Will Xi Jinping’s trip to Manila mark the start of a golden age for China-Philippines ties?

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s forthcoming visit to the Philippines, his first as leader to one of Southeast Asia’s most strategically vital nations, couldn’t have come at a more critical juncture.

Two issues are expected to dominate the trip, namely management of maritime disputes in the South China Sea and Beijing’s promise of large-scale infrastructure investments in the Philippines.

The outcome of the trip is likely to tip the scales of the Philippines’…
Source: SCMP – China

Trump has lost the House, not the incentive for his trade war with China

US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China might make him the most unpopular US leader among the Chinese since before Richard Nixon’s ice-breaking trip to China in 1972, as his punitive tariffs threaten to smash the rice bowls of many people. It is no wonder that many hoped for a “blue wave” in which Democrats secured crushing victories in both houses in the recent midterm elections, thereby shackling Trump for his final two years.
Yes, the elections were also a…
Source: SCMP – China

A year after deadly Daxing fire, no let-up in campaign to marginalise migrant workers

Wang Jie is an anomaly. A year ago, 19 people were killed when a building in Beijing’s Daxing district that had been converted into tiny flats caught fire. The incident triggered a massive razing of illegal structures across the city. As large swathes of Xinjian village turned to rubble, tens of thousands of migrants in impoverished communities were forced from their homes.
Wang, who runs a small noodle shop, is one of the few members of the local business community who have managed to…
Source: SCMP – China

How China’s capitalist entrepreneurial spirit arose from the ashes of revolution

The world is getting used to a China that is an engine of innovation in digital payments, artificial intelligence, green energy and e-commerce. It’s a vastly different China from the one envisioned by its founding father, Mao Zedong.
In 1949, in the ruins of World War II and a civil war at home, the Communist Party led by Mao quickly made plans to transform China into a socialist state modelled on the Soviet Union.
It set up agrarian co-operatives – which later morphed into People…
Source: SCMP – China

China tries to strengthen navy in face of growing US challenge to South China Sea claims

China is boosting its South China Sea naval fleet in the face of America’s increasingly assertive attempts to challenge Beijing’s claims to the disputed waters.
Military observers said it would allow the South Sea Fleet to keep better track of foreign vessels, but pointed out that its military strength still lagged behind that of the United States.
Two American aircraft carrier strike groups, one led by the USS Ronald Reagan and the other by the USS John C Stennis, are conducting a…
Source: SCMP – China

China’s vow to help private firms is plausible – but desperate, too

For China’s private firms, which have long been resigned to their fate as second-class citizens compared with state-owned enterprises, the Chinese government’s offers of help over the past 40 years have tended to be more rhetoric than concrete action. But its latest effort to help – so intense, and also so desperate – is very much different.
All this started on November 1 when President Xi Jinping set the tone by inviting nearly 50 private entrepreneurs to the Great Hall…
Source: SCMP – China

It’s good to talk, but Australia and China are neighbours worlds apart

The meeting between Australia’s new foreign minister, Marise Payne, and her Chinese counterpart in Beijing in early November was the first significant high-level bilateral contact for months. Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to Australia in late 2014 may have asked that the country use imagination and boldness in envisaging the future of its relationship with its vast northern neighbour. But he probably wasn’t expecting the response he got, with a number of high-…
Source: SCMP – China

US must open talks on North Korea sanctions relief to get progress on denuclearisation, former US diplomat says

If the US wants North Korea to take concrete steps towards removing its nuclear weapons, it must begin discussing the possibility of lifting sanctions on the hermit state, a former top US diplomat for North Korea said on Friday.
Joseph Yun, former US special representative for North Korea policy at the State Department, said he supported the idea of Washington adjusting its message to say “we’re willing to discuss certain [sanction] exemptions” instead of continuing to insist…
Source: SCMP – China

Trump’s vanishing act sours Asia ties just as China hits a sweet spot

WHAT A DIFFERENCE a year makes.
This time last year, Donald Trump triumphantly strode the Asia-Pacific stage on his way to completing the longest visit to the region by an American president in a quarter-century. During Trump’s stopover in Beijing, President Xi Jinping conferred an honour not granted to any of his predecessors since the normalisation of ties with the US – a state dinner inside the Forbidden City.
Twelve months later, at the height of Asia’s summit season,…
Source: SCMP – China

China matches Nato in information arms race with deal for ‘Ferrari of war room software’

China has obtained the big screen software used by Nato and the United States for war room mapping, putting its forces on an equal organisational footing with some of the West’s elite military operations.
Luciad, a defence contractor based in Leuven, Belgium, is selling the Chinese government high performance software used for situational awareness by the military commands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, according to information from Chinese government contractors verified by…
Source: SCMP – China

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