June 30, 2009
Hong Kong-China Trade Settlement in Yuan by July
Beijing Ready to Back Down on Iron Ore Contracts?
that the Chinese financial mag Caijing
quotes anonymous sources at a closed session of the China Iron and Steel Association saying that as the June 30 deadline will soon pass the desired price cuts for iron ore will have to be reexamined. The report notes that Beijing still expects better than the 1/3 off Japan got....
Labels: foreign trade, steel
TRADE WAR: ITC APPROVES ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON CHINESE TIRES
June 29, 2009
Beijing Ups Gas, Diesel Price at Pump
The NDRC, Beijing's powerful economic regulator, will allow an 8-10% increases for gas and diesel retail prices
helping China's big fuel distributors such as PetroChina but putting a squeeze on domestic drivers. The commission is testing how Chinese respond to paying (somewhat) close to world prices for automobile petrol.....
Labels: gas, inflation, peak oil
June 26, 2009
China to Get More Turkmenistan Gas
Russia and China appear set to split Turkmenistan's gas riches at least in terms of current production levels in a new deal briefly mentioned on Turkmenistan TV
. Beijing will extend $4 billion (US dollars) in loans and Turkemenistan will up its deliveries of natural gas to China - via an as yet unfinished pipeline - to 40 billion cubic meters per year.
Turkmenistan has the 4th largest proved reserves of natural gas in the world (according to BP statistics) and European and American interests are actively trying to get new production diverted to Europe via an alternative pipeline to lessen Russia's grip on the EU and former Soviet Republics.....
Labels: asian energy security grid, gas
Chinese Michael Jackson Fans Besiege Websites
Fans of mega pop star Michael Jackson flooded his official Chinese website and other Chinese websites such as Sina.com with comments and remembrances
. Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson....
June 25, 2009
Beijing Auto Opel Bid Back On with GM?
According to Bloomberg, GM is signing non-binding agreements with Beijing Automotive
and a Belgian bidder for its European Opel division. The German government backed Magna International is hitting stumbling blocks with GM over technology transfer. Beijing Auto is sweetening its offer and will require no government loans or guarantees....
Labels: chinese autos, gm
June 24, 2009
China Gets Kurdistan Oil in Sinopec Addax Takeover
Reunification Watch: Washington, Beijing Meet on Taiwan Arms
Is this a sign that the Obama administration is open to allowing for peaceful resolution between Beijing and Taipei - the intent of the Shanghai Communique - rather than an escalating arms race courtesy the Reagan era Taiwan Relations Act which is just a cover for Congressional pork to military industrial conglomerates such as Lockheed-Martin, manufacturer of the F-16 jet fighter?....
Labels: military-industrial complex, reunification, taiwan
June 23, 2009
Gwadar Port Update
TRADE WAR: WTO Complaint Filed on China Exports Controls
June 22, 2009
China Secures Kuwait Oil with Giant Refinery Deal
A big Sino-Kuwait refinery project
, estimated at $9 billion (US dollars) with capacity to process 300,000 barrels of Kuwaiti crude per day is close to breaking ground. Environmental concerns moved the location from the Guangzhou urban agglomeration to a coastal site most likely Zhanjiang, Guangdong, which already has oil terminal facilties. Kuwait aims to export 500,000 barrels per day to China by 2015 much of it for the use of the refinery. Involved in the deal are Kuwait Petroleum Corp., Sinopec, and others....
Labels: energy security, oil, peak oil
June 19, 2009
All A Twitter Over Iran
Beijing cautions Washington over intervention in Iran
in an editorial in the China Daily saying attempts to push "the so-called color revolution" will prove very dangerous. The "twitter" or "green" or whatever "revolution" has opinion pages around the world buzzing with absurd comparisons between the turmoil in Tehran and Tiananmen 1989. But how many really understand the byzantine complexity of Iran's political system? An interesting editorial by a former Indian diplomat sheds some light on pieces of the Persian puzzle (link
One thing is paramount: Iran is by this writer's estimate the 12th largest economy in the world and is number 2 in oil and gas reserves. Further, the population is very young and growing. There are around 70 million Iranian citizens representing a vast potential market for every type of consumer goods. Iran like China in the 70s will return to the world stage and what is really at play is who will benefit and share in Iran's future growth....
