HANGZHOU – Two brothers and their father were sentenced to death on Monday for cheating 15,000 investors out of over $1.1 billion in east China’s Zhejiang province. Ji Wenhua, president of the Yintai Real Estate and Investment Group, was sentenced to death for the crime
Dan Collins CMR “Gold going to $7,000”, an article today in the Chinese media is going viral and one of the most viewed articles in the financial press. The article references American Jim Rickards and his concept of comparing inflation-adjusted gold prices. Most Chinese economists
It’s not uncommon for the large Wall Street banks to combine in shorting an entire years supply of minded silver in a single day.The same goes for all commodities. Endless paper printing getting funneled to Wall Street has destroyed all real price discovery. Capitalism fails
Dan Collins CMR When I moved to China back in 1998 I was surprised to learn how highly the Chinese thought of America. Of course China was a much poorer place back then but coming from the Detroit area I couldn’t fathom where was all
Chanos is back! His short China thesis is very long in the tooth but as it goes with most ego maniacs he cannot accept failure or that fact that he might be wrong. Being wrong on an entire country where you have never visited and
You have to laugh at the whole “China will collapse crowd” on CNBC and even respected sites like Zero Hedge. Personally, I love the Zerohedge stuff. They understand the ponzi-financial fraud-money printing-welfare state economy that now envelops the West. But China is a real economy,
D.Collins CMR China’s cloud computing market is expected to be worth 37.2 billion yuan (US$6 billion) in 2017 as demand for the service grows, the Chinese-language China Securities Journal reported on Friday. Some American tech companies are watching the largest and fastest I.T. market in
Breaking News today that a Chinese vessel as rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat. All countries in the South China Sea and East China Sea are using fishing boats in a game of cat-and-mouse to challenge each other on their respective areas. This time
Stockswatch China has become a banking powerhouse. Four of the five largest banks in the world are Chinese, according to SNL Financial’s latest global bank rankings. It’s a big change from the past few years when only two Chinese banks made the top five. Beijing-based
Scared of losing the Chinese tourist dollar, France has relented to China and will allow Chinese police on the streets of Paris. More signs of the benefits of third-world immigration into the West to the point where cultural breakdown has occurred and law and order
Gold has been flowing East for a decade. When the West wakes up to the fact that their gold is gone, they will no longer have sound money with which to back a currency. The world has only been off a gold standard since 1971
From the China Daily… BEIJING – China will lower banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 0.5 percentage points starting May 18, the country’s central bank announced Saturday. The cut, the second of its kind this year, will drop the RRR for the country’s large financial
Is China tweaking its numbers on GDP? Probably. For twenty years Chinese GDP roughy came in right on the governments target. This would be an almost magical performance record considering economists in the West can predict absolutely nothing. For years, China most likely lowered GDP
Japan will learn the hard way that destroying your currency is not an viable economic strategy. Shanghai Daily JAPAN posted a record 1.63 trillion yen (US$17.4 billion) trade deficit in January as rising exports trailed surging imports of crude oil and gas due to rising
One year after the launch of direct trading between the renminbi and Japanese yen, the daily trading volume between the two currencies has reached 50-100 billion Japanese yen on the Shanghai market and 15 billion yen on the Tokyo market, a combined volume double that
The growth of outbound direct investment from China is remaining steady this year, leaving the world’s second-largest economy on track to exceed last year’s record figure, experts said on Friday.
“The robust growth of China’s outbound direct investment will not change in the short term. The economic situation demands that domestic companies deploy more people and resources to fuel their growth in overseas markets,” said Li Guanghui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.
China’s non-financial outbound direct investment surged almost 62 percent year-on-year to 479 billion yuan ($74 billion) between January and May this year, data from the Ministry of Commerce show.
Major investment destinations were members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, the European Union, Japan, Russia and the United States, which received $59 billion, about four-fifths of the total.
Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said Chinese companies invested in 151 countries and regions in the first five months of this year, with countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative remaining the hot spots as companies deployed their financial resources.
The trade and infrastructure network proposed by China in 2013 envisions a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, covering about 4.4 billion people in more than 60 countries and regions in Asia, Europe and Africa.
China invested $5.63 billion in 49 countries and regions along these two trading routes during the five-month period, up 16 percent on a year-on-year basis.
“Many opportunities come from the growing demand in these countries for improved infrastructure facilities, power stations, services and regional connectivity, as well as their desire to create jobs and new commercial areas,” said Shen.
In the meantime, ODI to North America, Oceania, Asia and Latin America rose 208 percent, 72 percent, 63 percent and 51 percent, respectively.
Besides that, the first batch of investments by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will also be announced on June 24 during its third board meeting, which is expected to stimulate more outbound capital from China and its partners to invest in quality big-ticket projects.
