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Doubts cloud China's urbanization drive
Nearly a month after China unveiled its ambitious urbanization program, doubts persist about the impact and wisdom of moving more than 100 million rural residents to cities in the next seven years. - Michael Lelyveld (Apr 15, '14)



Greener energy blossoms in China
China's renewable energy revolution is powering ahead, with 2013 marking an important inflection point where the scales tipped more towards electric power generated from water, wind and solar than from fossil fuels and nuclear. - John Mathews and Hao Tan (Apr 4, '14)

IMF chases wrong targets in China
The International Monetary Fund is targeting unsound banking practices in China, despite the fact that Chinese Communist Party influence virtually nullifies the threat of bankruptcy for state-owned entities. The real issue is financial repression and a lack of private ownership - problems that require more than piecemeal reforms. - James A Dorn (Apr 3, '14)

China runs risk with new gas import route
China is planning to start work on a new gas route through Central Asia, in particular Tajikistan, this year despite cross-border conflicts in the region that threaten transport and trade. - Michael Lelyveld (Mar 26, '14)

Taiwan trade pact vital for growth
The occupation of Taiwan's legislative chambers by students protesting against the latest proposed trade pact with mainland China highlights the island's changing position in international trade and why it needs regional integration with China and emerging Asia. - Dan Steinbock (Mar 24, '14)

China struggles with energy over smog crisis
Residents of China's cities can expect little relief from air pollution even as the government raises its targets for energy conservation. If total energy use keeps rising at current rates, outpacing gains in efficiency, the focus on GDP growth means that smog will only thicken. - Michael Lelyveld (Mar 20, '14)

China reforms at a 'critical juncture'
China plans to transform from the world's factory floor to research and development hub will create unprecedented downward pressure on the economy, and the radical reform process will only succeed if state-owned enterprises are opened up to private investment. - Dan Steinbock (Mar 18, '14)

Disparate fortunes on show in
China's Muslim 'heartland'

Trade was booming at this year's China-Arab Economic Forum in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with Beijing successfully using the region's Islamic heritage to boost the long-neglected local economy and improve links with Arab countries. That success is in stark contrast to similar efforts in restive Xinjiang province.
- Haiyun Ma (Mar 14, '14)

Default fuels hope for China bonds
No one stepped in to stop Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology becoming the first defaulter in China's onshore corporate bond market last week. That suggests the easy money is over for Chinese companies, and fuels hope that necessary restructuring is on the way. - Andrew M Johnson (Mar 11, '14)

Premier Li looking short of real power
The opening of China's annual session of parliament was an opportunity for Premier Li Keqiang to present his proposals for the economy, historically a central part of his portfolio. President Xi Jinping's increased powers, however, left the prime minister looking a hollow man. (Mar 7, '14)

China lending curbs lift shadow economy
The Chinese government's crackdown on excess and outmoded production, backed by lending limits on state-owned banks, has added new uncertainty to economic growth data as more business is forced off the official books. - Michael Lelyveld (Feb 18, '14)

MICHAEL PETTIS
Reforms in China: The impact on growth
Economic reforms recently proposed by China's leaders aim to unlock greater productivity potential in the economy and return the country to a sustainable growth path. But, even assuming they are forcefully implemented, the higher productivity resulting from the reforms will not lead to higher reported GDP growth. (Jan 30, '14)

SPEAKING FREELY
China keeps its telecoms sector close
Moves by China to prise the vast, expanding telecoms market away from state-owned enterprises have not overjoyed foreign companies. These firms know that despite Beijing's neoliberal window dressing, telecoms are a strategic sector propped on national security considerations including political stability. - Romi Jain (Jan 30, '14)

Taiwan's farmers win
key battle to keep land

Taiwanese farmers have secured a landmark court victory in their long fight against expropriation of their fields for projects that use part of the land for infrastructure while other parts are sold to raise funds for construction or local government finance. - Dennis Engbarth (Jan 21, '14)

China's digital media role raises concerns
Countries across the globe have switched to digital broadcasting. In Kenya, this is giving China an important role both in the technical switch from analog and in the supply of media content, while some local bidders have been excluded from the latter - raising concern among Kenyans over potential repression of the media.
- Miriam Gathigah (Jan 14, '14)

MICHAEL PETTIS
China 'high growth" is a pipedream
Predictions that China, helped by recently proposed reforms, is about to embark on a decade of 7-8 % growth misunderstand the nature of China’s transformation and ignore the history of previous similar growth miracles. It is almost impossible that GDP growth rates over the rest of this decade remain at or close to current levels. (Jan 6, '14)