Labels: cold war 2, iran, revolution
June 18, 2009
China BioEnergy Center Opens
The first bioenergy research center in China has opened at Nanning
, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region that borders Vietnam. The center will focus on native crops such as cassava and sorghum. Currently a cassava for alcohol project makes 200,000 tonnes a year in the Guangxi city of Beihai.....
Labels: alternative energy, investment, peak oil
"Buy America" Meets "Buy China"
The hoopla in American opinion pages
, er, media on Beijing's "Buy China" direction for government procurement smacks of hypocrisy to this writer. President Obama allowed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to maintain its "buy America" provisions and has publicly stated that he believes the $1 trillion spent every year on defense should adhere to "buy America". Further, the Obama administration is caving to US manufacturers in anti-dumping cases involving non-government procurement by US importers.
Fact is, the USA federal government under W and now Obama has failed year after year to pressure Beijing on its commitment to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. Could it be because Uncle Sam is reluctant to give up his protectionist prerogative too?
Labels: free trade, goverment procurement, wto
June 17, 2009
New High in Russia-China Bilateral Relations
A half century ago the shoe was on the other foot and in the midst of a little understood dispute Moscow withdrew such assistance to Chairman Mao reducing Mao's influence until he was (briefly) voted out of power, an external cause to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Relations with Russia (in its Soviet Union incarnation) deteriorated to the point of a border war in 1969 that helped force the reproachment with the USA under President Nixon. How times change....
Labels: foreign relations, hu jintao, russia
June 16, 2009
Setback for China WTO Government Procurement Commitment
According to the London Financial Times today, Beijing expressed an explicit "Buy China" policy in government procurement
. If true, this is a serious setback in China's long overdue accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreeement (GPA). China is required under its WTO protocol to adhere to the GPA but there is no set time period. After being an observor to the GPA from 2002-2006, Beijing filed to join the agreement at the very end of 2007. Since that time little progress has been made.
Beijing may be responding to the explicit "Buy America" provisions in the US federal government's stimulus packages and defense spending. As a candidate, President Obama indicated he supported "Buy America" in defense procurement.
Are these more signs of looming trade war....?
Labels: foreign relations, foreign trade, goverment procurement, wto
China Shed $4.4 Billion of US Treasuries in 1 Month - OR Not?
Meanwhile, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, could be the most important meeting this year
as China, Russia, and central and south Asia nations discuss moving their foreign exchange reserves into the IMF.....
Labels: currencies, dollar, strategic
June 15, 2009
China - Pakistan Strengthen Ties
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is meeting at Yekaterinburg, Russia, and observor nations Pakistan, India, and Mongolia are in attendance. Iran - the first observer nation invited to the group - is absent due to a contested presidential election.
At the meeting China and Pakistan agreed to enhance the China-Pakistan Cooperative Partnership. Pakistan pledged top level support for the estimated 10,000 Chinese currently working at over 100 development projects in the country. No specific mention of Gwadar port that this author can find at this time....
Labels: iran, russia, strategic
New on The Street: NEP
Today is the first trading day for North East China Petroleum
under ticker symbol NEP
. The private company operates 4 oilfields in north China and has an agreement with PetroChina to sell its crude in China. This is an interesting opportunity to directly invest in the booming Chinese energy sector....
Labels: chinese stocks, oil
June 12, 2009
China Environmental Protection Ministry Halts New Dams
The Chinese Ministry for Environmental Protection
has halted approvals for any new dams on the Jinsha River which forms the border between Sichuan and Tibet and the Nu River in Yunnan, as yet unexploited.
Malcolm Moore, reporting from Shanghai for the British Telegraph, says the halt affects 8 hydropower dams developed by the Huaneng and Huadian power companies - two of China's biggest listed producers.