Lin Guijun, a professor of international business at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said that the persistent drag of the global economic downturn on the European and US economies has helped create an “ideal external investment environment”, especially for the emerging markets.
Foreign investors sold a record amount of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes for the month of April, according to U.S. Treasury Department data on Wednesday, as investors priced in a few more rate increases by the Federal Reserve this year.
Foreigners sold $74.6 billion in U.S. Treasury debt in the month, after purchases of $23.6 billion in March. April’s outflow was the largest since the U.S. Treasury Department started recording Treasury debt transactions in January 1978.
Private offshore investors sold $59.1 billion in U.S. government bonds, while foreign official institutions, which include central banks, sold $12.3 billion.
U.S. economic data in April included a decent non-farm payrolls report for March, along with strong manufacturing as measured by the Institute for Supply Management. That prompted investors to sell Treasuries in April, as did an upswing in risk appetite, with buoyant global stocks and rebounding oil prices.
Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasury notes at the beginning of April were 1.7910 percent, and they hit a high of 1.9410 late in the month.
China remained the largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, although its holdings in April declined to $1.2443 trillion, from $1.245 trillion in March. U.S. Treasury holdings of the world’s second largest economy declined for a second straight month.
Japan, the No. 2 foreign U.S. Treasury debt holder, posted higher U.S. government debt holdings of $1.143 trillion from $1.137 trillion in March. Japan raised its U.S. Treasury holdings for a fourth straight month.
The report also showed for a second consecutive month U.S. Treasury holdings of Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries. Saudi Arabia has the largest Treasury holdings among the Gulf oil exporters with $113.0 billion, down from $116.8 billion the previous month.
Overall, foreign central bank holdings of U.S. Treasuries contracted to $6.239 trillion in April, from $6.287 trillion in March.
Data also showed that foreigners sold long-term U.S. securities in April after buying them for the previous two months.
Offshore investors unloaded $79.6 billion in long-term U.S. assets, after purchasing $78.1 billion the previous month. Including shorter-dated securities, however, overseas investors bought $80.4 billion in April after selling $98.1 billion in March.
U.S. stocks, meanwhile, showed outflows for a third straight month, with foreigners selling $2.8 billion in April from $16.5 billion in March. Foreigners have sold U.S. equities in eight of the last nine months.
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Alan Crosby and David Gregorio)
China to maintain growth in entertainment, media: report
By Agenceis Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-6-13 23:02:04
China is likely to maintain its growth in entertainment and media (E&M) industries, a PwC report showed Monday.
The accounting firm predicted China’s E&M revenue will amount to 258 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9 percent, markedly higher than the world average of 4.4 percent.
Internet advertising, cinema and video games are projected to see CAGRs of 13.9 percent, 18.9 percent and 7.4 percent respectively over the 2015-2020 period.
The rapid growth will be a good for the wider economy, according to PwC China’s Sandy Xu.
Xu believes E&M has become a significant segment of China’s tertiary sector, a new economic driver that has been on the rise after the falling of exports and heavy industry.
The PwC’s report on global E&M outlook covered 13 related industries in 54 countries.
China is comfortably Asia’s largest Internet advertising market and the second largest in the world, accounting for 29 percent of the world’s total in 2015. PwC forecast the share will increase to 31.9 percent by 2020.
“Stable economic performance and a growing middle class with an appetite for technology underpin China’s Internet advertising,” Xu said, “The large population and limited broadband access are strong indicators for further growth.”
Cinema will be another growth area, said the report. China will overtake the United States as the country with the largest box office revenue by 2017, reaching 10.3 billion U.S. dollars. The figure is expected to hit 15 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.
The PwC attributed the boom to the fact that China’s population remain relatively under-served due to the limited number of cinemas. The country’s movie screens per 1 million people (23) is still dwarfed by the United States (125).
The world’s third largest video game market, China will see the sector’s total revenues jump to 12.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 from 8.9 billion in 2015, helped by virtual reality and online payment models.
The report said China will outperform most of the world in music and magazines, but will stay slightly lower than world averages in TV ads and book publishing.
Jackie Chan: This has scared the Americans. People from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English.”
Jackie Chan: Warcraft’s success in China scares Americans
Actor says fantasy adventure’s £156m gross during its first week will cause an influx of Chinese-language blockbusters
The $160m (£113m) film, which grossed a mere $24.4m in the US its opening weekend, surprised analysts with $156m at the Chinese box office from its first five days in cinemas.
Speaking this weekend at the Shanghai film festival, Chan said the result will worry Hollywood execs. “Warcraft made 600m yuan [£64m] in two days. This has scared the Americans. If we can make a film that earns 10bn [£1bn], then people from all over the world who study film will learn Chinese, instead of us learning English.”
