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U.S. “demonization” of China might put itself in financial peril: Washington Post

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Insulting and demonizing China, the second largest creditor of the United States, just for domestic political reasons sure doesn’t seem like the way to go about it, as it would instead put America in financial predicament, the Washington Post said on Friday.

“Blaming China for the coronavirus might seem like smart politics, but insulting a creditor when the U.S. is running up a huge debt to stimulate the economy isn’t a good idea,” Allan Sloan said in his columnist article on the newspaper.

In the last three months, according to U.S. Treasury statistics, the U.S. national debt has risen by astounding 2 trillion U.S. dollars to about 25.4 trillion dollars and will rocket upward in future months.

“So where’s the money going to come from? Historically, China has been a huge buyer of (U.S.) Treasury securities, and owned 1.08 trillion dollars of them as of March 31, the most recent date for which (U.S.) Treasury numbers are available. China‘s holdings rank second, behind Japan’s 1.27 trillion dollars,” he wrote.

In his article, Sloan, a business journalist who used to serve Fortune magazine before working for the Washington Post, lists two political reasons that lead the Trump administration to attack China day in and day out.

“First, they need a scapegoat for the disastrous impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the lives and economic welfare of Americans, and to divert attention away from their own failings,” he said.

“Second, it’s helpful politically — although not morally or socially — to demonize ‘the other.’ It lets (U.S. President Donald) Trump play offense rather than defense and try to get Americans to rally around the flag by claiming to be the protector of our country against evil foreigners,” he added.

He noted that the United States has been trying to shift blame over the COVID-19 pandemic to its second largest creditor, right as America itself is running massive budget deficits as part of its attempt to stimulate the economy and limit the financial damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on its people, businesses and institutions.

Sloan also reminded the U.S. administration to “see if China attempts to counterattack Trump and undermine the dollar by selling some of its existing Treasury holdings or by announcing that its days of helping finance U.S. deficits have come to an end.”

“It’s easy to dismiss this as political posturing. But if I were a foreign lender, I’d sure be wary of lending money to the United States when it’s run by a president who acts on impulse, rules by decree and might just decide one day to declare the U.S. IOUs held by any particular country to be null and void,” Sloan said in his article.

“We need lenders, especially foreign lenders, to help finance our budget gap by buying vast amounts of ultra-low-yielding securities,” he added.

(XINHUA)

Foreign

Fourth batch of humanitarian medical aid from China arrives in Belarus

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A fourth batch of Chinese humanitarian medical aid sent to Belarus arrived Tuesday, on board a military aircraft belonging to the Belarusian Defense Ministry.

The 22 tons of cargo included non-contact thermometers, protective equipment, oxygen concentrators, test systems, and other medical products.

More than 100 tons of humanitarian aid from China have now been delivered to Belarus on four flights.

Regions of the country struggling with COVID-19 will be given first priority to the aid, the country’s healthcare ministry said.

(XINHUA)

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China to continue supporting Indonesia in its fight against COVID-19: ambassador

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Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian said on Tuesday that China stands ready to continue supporting Indonesia in its fight against COVID-19.

Xiao made the remarks here at a video press conference. The Chinese ambassador said that China and Indonesia are good neighbors who can always rely on each other in difficult times.

Since the epidemic broke out, the two countries have provided medical supplies and support to each other at the earliest possible time, Xiao said.

The assistance and support from China were provided to various sectors of Indonesia via channels including political parties, regional governments and companies, Xiao said.

The Chinese ambassador noted that the joint efforts made by the two countries in their fight against COVID-19 have fully demonstrated the deep friendship between the two countries.

China is willing to promote relevant departments and enterprises of the two countries to discuss cooperation in vaccine research and development, anti-viral drugs, testing technology and production of medical equipment, Xiao said.

And China is also willing to further deepen communication and cooperation between the two countries within multilateral frameworks to support international cooperation against COVID-19 and maintain global public health security, Xiao added.

In the video press conference, the Chinese ambassador spoke highly of Indonesian government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19, saying that China firmly believes Indonesia will overcome the epidemic at an early date.

(XINHUA)

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China completes first Mount Qomolangma airborne gravity survey

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China announced on Tuesday that it has completed the first high-precision airborne gravity survey for Mount Qomolangma and its surrounding region as the aircraft of the mission safely returned to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

By bringing the complicated gravity survey instruments into the air, the survey will provide data for the region’s geoid surface with centimeter-level accuracy, thus contributing to a more precise measurement of the height of the world‘s highest peak.

This is the first time China has conducted such a survey and it will fill the gap in relevant data, said Chen Bin, chief of the Mount Qomolangma airborne survey project.

An airborne remote-sensing measurement for the region is in progress and will provide decimeter-level three-dimensional outcomes for the region’s topography.

The entire airborne survey is expected to be completed in early June if weather permits, according to Chen.

The aircraft for the gravity survey has been installed with world-class equipment, some of which were domestically-developed, he noted.

The airborne survey is part of China‘s ongoing mission to remeasure Mount Qomolangma, with the final height to be based on a variety of survey data, including data from a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) satellite survey.

(XINHUA)

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Decoupling with China will come at “significant cost” to United States competitiveness: WSJ

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Decoupling with China will come at “a significant cost to America’s own competitiveness,” a commentary published Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has warned.

U.S. security hawks should be aware that a broad-based attempt to disentangle the two countries’ supply chains and educational linkages will come at a significant cost to America’s own competitiveness,” the WSJ’s Nathaniel Taplin wrote.