SPY vs SPY
NSA leaks sink US business deals

Barely a year after the United States was holding China's feet to the fire over matters of cyber-espionage, Washington is feeling the heat over the shenanigans of its own National Security Agency revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Now it is US technology companies that are paying the price for spying overreach.
- Andrew M Johnson (Dec 23, '13)

China manages soft end to slowdown
China appears to have managed a soft landing to its slowdown in economic growth - which might be as low as 5% this year, with big question marks over the official figures - but reforms will be needed if the government is to pick up the pace of expansion. - Michael Lelyveld (Dec 19, '13)

MICHAEL PETTIS
China: the politics of economic adjustment
Political turmoil in China over the past two years came as something of a surprise to many. Yet historical precedents suggest it should have surprised no one, as the country had exhausted its growth model of 30 years. (Dec 11, '13)

China's coal use forecast to surge
China's coal use may soon increase each year by more than 60% of the total US coal consumption, if a forecast by the country's mine owners is borne out in reality. That is bad news for people already struggling to survive in smog-ridden cities. - Michael Lelyveld (Dec 10, '13)

Sinopec 'sorry' for fatal blast
Chinese oil company Sinopec says it is "sorry" for a pipeline blast that killed at least 55 people in Qingdao, Shandong province, after the company failed to evacuate residents following discovery of a leak seven hours before the explosion. - Qiao Long (Nov 26, '13)

Kyrgyz workers query Chinese influx
Chinese funds are helping to upgrade Kyrgyzstan's highways and other infrastructure, but labor activists are demanding to know why so many jobs are also going to Chinese workers when locals have to seek employment in Russia. - Bakyt Asanov and Farangis Najibullah (Nov 18, '13)

China risks tension through urbanization
China's top economic planning body says it will throw its weight behind a growing focus on urbanization. Yet, the push to bring more rural people into cities as a driver of economic growth could increase social tensions. - Gao Shan (Nov 14, '13)

MICHAEL PETTIS
Will debt derail Abenomics?
One of the automatic consequences of Abenomics is to force up Japan's current account surplus substantially. That could derail recovery elsewhere, while it is not obvious that the world will be able to absorb a significant increase in Japanese exports. (Nov 13, '13)

Pollution clash leads to Guangdong anger
Protesters besieged government buildings in China's Guangdong province after more then a dozen people were injured and detained the day before in disturbances over pollution, which locals say has led to much of the population having higher-than-normal levels of lead in their blood. - Yang Fan (Nov 6, '13)

China in dilemma over gas shortages
China's cities have been turning to increased use of natural gas in a bid to curb air pollution by reducing consumption of coal. Now the country is facing natural gas shortages as winter approaches. - Michael Lelyveld (Nov 5, '13)

MICHAEL PETTIS
Hidden debt must be repaid
A bad argument has resurfaced that China doesn't have to worry about rising bad debts because it can use foreign reserves to recapitalize its banks. Like the fallacy that debt misallocation doesn't matter, this must be refuted. Debt always matters because it must always be paid for by someone. (Oct 25, '13)

Thousands protest China bank layoffs
Former workers of Chinese state-run Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) and the Construction Bank have been bussed to detention centers after joining rallies outside their Beijing headquarters to protest redundancy payments. (Oct 23, '13)

Chinese mine spill pollutes Tibetan area
Polluted water from a Chinese mining in a Tibetan-populated area in western China has killed fish and livestock and contaminated drinking supplies, locals say. As in previous standoffs over mining blight, authorities sent the troops in to quell protest. (Oct 21, '13)

Shanghai trade zone misses on all points
Shanghai's new free trade zone is claimed as China's most significant reform push in three decades. Outsiders disagree, with one critic saying "it's not free, it may not emphasize trade, there are questions about its function as a zone .. and it offers little assurance of 'opening up'. - Michael Lelyveld (Oct 15, '13)

Hong Kong refuses to bank
on Alibaba's next treasure trove

Alibaba's multi-billion dollar initial public offering looks set to go to New York rather than Hong Kong. With it goes share dealing not just in China's biggest e-commerce outfit, but also what is set to be the country's future top private financial group. - Gabriele Battaglia (Oct 2, '13)

Xi builds up power in Central Asia
Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent sweep through Central Asia, involving billions of dollars in trade and other contracts, was treated lightly by Russia. A photograph of the region's leaders in Kyrgyzstan last month suggests a different story. (Oct 2, '13)

China exports mask domestic weakness
Recent optimism over Chinese export numbers, and claims that the slowdown in China's economy may be bottoming out, may be optimism too soon. The fall in import growth serves as a worrisome signal of the core economic problem: declining internal demand. - Tom Velk and Olivia Gong (Oct 1, '13)


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