The annual gross of China’s box office is expected to surpass North America, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The popularity of blockbusters in China and financing from companies there have influenced both where some blockbusters are filmed and who stars in them. Transformers: Age of Extinction, for example, was partly funded by the China Movie Channel, which led to Li Bingbing joining the cast and part of the film being set in Hong Kong. Iron Man 3, meanwhile, added footage for Chinese audiences that included the Chinese actor Fan Bingbing.
A sequel to Pacific Rim, which underperformed in the US, was greenlit after it became a hit in China. Pacific Rim and Warcraft were produced by Legendary Pictures, which the Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group bought in January for a reported $3.5bn.
The Chinese firm Ehang, which unveiled the electric Ehang 184 passenger drone at CES in Las Vegas in January, says the Ehang 184 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) is a 142-horsepower “personal flying vehicle” that can transport a single human being from Point A to Point B at an altitude of more than 11,000 feet
The southern China’s Guangzhou-based company has partnered with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to put the drone through testing and regulatory approval.
“I personally look forward to the day when drone taxis are part of Nevada’s transportation system,” said Wilczek, Goed’s aerospace and defense specialist.
The Ehang 184 has a span of 18 feet when fully unfolded, weighs 440 lbs, and can carry a passenger weighing up to 264 pounds. Its maximum flying altitude is 11,480 feet, and the AAV can fly for as long as 23 minutes when at sea level.
It can be controlled entirely through a mobile app. The name of the vehicle makes reference of its features and abilities able to carry one passenger with eight propellers and four arms.
Beijing risks stoking new arms race with move although military says expansion of the US missile defence has left it with no choice
The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.
Chinese military officials are not commenting on the timing of a maiden patrol, but insist the move is inevitable.
They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectives of its land-based deterrent force.
A recent Pentagon report to Congress predicted that “China will probably conduct its first nuclear deterrence patrol sometime in 2016”, though top US officers have made such predictions before.
China has been working on ballistic missile submarine technology for more than three decades, but actual deployment has been put off by technical failures, institutional rivalry and policy decisions.
Until now, Beijing has pursued a cautious deterrence policy, declaring it would never be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict and storing its warheads and its missiles separately, both strictly under the control of the top leadership.
Deploying nuclear-armed submarines would have far-reaching implications.
Warheads and missiles would be put together and handed over to the navy, allowing a nuclear weapon to be launched much faster if such a decision was taken. The start of Chinese missile patrols could further destabilise the already tense strategic standoff with the US in the South China Sea.
What’s behind Beijing’s drive to control the South China Sea?
Last Tuesday, a US spy plane and two Chinese fighter jets came close to colliding 50 miles of Hainan island, where China’s four Jin-Class ballistic missile submarines are based. A fifth is under construction.
The two countries’ navies have also come uncomfortably close around disputed islands in the same region, and the chance of a clash will be heightened by cat-and-mouse submarine operations, according to Wu Riqiang, an associate professor at the School of International Studies at the Renmin University in Beijing.
“Because China’s SSBNs [nuclear missile submarines] are in the South China Sea, the US navy will try to send spy ships in there and get close to the SSBNs. China’s navy hates that and will try to push them away,” Wu said.
The primary reason Chinese military officials give for the move towards a sea-based deterrent is the expansion of US missile defence, which Moscow also claims is disturbing the global strategic balance and potentially stoking a new arms race.
The decision to deploy Thaad anti-ballistic interceptors in South Korea was taken after North Korea’s fourth nuclear test, and the stated mission of the truck-launched interceptors is to shield the south from missile attack.
But Beijing says the Thaad system’s range extends across much of China and contributes to the undermining of its nuclear deterrent. It has warned Seoul that relations between the two countries could be “destroyed in an instant” if the Thaad deployment goes ahead.
“No harm shall be done to China’s strategic security interests,” the foreign ministry declared.
Behind the ominous warnings is growing concern in the People’s Liberation army that China’s relatively small nuclear arsenal (estimated at 260 warheads compared with 7,000 each for the US and Russia), made up mostly of land-based missiles, is increasingly vulnerable to a devastating first strike, by either nuclear or conventional weapons.
Missile defence is not their only worry. They are anxious about a new hypersonic glide missile being developed under the US Prompt Global Strike programme, aimed at getting a precision-guided missile to targets anywhere in the world within an hour.
Hypersonic weapons and the new global arms race
China is developing a similar missile but officials in Beijing fear that the Chinese nuclear arsenal is so small it could be almost completely wiped out without notice, with the few missiles launched in reprisal being destroyed in mid-air by US missile defences.
Without that capability to respond with a “second strike”, China would have no meaningful deterrent at all. The government of President Xi Jinping insists the country has no plans to abandon its “no first use” principle but military officials argue US weapon developments give it no choice but to upgrade and expand its arsenal in order to maintain a credible deterrent.