“If ‘decoupling’ proceeds, then much more federal funding for basic research — and for U.S. science and math education — may be needed to plug the gap,” he said. “That probably means higher taxes and a more welcoming immigration policy for foreign talent from … other nations to offset a potential Chinese brain drain.”

Finally, American consumers need to be prepared to pay more for the luxury of a secure and diversified supply chain,” Taplin said.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

China details measures to boost rural e-commerce

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Chinese authorities have detailed new measures to boost e-commerce in rural areas, pledging diversified financial support to tap consumption potential in the underdeveloped market.

China will accelerate the building of a more efficient circulation system for agricultural products and a modern market system, according to a joint work plan released by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Commerce.

The plan sought  to foster more demonstration counties that featured upgraded e-commerce, low logistics costs and smooth flows of industrial goods and farm produce.

Local authorities would be encouraged to adopt a string of financial support policies including direct and indirect subsidies to boost consumption, according to the plan.

China would also fast-track allocations of central fiscal funds and enhance capital efficiency to enable social capital to join the effort.

As the novel Coronavirus epidemic dented consumption, China had been encouraging innovative ways to tap market potential, especially in the countryside.

County chiefs and city mayors had promoted local products via live streaming, according to the data from the Ministry of Commerce.

In Q1, online sales of farm produce reached 93.68 billion yuan (about 13.16 billion United States dollars), up 31 per cent year on year, according to the ministry. .


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Britain urges China to step back on Hong Kong security law

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British Foreign Secretary Dommic Raab on Tuesday urged China’s ruling Communist Party to step back from the brink and drop a new security law for Hong Kong.

According to him, it would undermine Beijing’s commitment to political autonomy for the territory.

Britain “strongly opposes such an authoritarian law being imposed by China,’’ Raab told parliament after discussing Hong Kong with his United States and other counterparts late Monday.

China’s nominal parliament approved the security law last week, prompting more protests in Hong Kong and criticism from Western governments.

“We have not yet seen the detailed, published text of the legislation, but I can tell the house that if legislation in these terms is imposed by China on Hong Kong it … would be a clear violation of China’s international obligations,’’ Raab said.

Britain handed control of Hong Kong to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of colonial rule.

Beijing agreed to uphold basic freedoms in the territory under a 1984 Sino-British declaration.

“There is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect China’s own international obligations,’’ Raab said.

“We urge the government of China to work with the people of Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong government, to end the recent violence and to resolve the underlying tensions based on political dialogue.’’

China on Monday threatened `counter-attacks’ after U.S President Donald Trump said he would `begin the process’ of revoking Hong Kong’s special trading status if Beijing persists with the security law.


Edited By: Halima Sheji/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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China’s environment improves amid push for green growth

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China‘s ecological environment improved in 2019 amid anti-pollution efforts and push for green development, an official report showed Tuesday.

Air quality in the country continued to improve, with 337 cities at and above the prefecture-level recording good air quality on an average of 82 percent days last year, according to the report issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Surface water quality mostly kept improving. Some 74.9 percent of surface water monitored by the ministry was graded Class I to III (good quality) last year, up 3.9 percentage points from 2018, while that of Class V fell to 3.4 percent from 6.7 percent in 2018.

Surface water quality is divided into five classes in the country, with Class I being the best.

Carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP fell 4.1 percent in 2019 from the previous year, meeting the country’s annual target, according to the report.

Considering lucid waters and lush mountains as invaluable assets, China has made great strides in tackling pollution and shifting to an environmental-friendly development path.

(XINHUA)

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China’s Guangzhou to host international anti-epidemic supplies expo

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The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou will host an international expo featuring anti-epidemic supplies on June 10, the municipal government said on Tuesday.

The expo has attracted more than 400 enterprises, as well as 65 consulates and 30 foreign commerce groups based in Guangzhou, said Yang Yong, director of the Guangzhou branch of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Photo taken on March 21, 2020 shows packed medical supplies at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Tian Jianchuan)

Photo taken on March 21, 2020 shows packed medical supplies at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Tian Jianchuan)

So far, more than 5,000 visitors, most of them potential buyers, have signed up for the event, the first off-line exhibition to be hosted in Guangzhou since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The expo will set up 850 booths in four exhibition halls, with a total exhibition area of about 36,000 square meters.

Organizers will assist foreign buyers with customs clearance and delivery of anti-epidemic supplies, taking advantage of an international distribution center located in Guangzhou’s Nansha free-trade zone.

The expo will also feature live streaming events in which participants of the expo will share their experiences of fighting the epidemic.

(XINHUA)

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China vows consistent financial policy to curb housing speculation — Central Bank

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China says it will maintain a consistent and stable policy on real estate finance and avoid using the property sector to generate a short-term stimulus to the economy, according to a central bank report.

The country would continue to stick to the principle that “houses are for living in, not speculation,” said the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in the report on the country’s regional financial operation in 2019.

Home prices across the country remained generally stable in 2019, price indices of new and previously owned houses in first-tier cities rose slightly last year, with their year-on-year monthly expansion peaking at 4.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the growth pace of price indices for new and resold homes in second-and third-tier cities witnessed a marked decrease in 2019.

In its efforts to implement a long-term mechanism for real estate finance, the PBOC stressed the importance of improving the system of government housing support and maintaining the steady and sound development of the property market in the country.

While curbing housing speculation, China will also implement city-specific policies in the sector, according to this year’s government work report.


Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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