading partners of USA (read: Japan) also need watching.
Is this a sign that the Democratic controlled Congress and President Obama will slap countervailing duties on China? And will the resultant price inflation of nearly every good bought and sold in the USA lead to wage inflation or just further erosion in standards of living?
Labels: currencies, foreign exchange, free trade, yuan
Chinese Airlines Further Consolidation?
January 20, 2009
China-Hong Kong Currency Swap as Yuan Weakens
Meanwhile in other currency news, the Yuan has slipped 2% against the dollar since the start of the year. The Yuan gained 6.6% in 2008. The Yuan had steadily appreciated (in response to USA government pressure) since the defacto dollar peg ended in 2005...
Labels: currencies, yuan
January 16, 2009
Sino-US Scientists Achieve Invisiblity Cloak
January 15, 2009
TRADE WAR: USA-EU-CHINA SANCTIONS AND TARIFFS
Boeing Hit by China Eastern Slowdown
January 14, 2009
World Bank Reports on China Water Scarcity
Making news stories this week is a report conducted by World Bank programs on "Addressing China's Water Scarcity..." From the abstract:
This report reviews China's water scarcity situation, assesses the policy and institutional requirements for addressing it, and recommends key areas for strengthening and reform. It is a synthesis of the main findings and recommendations from analytical work and case studies prepared under the World Bank Analytical and Advisory Assistance (AAA) program entitled 'addressing China's water scarcity: from analysis to action.'
Labels: global security
China to Develop Big Iran Oil Field
China National Petroleum Corp. signed a deal to develop the south Azadegan oil field
in southwestern Iran. In return for the investment, CNPC will get access to 75,000 barrels/day for approximately 4 years with a second stage development deal thereafter. The area is near the giant Azaegan oil field Iran's largest undeveloped reserve. Japanese investors were forced out of development by US pressure in 2006. Now China seems well placed to exploit the 6 billion or so barrels believed underground...
Labels: asian energy security grid, peak oil
January 12, 2009
Chinese Electric Cars in US by 2011
WSJ: China Opens Bond Market to Foreign Traders
Wall Street Journal reporting: " The China Banking Regulatory Commission said Friday that it will allow foreign banks to trade and underwrite corporate bonds in the country's interbank market, widening their reach in Asia's largest fixed-income market outside Japan. "Source Article
Tibet Water Tapped for 31GW Hydropower Plant
Whether the Xiangjiaba dam figures into the huge 'south-to-north' water diversion project is unknown to this writer.
January 09, 2009
Chinese Plug-In EV at Detroit Auto Show
Chinese battery and auto maker BYD will show its plug-in electric car at the Detroit Auto Show, Motor Trend mag reports
. BYD hopes to sell the car in Europe by 2010. Meanwhile, GM has pushed the arrival of the Chevy Volt to late 2010...
Labels: chevy volt, chinese autos, electric cars, gm
Pearl River Delta 2020
The Pearl River Delta
has roughly as many people as and an economy equal in size to a big West European country and some of the highest income levels in China. The goal is increase per capital income to 1st world standards within 12 years and urbanization to 80% or more. The region will be connected by mass transit systems already under construction or planned including the new Hong Kong-Macu-Zhuhai bridge discussed earlier on the Sinomania! blog.
The development plan is to turn the region from light manufacturing of toys, electronics, and textiles, to an 'innovation hub' focused on automobiles, petrochemicals, high tech, and services. Some clues as to where investment will be centered: the plan calls for the creation of 2-3 big auto makers in the region, the creation of 10 Chinese global multinational brands, and equipment manufacturing around nuclear power, ocean equipment, wind power, power plants, high-tech machine tools, along with financial, retail, and personnel services.
Labels: alternative energy, chinese autos, high-tech, investment
January 08, 2009
OBAMA: USA Must "Compete With Kids in Beijing"
In his big economic recovery policy speech
today, USA President-elect Barack Obama said the US must create a 21st Century economy and gave somewhat specific clues at to where the up to $1 trillion for "New Deal II" will go:
Power generation by alternative energy will double;
75% of all federal buildings and 2 million homes will be renovated for energy efficiency;
stimulus for jobs that "can't be outsourced ... building solar panels and wind turbines;"
NOTE: Given that the technology leaders in solar and wind are mostly European companies and the greatest production centers are or soon will be Chinese manufacturers - How can solar and wind manufacturing jobs be created in America without preventing imports? Will the stimulus include "buy America" provisions or prohibitive tariffs on imports or other restrictions such as slanted certification processes? Is this a potential protectionist land mine or just political hot air?
All medical records will be computerized in 5 years.
New equipment for classrooms, labs, libraries;
New PCs for schools.
Building programs for roads, bridges, schools;
Creation of smart grid;
Increased broadband access.
And all these programs will be accomplished along with tax cuts! The big winners seem to be the construction and IT sectors of the US economy.