There seems to have been some discussion of moving to a “launch on warning” policy, to fire Chinese weapons before incoming missiles land and destroy them. That appears to be a minority view, however.
China’s State-owned commercial lenders have made strong progress in promoting renminbi internationalization, with the currency falling 5.6 percent against the US dollar in the past year.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd has issued its first renminbi-denominated certificate of deposit, allowing institutions to issue and clear financial products denominated in the Chinese currency in the US.
The CD, valued at 500 million yuan ($76.3 million), has a 31-day maturity and allows US borrowers to issue renminbi-denominated securities for trading and settlement purposes.
“The launch presents a significant milestone in meeting the growing demands of investors in the US and around the world to have access to the renminbi,” said Jiang Jianqing, ICBC’s chairman, in a statement.
“The renminbi is an increasingly important part of the global payments system, as payments in this currency are growing faster than overall global payments in all currencies.”
Between February and March, renminbi payments increased 18.5 percent in value compared with a 10.7 percent increase in payments of other currencies, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which said the renminbi is now the fifth-most active currency used for global payments.
ICBC and BNY Mellon Corporate Trust, the issuer and paying agent of the new CD, are members of the Working Group on US Renminbi Trading and Clearing, which promotes trading, clearing and settlement of the Chinese currency in the US.
The group is chaired by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said at the launch ceremony that it is important that US firms can easily use Chinese currency.
“Being able to clear renminbi here will lower costs for firms that want to do business, make our financial centers more competitive globally, and strengthen US-China relationships.
“All of that will help growth on both sides of the Pacific,” Bloomberg said.
Large Chinese commercial lenders have been accelerating the internationalization of the renminbi, in tandem with ongoing business expansion abroad by Chinese companies and banks.
ICBC registered 4.34 trillion yuan in cross-border renminbi business volume in 2015, up 18.61 percent from the previous year.
Bank of China Ltd, another leading player in renminbi internationalization, recorded 5.39 trillion yuan in cross-border renminbi settlement last year.
Its cross-border renminbi clearing business volume rose 37 percent year-on-year to 330.96 trillion yuan.
The U.S. Air Force relies on more than 5,000 aircraft to give it unmatched dominance over every other competitor on earth. The U.S. Navy, for its part, counts on more than 3,700 aircraft and 273 deployable battle force ships, which constitute the largest and most technologically advanced sailing branch in the world. This much is true — no country can possibly hope to challenge the United States with military means on a global scale and win. But key to America’s global strength are huge air and naval bases which are vulnerable to being overwhelmed and destroyed by swarms of precision-guided weapons in a limited, regional war.
The Navy also cannot expect its ships to survive if they come under attack by sufficiently large numbers of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles of the kind now fielded by China. While better protected from missiles than bases, the current breadth of U.S. technology and doctrine cannot compensate for this weakness.
The result is that the Pentagon must radically rethink its missile defenses, or risk serious losses in the opening hours of a future conflict. But according to a recent report, the solution could be lots of futuristic lasers, guns, and electromagnetic weapons that can engage enormous numbers of incoming missiles at relatively short ranges.
And lots of drones.
“Since the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon had the luxury of assuming that air and missile attacks on its bases and forces would either not occur or would be within the capacity of the limited defenses it has fielded,” analysts Mark Gunzinger and Bryan Clark wrote for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an influential defense policy think tank.
“These assumptions are no longer valid.”
Gunzinger and Clark’s report does not describe anything new for U.S. military planners. Russia, China, and Iran have are investing heavily in missiles with an eye toward targeting American bases. But it’s China that is of particular concern, owing to the fact that Beijing is producing very large numbers of highly-accurate and long-range missiles.
Worse, the United States has fewer options to spread out its bases in the Western Pacific — it is largely stuck to islands — than it does in Europe or the Middle East, where dispersed “clusters” of bases are more feasible.
Beijing already fields thousands of cruise missiles and hundreds of ballistic missiles which can hit U.S. bases in South Korea, Okinawa and Guam. The U.S. Air Force has deployed Patriot air-defense batteries to the Western Pacific, but the anticipated target for the Patriot is a lone North Korean ballistic missile.
The Patriot cannot stand a chance if China throws everything it has at America’s installations.
There is a similar threat facing America’s surface ships. The bulk of the United States’ cruise-missile defenses are on warships, such as Arleigh Burke-class destroyers equipped with Aegis — an advanced suite of radars, command and control computers and anti-air missiles such as the Sea Sparrow, SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6.
This is a formidable defensive weapon system … when your enemy doesn’t have a lot of missiles to throw at you. In fact, the Navy designed these systems for engaging a relatively small number of incoming missiles at long ranges. This makes the SM family large, heavy and expensive. Another problem is that the ships’ launchers — the Mark 41 VLS — cannot be rearmed at sea.