But details are not clear. The slant is that the ruling is a victory for China's growing green movement. The huge Xiangjiaba hydroelectric dam along the lower reaches of the Jinsha, however, is not affected. Just this week Siemens and China State Grid said construction of the ultra high voltage transmission line from Xiangjiaba to Shanghai will be sped up....
Labels: alternative energy, yangtze
Chery to Open 4th Plant, Build Heavy Trucks
June 11, 2009
China Has More Oil Than Mexico, More Gas Than Kazakhstan, Number 3 in Coal, Number 1 in Hydro
British Petroleum is out with its oft-quoted annual Statistical Review of World Energy
with unsettling news - the world's proven oil reserves are down. China ranks in the top 20 in all energy categories. Following is breakdown of Top 20 Nations by Reserves of Oil, Gas, and Coal, and by Consumption/Generation of Hydro and Nuclear Power, and overall Energy Consumption:
PROVED RESERVES OF OIL:
1. Saudi Arabia
13. Qatar14. China
PROVED RESERVES OF NATURAL GAS:
5. Saudi Arabia
PROVED RESERVES OF COAL:
8. South Africa
14. Czech Republic
CONSUMPTION/GENERATION OF HYDROELECTRICITY:
CONSUMPTION/GENERATION OF NUCLEAR POWER:
5. South Korea
16. Czech Republic
TOP 20 ENERGY USERS*:
9. South Korea
14. Saudi Arabia
17. South Africa
*I believe this list may be the most sensible ranking of the world's most important economies.
Labels: energy security, peak oil
IBM Opens New Innovation Center in Beijing
IBM, one of many American multinationals banking on Chinese economic growth to fuel future earnings, opened a Global Railway Innovation Center in Beijing
to collaborate on high speed rail and other rail technologies. Railway building is a major component of Beijing's stimulus plans and 70 railways are planned for 2009 with over 5,000 km of track. Alsthom of France and the German firm Siemens - both leaders in rail technology - are active in China and parties to several joint ventures....
Labels: high-tech, investment, technology
June 10, 2009
US Congressman Says China Buying More Gold
US House of Representatives member Mark Kirk, Republican from Illinois, talked to FoxNews about his recent trip to China
and said China plans to buy $80 billion (US dollars) of gold. In addition to this bit of news, Congressman Kirk claims mandarins in Beijing told him that they were losing confidence in the dollar....
Labels: credit crunch, gold, panic of 2008
Water is new Hot Spot for China Investment
A Shanghai spokesman for French water conglomerate Suez says Chongqing is "strategic" to their growth in China. Beijing has allocated $35 billion (US dollars) of its big stimulus effort to water projects. Other companies currently active in China are rival French water firm Veolia, Falcon Waterfree of USA and JDL Environmental. (Source
Labels: foreign investment
US-China Trade Deficit Increases
Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose... Trade figures for April released today
in Washington show an increase in the US-China trade deficit to $16.8 billion - almost as much as America's trade deficit with the EU, Mexico, OPEC, Japan, and Canada combined
While most import categories continued to decline in the great rebalance of global trade (aka the "Great Recession" or aftermath of the "Panic of '08") consumer goods increased around $400 million.....
Labels: deficit, foreign trade, free trade
June 09, 2009
Battle for Gwadar Port Heats Up
The Rainbow League, a Shanghai gay sports organization and American expat Tiffany LeMay are holding the first ever Shanghai Gay Pride
under the radar (as gay and lesbian stuff is in China) with exhibitions and film screenings all week. The unofficial pride will culminate with a big party this Saturday June 13. The author remembers when several Shanghai drag queens tried to throw a gay pride event about 10 or so years ago only to be quickly shut down so to speak by local police. How the times are a changin' in Shanghai....
Labels: human rights
June 08, 2009
TIT-FOR-TAT: China Anti-Dumping Complaint Against USA, Russia
China's Commerce Ministry will investigate US subsidies on steel
and Russian support for steelmakers focusing on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel products used in the production of power transformers and for other high-tech uses. The announcement follows two recent anti-dumping cases aginst China active in the United States.....