Labels: alternative energy, free trade, global economy, panic of 2008
GM Pins Hope On Chinese Buicks
GM will showcase the Chinese designed Buick LaCrosse sedan at the all-important Detroit Auto Show
next week. As the troubled car giant pushes the arrival of the Chevy Volt further out (now expected at the end of 2010 and still with a pricey $40K price tag), GM hopes it can develop brand love for Buick in America with its successful Chinese models. It is questionable if such a strategy will work, further does it even make sense?
Labels: chinese autos, global economy, gm
January 05, 2009
2009 PREDICTION: CHINA WILL NOT CRASH
A theme is emerging
among US journalists prone to project America's problems elsewhere that the big story of 2009 will be massive "social unrest" or "instability" in China that will lead to a Tiananmen Square type crackdown.
The meme ranges from trite
and will most likely be a common refrain in the first part of the year. But Sinomania! can predict confidently that China will not fall and there will be no cataclysmic showdown between Beijing and the Chinese allegedly (so the MSM tells us each day) "yearning" for American style democracy.
Yes, China's economic slowdown is scary. But consider the contrast from conditions in 1989:
Inflation is the big bugaboo in Chinese politics as in any political system. Remember it was rampant hyperinflation that ended the Chiang Kai-Shek regime on the mainland. In 1989 the inflation rate was running at double digits (21% at the end of 1988) and rationing of some consumer staples had just ended in big Chinese cities. The 2009 CPI forecast is -0.8%. That's right, DEflation is the issue although most analysts believe that it is deflation due to supply shock not a collapse of the monetary system. And deflation is expected to persist perhaps all the way to 2010.
But what about GDP growth slowing all the way (!) to below the magic number of 8% - surely once that happens all hell will break loose since Beijing has no experience dealing with a major recession? Actually, the impression is wrong. It is not true that Beijing has never dealt with a major recession. On the contrary, the recession of 1960-61 was marked by a drop in GDP of -27.3% equivalent to the worst years (1931-32) of the Great Depression in the USA and recession occurred again in 1962 (-5.7%), during the Cultural Revolution (1967-68 -4.1%) and the year Mao died (1976 -1.6%). In 1989 GDP growth was just over 4% and fell to 3.8% in 1990. And during the so-called Asian flu in the late 90's China GDP growth fell below 8% (7.8% in 1997, 7.1% in '99).
Consider the differences in Beijing's financial position today:
Chinese banks have $6.85 trillion
in deposits including around $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves held chiefly in US dollar bills. By contrast in 1989 Chinese households had only 515 billion yuan deposited at the bank (approximately $138 billion US at the time) and a mere $5.5 billion in forex reserves.
Every economic indicator fell dramatically in 1989 including capital investment which is set to rise significantly in 2009 when Beijing's giant infrastucture stimulus programs are underway.
And signs are that China's economy may already be rounding the bend.
The pace of decline in industrial output slowed in December - that is output and new orders improved last month. The WSJ is reporting that China’s bond market is recovering
and up to $235 billion in Chinese bonds are expected this year even though 1 year yields may dip below 1%.
The economy will be a big story all over the world this year but journalists and publishers hoping to focus instead on sexier and easier lines about an [insert color here] revolution in China will be disappointed.
(c) 2009 Ben Calmes, Sinomania!
Labels: global economy, global security
Kissinger: US and China Must "Agree" to Rebuild "International Economic System"
In an interview with Xinhua
at his Manhattan offices, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said incoming President Obama should go to China at a "relatively early point" but
"We should not judge the relationship by how quickly our president travels, but should judge it by whether at an early stage significant conversations take place between leading Chinese and leading Americans and whether real progress is made on outstanding issues."
Kissinger celebrated the 30th anniversary of official USA-China relations (in the post WW2 era) by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange a symbol Chairman Mao would perhaps have found inconceivable...
Labels: cold war, kissinger
Curtains Up on Beijing Broadway Complex
The successful Broadway theater producer and promoter Nederlander Organization is partnered with Shibo Investment of Beijing to build a multi-theater "Broadway" in the Hai Dian district
of western Beijing. This is an example of how increased USA-China relations benefits respective businesses in both countries versus the tired MSM narrative of substandard Chinese manufactures 'forced' upon unwary American consumers...
Labels: free trade
China 3G License Selection
According to leaks
, the new 3G licenses for Chinese mobile phone operators will be WCDMA for China Unicom, CDMA2000 for China Telecom, and China's native TD-SCDMA standard to China Mobile. Speculation is China Mobile could see slower growth given the unproven technology.
Labels: technology, Telcom
January 02, 2009
Chinese Labor Props Up Italian Fashion
So claims an interesting article in Chicago Tribune
on the Italian town of Prato, a circumstance first reported in 2006 by Der Spiegel
and also covered by the BBC in 2007
. Fact is, EU rules embrace open borders. Italy has a population smaller -- and older -- than a Chinese province. Chinese have the skills and the drive to seize on opportunities abroad. The impact of Chinese immigration to countries such as Italy is a new trend worth watching.
Labels: free trade
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