A single Arleigh Burke destroyer has around 90+ air-defense missiles. But not every missile will hit its target. In their report, Gunzinger and Clark note that an attacker could expend 32 anti-ship missiles — at a cost of less than $100 million — to deplete a destroyer’s entire compliment of SM-6s (worth $300 million) given a 70 percent success rate on the part of the defending ship.
That doesn’t include the cost of the destroyer, which is about $2 billion. And all it takes is a single missile to either sink the ship, cripple it, or render it out of action for weeks or months. Even if the destroyer survives, it must return to port and rearm. All told, this tactic means China could, in effect, bankrupt the U.S. Navy over time.
China’s missiles are getting smarter. The YJ-18, in particular, is a very deadly anti-ship missile. Having only appeared in China’s arsenal within the past few years, the YJ-18 can travel 290 nautical miles, most of the way at a speed of 0.8 Mach. But once the missile closes toward a target — and within range of a defending vessel’s weapons — it dumps one of its “stages” and accelerates to a speed of Mach 2.5.
Which makes it difficult for its intended victim to track and destroy it.
However, there is a way to stop China’s missiles from delivering a knockout blow to the U.S. military in the Western Pacific, but it will take years and be expensive, too. The solution is also … complicated.
The main takeaway from the report — the United States can no longer take it for granted that long-range missile interceptors will do the trick. Instead, Gunzinger and Clark propose a mix of tactical tricks and new technologies, including electromagnetic railguns with guided high-velocity projectiles, air-defense lasers and guided artillery rounds like the kind DARPA is developing.
To make it harder to target U.S. forces, the report suggests dispersing bases when possible and hardening existing ones to force China to expend heavier, more expensive, and longer-range weapons of its own. To strike the missile launchers before they fire, the authors want drones — lots of them — and stealthy bombers (like the B-21) that can penetrate China’s air defenses.
The United States wouldn’t have to abandon air-defense missiles — it just can’t depend on expensive, longer range variants. Electromagnetic weapons would be enormously expensive to develop (with manufacturing costs in the tens of millions of dollars each), so these will likely be less common than lasers, high-powered microwave weapons, and short-to-medium range missiles that can be fired en masse.
If this vision ever comes to pass, it would be a major conceptual shift in how the Pentagon conceptualizes anti-missile defenses. Navy warships today include close-in weapons such as Phalanx to hit missiles during the seconds before they strike, but this is a last resort.
What the report proposes is an networked grid of almost entirely short-range weapons, with the railguns and more affordable — and therefore more numerous — missiles focusing on striking targets at medium range. With lasers, you’re only limited by how much power you can generate. That’s a concern for ships, not so much with land bases.
We also don’t how well this would work… unless an actual war breaks out
Chinese leadership is scared to death of a Trump presidency. And why shouldn’t
they be? They have been walking all over the U.S for decades, along with most
other U.S. trading partners.
The stakes are HUUGEEE. The results of a Trump presidency may result in the U.S.
matching the average Chinese tariff against U.S. goods which is 13%. The average
tariff rate against Chinese good is less than 2% currently. The Fortune 500 are
against Trump as they have set their business up based on labor arbitrage with
low cost foreign manufacturing, off-shoring of profits, and using the U.S. as only
sales and distribution centers. And of course, many of them living off large
contracts from the U.S. government.
A Trump Presidency may also result in a rebuilding of the American military power
and rapprochement with Russia which would not be good for China. These things,
however, are not what scares China the most.
What scares them the most is that Trump will reduce the corporate tax.
With the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, the manufacturing plants
have all fled the country to places like China which charge them 0% tax rates for
3-5 years then only 15%. Of course, all multinationals have additional companies
set up in H.K. to even avoid the 15% tax rate. China doesn’t mind as there coffers
are full with productive citizens working, gaining productive skills and technology
while the country collects their government revenue off import duties. The several
decade result of these policies have been of course Chinese cities flourishing
and American cities becoming solidly second-world locations with crumbling
infrastructure, poor schools, and in the case of Flint not even being able to
provide safe drinking water.
An incident not unlike the U.S. EP-3 spy plane that was forced to land
on Hainan Island back in 2003.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said in a statement that two Chinese fighter jets, J-11 tactical aircraft, carried out an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. military EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea. According to the Pentagon statement, the incident took place in international airspace on Tuesday as the maritime patrol aircraft carried out “a routine U.S. patrol.” A Pentagon official said that the Chinese jets came within 50 feet of the U.S. aircraft at one point. This latest incident comes just a week after China scrambled fighter jets as a U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence, sailed within 12 miles of one of China’s largest artificial islands, Fiery Cross Reef, in the …
In that incident, three Chinese fighter jets monitored the U.S. destroyer, along with three Chinese ships, until the American vessel left the area. After the incident, the Pentagon said that the U.S. vessel was exercising freedom of navigation rights and “right of innocent passage,” which is maintained by international law.