Labels: foreign trade, free trade
Trina Solar to Open California Distribution Center
Chinese solar PV maker Trina Solar (listed on the NY Stock Exchange under symbol TSL
) is set to open this month a warehouse at the Port of Oakland
, California. Indications are the Trina operations will result in net job creation for local workers at the facility....
Labels: alternative energy, foreign trade, free trade
June 05, 2009
ChongQing Booms and Shops
Fiat-Guangzhou Auto to Build Linea in China
June 04, 2009
Chinese Electric Cars Coming To California
Coda Automotive, a startup out of Santa Monica, California, will introduce an all-electric sedan
this year with possible imports beginning second Half of 2010. The car itself is by Harbin, Heilongjiang, based Hafei Automobile
- part of the giant AVIC conglomerate - and the lithium battery is by Tianjin Lishen Battery, a domestically listed company. The car body and interior appears to be a much improved version of Hafei's Saibao III or V sedan. Coda Automotive will first offer the car in California only but envisions 20,000 or more in production with nationwide sales....
Labels: chinese autos, electric cars
June 03, 2009
TAM @ 20
In the years since June 1989 China has changed enormously.
Since that time the USA and the world have witnessed several genocides (Rwanda and Bosnia for example).
Yet Americans are peculiarly fixated on what happened in Tiananmen Square that summer in 1989.
It is time to stop dwelling on this one particular event in modern Chinese history. We must look at our own past, see our own experiences, and not pass judgement blindly.
In the words of the memorial to the Kent State massacre, we should "Inquire, Learn, Reflect"....MORE
Labels: human rights, hypocrisy
TRADE WAR: Hearings on Chinese Tires
The latest product demanding protection from Chinese imports is the tire
or more accurately the many millions of Chinese made tires sold in the USA. Once again the challenge is brought by the United Steelworkers union representing some 15,000 tire manufacturing jobs. Businesses that import and sell tires from outside America counter with the reality that US manufacturing capacity is nowhere near capable of supplying the giant requirements for tires nationwide.
The hearings before the quasi-federal International Trade Administration allow Democratic Party delegations from Congress including newly minted Dem Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania a chance to talk tough on China for their constituents. A ruling is expected at the end of the month....
Labels: free trade, imports
June 02, 2009
Global Rebalance: Italy, Malaysia Exports to China Up
Hummer Sold to Sichuan Tengzhong
The Hummer became an iconic American brand after its wide use in the first (US) Gulf War or Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91. Now it will turn Chinese....
Labels: chinese autos, gm
US Trade Rep Kirk on China: Market Access Key
Speaking to the US-China Business Council today, Ambassador Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative, said
" The health and growth of our bilateral relationship with China will depend, in part, on this job-creating access to China's markets for U.S. goods, services and investment." Kirk emphasized that the Obama administration will rely on diplomacy and enforcement of China's WTO trade committments. In conjunction with the meeting, the US-China Business Council released a nifty webpage
(click for link) to see the major impact on US export growth to China by state and Congressional district....
Labels: exports, foreign relations, free trade
June 01, 2009
In Beijing Geithner Offers "Mutual Respect"
Speaking at Peking University today US Treasury Secretary Geither said
" the United States will fully support having China play a role in the principal cooperative arrangements that help shape the international system" in a "spirit of mutual respect." Geither had praise for Beijing's quick actions during the Panic of '08 but otherwise gave no specifics and no insight into how US demands for Renminbi currency reform will be addressed. Also today Treasury announced the appointment of two new point persons for China
: David Loevinger as "Executive Secretary and Senior Coordinator for China Affairs" in Washington and the appropriately named David Dollar as "Economic and Financial Emissary to China" in Beijing....
Labels: foreign relations, geithner, panic of 2008, renminbi, treasury
Dongfeng Nissan in Minicar Venture
Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company, a Sino-Japanese joint venture, will begin mass production of the Nissan March minicar by 1 Quarter 2010. Dongfeng and Nissan plan to work together
to expand Nissan sales in China aiming for 380,000 vehicles this year.
Labels: chinese autos, gm
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