Local government financing vehicles (“LGFVs”) reclaimed the spotlight during the pandemic as officials sought quick gains to reinvigorate a slowing economy. However, mounting off-balance sheet debt has become a key concern for policymakers who seek to confront a credit boom. As China’s property market woes begin to create ripple effects for LGFVs, policymakers are now tasked with balancing the need to front-run debt issues while preventing rampant defaults.
The ‘lying flat’ movement that emphasizes a stand against traditional employment and a minimalist lifestyle is sweeping across China. The appeal of this lifestyle to many in the younger generations could prove an obstacle to Xi Jinping’s dual circulation economic model, particularly amid China’s aging population demographic.
Key industries such as construction and manufacturing have been pinpointed as weak links in the future Chinese economy. With an imminent aging population crisis on the horizon, Beijing has unveiled a new three-child policy that supersedes the current two-child policy. The question remains, ‘can the three-child policy really fix this issue or are policymakers too little too late?’
Easy access to credit, a key pillar of China’s recovery, has helped lift the economy from the pits of the pandemic; however, cracks are beginning to show. Policymakers are now shifting their gaze towards systemic issues that could hinder the economy’s long-term recovery – and an unprecedented domestic credit boom is at the top of the list. Yet, as new monetary policy takes hold, many wonder if Beijing has introduced the very economic instability that it sought to avoid.
While China may be the world’s largest rare earths producer, it is also the world’s largest importer. As the world’s third largest rare earths producing country, Myanmar holds unintended sway over the health of China’s economy. Yet, Myanmar’s political instability has disrupted vital rare earths supply chains and introduced doubts over both the trade relationship between the two nations, and the role of rare earths in the global economy at large.
A global RMB is a strategic long-term policy goal for China, and a deep offshore market is a crucial prerequisite. As a key offshore RMB hub, Hong Kong will have to embrace supportive policy and build financial market infrastructure to bolster the RMB’s internationalization. This article takes a look at the potential levers available to both Hong Kong and Mainland authorities to advance this agenda.
China’s economy has made an impressive recovery since the onset of the pandemic, and the stringent health measures and targeted economic stimulus enacted by Beijing’s top leaders have been remarkably successful. However, with policymakers now beginning to phase out centrally-backed economic support, some are voicing concerns that a premature rollback could threaten an already reeling global economy.
Chinese companies are increasingly looking towards foreign markets to unlock new growth opportunities abroad while diversifying away political risk at home. Haidilao and Tencent are two prominent examples of companies that have successfully entered foreign markets. While the two giants have vastly different approaches to expansion, together they have formed the golden standard by which other emerging companies seek to grow their global footprint.
A historic speech given by China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping in late 2020 highlighted the past and future importance of Shenzhen, a city pivotal to the nation’s continued economic rise. Within his speech, Xi laid out a strategic vision for the future growth of the city, placing particular importance on economic reform, consumption-driven growth, and integration with the broader Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
In 2015, President Xi committed to eradicating rural poverty by the end of 2020, and despite the economic distress brought on by the pandemic, China declared its momentous victory. While a mix of state policy and private sector support were key to the campaign’s success, digital technologies such as e-commerce played a pivotal role in improving the quality of life in rural areas and have brought China one step closer to realizing a moderately prosperous society.
At first viewed as an olive branch amidst a spiraling Sino-Australian trade war, the now finalized Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is unlikely to ease mounting tensions. The untested dispute settlement mechanisms within the deal and shallow provisions for reducing tariffs bode poorly for Sino-Australian relations and point to no end in sight for 2020’s series of new economic tariffs and sanctions.
Following its first economic contraction since Mao Zedong held office, China has set precedent as the first major economy to return to growth. While the road to recovery has been riddled with bumps indicative of lopsided development, Q3 results, paired with well-targeted policy support, are painting a promising outlook for China’s development into Q4 and beyond.
As a global initiative unprecedented in scope, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative often gets a negative reputation. News pundits accuse Beijing of using OBOR as a means of forcing unsustainable levels of debt onto weaker partner countries to seize the precious loan collateral. In this piece, we examine OBOR projects in Kenya and Sri Lanka to determine whether Beijing is engaging in debt trap diplomacy.
Oil is critical to ensuring China’s growth over the next few decades, and securing it has become a top priority for the nation. By financing multiple OBOR development projects to circumvent key oil supply chains through the Strait of Hormuz and Strait of Malacca shipping lanes, China has chipped away at competing oversight in these regions, allowing it to secure access to resources while strengthening relationships with OBOR partner countries.
Internationally, McDonald’s has long been dominant, but in China, KFC reigns king. KFC has twice as many outlets, with experts having long explained KFC’s dominance through better localization efforts. While this argument holds water, the competitive relationship between the world’s largest fast food chains has also bolstered their mutual success in one of largest and most complex markets in the world.