Washington (AFP) – Chinese nationals became the largest foreign buyers of US homes last year as they pour billions into American real estate, seeking safe offshore assets, according to a new study.
A huge surge in Chinese buying of both residential and commercial real estate last year took their five-year investment total to more than $110 billion, according to the study from the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group.
The sheer size of that total has helped the real estate market recover from the crash that began in 2006 and precipitated the 2008 economic crisis, they said.
And despite a slowdown due to Beijing’s clampdown on capital outflows, the figure for the second half of this decade is likely to double to $218 billion, the study said.
“What makes China different and noteworthy is the combination of the high volume of investment (and) the breadth of its participation across all real estate categories,” including a “somewhat unique entry into residential purchases,” the study said.
The authors of the study said their numbers, based on public and real estate industry data, understate the total. They necessarily miss purchases made by front companies and trusts that don’t identify the sources of the funds.
While big deals, like the Anbang insurance group’s $2.0 billion purchase of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York last year, and its failed $14 billion offer for the Starwood group in March, make headlines, the study said Chinese buying of US homes far outpaces its investment in commercial land and buildings.
– Buying most expensive markets –
Between 2010 and 2015, Chinese buyers put more than $17 billion into US commercial real estate, with half of that spent last year alone.
But during the same period at least $93 billion went into US homes. And in the 12 months to March 2015, the latest period for which relatively comprehensive data could be gathered, home purchases totalled $28.5 billion.
That put the Chinese past Canadians, who have long been the biggest foreign buyers of US residential real estate.
Geographically, Chinese buyers are concentrated in the most expensive markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
But Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas have also drawn buyers.
That focus means they pay well above the average US home price: last year, Chinese buyers paid on average about $832,000 per home in the United States, compared to the average for all foreign purchases of $499,600.
The motivations are broad: some are buying second homes, some are buying as they move to the United States on EB-5 investor visas; some are investing for rental and resale.
Most of the money in US homes, the study noted, is private wealth, not corporate.
“This familiarity of utilizing real estate as an investment or wealth preservation tool is more prevalent in China and reflects the broader comfort of purchasing second homes in the United States by Chinese individuals and families,” the study noted.
Since last year, there has also been the motivation to get money outside China and into dollar assets amid worry about the continued fall in the yuan, which was devalued slightly against the dollar in August.
The study says it expects a lot more commercial real estate buys in the United States by Chinese companies.
Last month, Chinese conglomerate HNA announced it would buy the 1,400-hotel group Carlson Hotels, owner of the Radisson brand.
“Anbang is not the only firm looking at these assets. Other Chinese entities were originally interested in acquiring Starwood in 2015 before Marriott reached an initial deal, including Jin Jiang Hotel Group, which had already acquired a European hotel chain in 2015, and CIC, the sovereign wealth fund,” the study said.
The U.S. was put a duty of 11-13% on steel pipes coming from China and
low and behold… a manufacturing plant showed up and with it high paying jobs.
By the end of this year, a $1.3 billion plant near Corpus Christi, Texas, that will make seamless pipe for the energy industry — the largest single Chinese investment in a US manufacturing facility — is expected to start production. Area economic development officials hope the facility will bring in additional Chinese and foreign investment to the area.
TPCO America, a subsidiary of Tianjin Pipe Corporation, is building the plant. It is expected to create 600 jobs and generate $2 .7 billion in economic activity for the area in a decade. Ground breaking for the facility, which is located in the town of Gregory outside of Corpus Christi, occurred in 2011.
“We’ve got FDI (foreign direct investment) coming to the US with this project,” noted John LaRue, executive director of the Port of Corpus Christi Authority. “Everyone should be happy with the signal that this sends.”
China is buying one of London’s biggest gold vaults.
The Chinese state-owned ICBC Standard Bank (IDCBF), the world’s biggest bank by assets, has agreed to buy Barclays precious metals storage business, including its state-of-the-art storage facility in London.
The deal will boost China’s access to London’s gold market, and expand the country’s role in the gold business.
The vault is in a secret location in London, and can store 2,000 tonnes of gold and other precious metals. At current prices, up to $90 billion worth of gold could be stored inside.
Barclays (BCLYF) has previously announced a move away from the precious metal business. The bank opened the facility in 2012.
The financial details of the sale were not released.
London is the world’s largest wholesale over-the-counter gold market by trading volume, with estimated $5 trillion worth of gold trades cleared there every year. The precious metal has been traded in London for over 300 years.
But China dominates in terms of actual physical gold trading. Gold imports to China have surged over 700% since 2010, and the country overtook India to become the world’s biggest gold consumer in 2013.
China now consumes about 40% of the gold that comes out of the Earth’s ground every year, according to Wells Fargo.
China’s military underwent a major restructuring last year in a bid to prepare its military for conflict, the Pentagon said in its latest annual assessment of the Communist Party-controlled People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The armed forces were reformed with new military regions, a new command structure, and updated strategies to better fight regional, high-technology warfare, the 145-page report to Congress says.
“These reforms aim to strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) control over the military, enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations, and improve its ability to fight short-duration, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the Chinese mainland,” the report said.
Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, told reporters the military reforms “are intended to enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations by replacing the old military regions with new geographic commands.”
“Our approach focuses on reducing risk, expanding common ground, and maintaining our military superiority,” Denmark said.
As part of its military strategy, China continued to expand its building of new islands in the South China Sea where military forces can be used to control the strategic waterway linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
From some of the 3,200 acres of new islands, “China will be able to use them as persistent civil-military bases to enhance its long-term presence in the South China Sea significantly,” the report said.
China also is asserting sovereignty over Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Beijing has been careful to avoid a confrontation with the United States over the maritime disputes and used “coercive tactics short of armed conflict” in pressing its policies, the report said.
The PLA continued a major build up of military forces across the range of weapons and troops, including large numbers of new missiles, warships, aircraft, along with cyber warfare capabilities and space weaponry.
The report said among the challenges for the Chinese military is widespread corruption that ensnared more than 40 senior PLA officers in illegal activities since 2012, including the PLA’s most senior officer.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has told the PLA to prepare to “fight and win” battles, and the Pentagon said the slogan is an indication Chinese leaders are concerned the military, which has not fought a war in more than 30 years, may not fare well in modern combat.
The Chinese military restructuring was announced late last year when China set up five new regional “theaters” out of seven military regions and restructured its military command system and services.
The separate nuclear and conventional missile service, Second Artillery Corps, was renamed the Rocket Force.
A new Strategic Support Force was created that includes the military intelligence service, and space warfare and cyber warfare forces, key elements of China’s asymmetric strategy aimed at defeating more advanced U.S. forces in a war.
The report reveals that China is expanding its ability to conduct military operations far from Chinese territory. However, fighting a war over Taiwan remains the PLA’s top priority.
The world’s most valuable company has finally placed a bet on the global ride-hailing wars—and it’s not for Uber.
Didi Chuxing, the Beijing-based ride-hailing firm that rivals Uber in China (also referred to as Didi Kuaidi), announced it has received a strategic investment of $1 billion from Apple.
“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters. “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.”
In a conference call, Didi president Jean Liu said that Apple’s investment comes as part of an ongoing funding round for Didi that has yet to close. The deal was finalized at “lightning speed,” she says. Liu met Cook for the first time less than a month ago, in Cupertino, California.
The investment presents numerous opportunities for collaboration between the two companies. Apple rolled out Apple Pay in China earlier this year, so it’s possible that the service will be placed in Didi’s app. Apple is also believed to be working on an autonomous vehicle of its own, so it’s possible the companies will work together to bring it to market. When asked about what specific new features or projects the investment would bring, Liu remained elusive.
“Tencent and Alibaba have been great supporters of Didi,” she said. “On payments and maps, in the future there will be more partnerships going forward. With Apple we are confident that with data science and technology the company will be pushed to a new level.”
The deal also marks Apple’s first official bet on a ride-hailing company. Didi is a member of an “anti-Uber alliance” that includes Lyft in the US, Grab in Southeast Asia, and Ola in India, as well as carmaker General Motors. It’s not unreasonable to speculate that Apple’s support will extend to these companies as well.
Apple’s funding also comes just as the company faces new challenges in China. iPhone sales in the country are not as stunning as they once were, and the government recently forced it to shut down its iBooks and iTunes services in China.
The investment marks a hurdle for Uber, which has not been as successful in China as it has in most other parts in the world. CEO Travis Kalanick has admitted to burning $1 billion a year in China, and while reliable data is scarce, reports indicate that Didi occupies somewhere between 70% to 90% of the ride-hailing market in China. Apple’s investment in Didi certainly won’t help Uber’s position.
By Michael Martina, Greg Torode and Ben Blanchard
BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday as a U.S. navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea, a patrol China denounced as an illegal threat to peace which only went to show its defense installations in the area were necessary.
Guided missile destroyer the USS William P. Lawrence traveled within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said.
The so-called freedom of navigation operation was undertaken to “challenge excessive maritime claims” by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam which were seeking to restrict navigation rights in the South China Sea, Urban said.
“These excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention in that they purport to restrict the navigation rights that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise,” Urban said in an emailed statement.
China and the United States have traded accusations of militarizing the South China Sea as China undertakes large-scale land reclamation and construction on disputed features while the United States has increased its patrols and exercises.
Facilities on Fiery Cross Reef include a 3,000-metre (10,000-foot) runway which the United States worries China will use to press its extensive territorial claims at the expense of weaker rivals.
China’s Defence Ministry said two fighter jets were scrambled and three warships shadowed the U.S. ship, telling it to leave.
The U.S. patrol “again proves that China’s construction of defensive facilities on the relevant reefs in the Nansha Islands is completely reasonable and totally necessary”, it said, using China’s name for the Spratly Islands where much of its reclamation work is taking place.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the U.S. ship illegally entered Chinese waters.
“This action by the U.S. side threatened China’s sovereignty and security interests, endangered the staff and facilities on the reef, and damaged regional peace and stability,” he told a daily news briefing.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waved aside a question as to whether the U.S. aim was to send a message ahead of a visit to Asia by President Barack Obama this month.
“This is not a pointed strategy calculated to do anything except keep a regular process of freedom of navigation operations underway,” he told reporters in London.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.
The Pentagon last month called on China to reaffirm it has no plans to deploy military aircraft in the Spratly Islands after China used a military plane to evacuate sick workers from Fiery Cross.
“Fiery Cross is sensitive because it is presumed to be the future hub of Chinese military operations in the South China Sea, given its already extensive infrastructure, including its large and deep port and 3,000-metre runway,” said Ian Storey, a South China Sea expert at Singapore’s ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.
“The timing is interesting, too. It is a show of U.S. determination ahead of President Obama’s trip to Vietnam.”
Speaking in Vietnam, Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, said freedom of navigation operations were important for smaller nations.
“If the world’s most powerful navy cannot sail where international law permits, then what happens to the ships of navy of smaller countries?” Russel told reporters before news of the operation was made public.
China has reacted with anger to previous U.S. freedom of navigation operations, including the overflight of fighter planes near the disputed Scarborough Shoal last month, and when long-range U.S. bombers flew near Chinese facilities under construction on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratlys last November.
By Zhou Jimo Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-4 22:48:01
Ever since the fall of the gold standard, there hasn’t been a currency that can counter the US dollar’s dominance. The global economic system relies heavily on credit ratings, among which currency credit is pivotal. Any national currency is backed by a country’s sovereign credit rating, so if the rating is lowered it suggests the credit of the country’s currency has fallen as well.
The dollar’s global influence has long been dominant, and US credit, backed by its currency, also became unprecedentedly powerful. But following the 2008 global financial crisis, US quantitative easing (QE) has led to increasing frothiness in asset prices and the dollar itself, and has also led to a decline in US credit. On the other hand, with the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the yuan’s influence and China’s sovereign credit have been enhanced.
A credit comparison between China and the US could be based on the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the China-initiated AIIB and “One Belt, One Road” initiative. For the US, It is never difficult to set up an international political alliance, let alone an economic union. But the outcome of the TPP seems to be more rhetorical than real. Only a total of 12 countries have signed up to it, and it remains to be seen when the agreement will become effective. This situation apparently isn’t commensurate with the US and the dollar’s dominant status, and this can be explained by the sovereign credit decline of the US.
By comparison, the China-initiated AIIB has already had 57 countries join up as founding members. Meanwhile, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative has seen even more rapid development. Unveiled in 2013, the initiative launched direct investment in 49 relevant countries, and established more than 50 economic and trade cooperation zones overseas by the end of 2015. Such swift development has demonstrated China’s increased sovereign credit.
In the evolving global landscape, it is a natural move for one side to attempt to reduce the other side’s growing advantages and influence. But this is not always appropriate, especially as the Sino-US relationship is inclusive and interdependent nowadays.
The fall in US dominance is tied to the country’s deindustrialization, and its re-industrialization strategy is only a tactical contingency plan. Even this tactical adjustment requires a huge capital injection. Sadly, the US has taken QE programs to the extreme since the 2008 financial crisis. Today, among the world’s major currencies, the euro is weak and the yen is not as influential as it used to be, which has left the yuan with the capacity to provide support for the US and its re-industrialization.
If this is the case, why would US credit rating agencies lower China’s credit rating outlook? US President Barack Obama has said that the US should make regional trade rules, not China. But if the US is truly an advocate of the free market, it shouldn’t force rules on other countries. Presently, despite the world’s gloomy economic environment, the Chinese economy has been largely stable, and the IMF still holds a positive attitude toward it. In this regard, it’s safe to say that bucking the trend to reduce China’s credit rating is a way for the US to enforce its rules.
It is undeniable that China’s growth is not as fast as it used to be, but this is natural amid the current economic upgrading, and should not be seen as too much of a disadvantage. In this regard, reducing China’s credit rating could to a certain degree impact China, but it could affect the US even more.