Issue 323 - 13.03.2023
14.03.2023

China’s Global Development Initiative appears to be welcomed in Southeast Asia Issue 322 - 03.03.2023

Southeast Asian countries appear to have unanimously supported China’s Global Development Initiative in the hope that it will contribute towards addressing their development deficits and that China will up its economic game more broadly in the region.

As China rises to great power status, Beijing has been pushing to reform the global governance system to better suit its interests and values. Multiple Chinese initiatives of a global scale have been rolled out, including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Community of Shared Destiny, Global Security Initiative (GSI) and Global Development Initiative (GDI). Together, they seek to project China as a provider of global public goods by offering Chinese wisdom, solutions and resources to address global development and security challenges.

Launched by President Xi Jinping at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021, the GDI aims to put “development high on the global macro policy agenda”. Its main constituency is the Global South that involves mostly developing and less developed countries. To show that China is committed to the GDI’s “results-oriented actions”, in 2021 Xi pledged US$3 billion of international assistance for developing countries in the following three years. In 2022, he announced China would upgrade the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund with a replenishment of US$1 billion, and increase China’s support for the China-UN Peace and Development Fund. Thus far, the GDI remains largely a declaration of intent and principles and its funding scale through Chinese foreign assistance is rather modest compared to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members. However, the GDI has been well received among developing countries, including in Southeast Asia. This article seeks to understand what the GDI represents and why it has gained broad support in Southeast Asia. In doing so, it argues that the GDI is not simply a refurbishing of China’s international development cooperation agenda; its significance – and implications – should be perceived in the broader context of China’s economic statecraft and in how its developmentalist approach serves China’s domestic political, economic and foreign policy agenda.

According to Xi’s vision, the GDI aims to address “unbalanced and inadequate development among and within countries”, thus shifting beyond the model of untrammelled growth associated with environmental degradation and socio-economic inequalities that characterised the Chinese economy and much of the developing world in the past decades, towards promoting development that is “people-centred”, “high-quality”, “green” and “innovation-driven”. This vision is translated into eight GDI priority areas, namely (i) poverty alleviation, (ii) food security, (iii) Covid-19 and vaccines, (iv) financing for development, (v) climate change and green development, (vi) industrialisation, (vii) digital economy, and (viii) connectivity.

The GDI seeks to bolster China’s role as a global development actor and a “responsible major developing country”. It “frames China’s existing and new development cooperation efforts, repackaging, harmonising and synergising them for both China’s own internal coordination and articulation to the world”. Projects officially designated under the GDI are funded by China’s development assistance channelled through the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) or Chinese contributions to international initiatives/programmes. CIDCA – the GDI’s main implementing body – was established in 2018 as a vice-ministerial level agency under the State Council with the mandate of supporting South-South cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. CIDCA has set up the Global Development Promotion Centre to facilitate GDI implementation.

The GDI launch is in line with the upward trend in China’s international development cooperation in the last decade which saw China’s discretionary contributions to multilateral development institutions and funds more than quadruple. The total of Chinese foreign assistance in grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans between 2013 and 2018 were around US$40 billion. The Chinese leadership increasingly attach importance to development cooperation in their statecraft, as reflected in the 2021 White Paper on China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era. The paper broadly defines ‘international development cooperation’ as “China’s bilateral and multilateral efforts, within the framework of South-South cooperation, to promote economic and social development through foreign aid, humanitarian assistance, and other means”. Since China considers itself a developing country, its development cooperation is viewed as “a form of mutual assistance between developing countries under the South-South cooperation” rather than as a North-South donor-recipient relationship.

Although China’s official statements and bureaucratic arrangements mainly cast the GDI through the lens of development cooperation, the GDI should be assessed in the broader context of China’s economic statecraft towards developing countries. As noted by Anthea Mulakala, “China anchors its [development cooperation] approach in South-South cooperation, which has broader parameters than Official Development Assistance (ODA), and includes investments, diplomacy and other modalities, such as those implemented through the Belt and Road Initiative.” As such, the GDI is seen as a parallel and complementary track to the BRI. Both initiatives seek to align China’s financial, technological and human resources (supply-driven) with the economic and development needs of recipient countries (demand-driven). The BRI exports China’s infrastructure-building capacity surplus to fill infrastructure deficits in other developing countries. In the same vein, the GDI is propelled by the need to synergise China’s global engagement with its domestic economic agenda which increasingly shifts towards sustainable, inclusive and innovation-driven growth under Xi’s ‘common prosperity’ brand.

Mainland Southeast Asian countries are among the largest recipients of Chinese development aid targeted at poor communities. Together with Vietnam, these countries accounted for 74% of China’s aid to the region between 2000 and 2014.

While the growth-oriented BRI involves big-ticket, capital-intensive projects in hard infrastructure, the GDI is development-oriented and relies on smaller-sized projects in such areas as public health, poverty reduction, green and low-carbon economy, digital industry and innovation. This signals China’s “slow shift from mega infrastructure” to “small and beautiful projects”, a move necessitated by the BRI’s decelerating momentum. After years of excessive overseas lending, China has become more cautious in infrastructure financing due to its own economic woes, repayment problems and the low economic returns on its foreign loans, and accumulative complaints about the BRI adding to socio-environmental risks, unsustainable debts and governance and corruption issues in partner countries. According to a study by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, China’s overseas development finance through the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China peaked in 2016 and shrank to only US$10.5 billion in 2020 and 2021.

Following on the BRI, the GDI is the latest expression of China’s developmentalist approach to international relations, which views “economic development as the foundation for stability, security and peace” – a key guiding principle for China’s domestic and foreign policy since its opening-up and reform since the 1970s. According to Evelyn Goh, these developmentalist principles “are deeply shared among post-colonial, developing countries.” China therefore sees the Global South as a critical constituency where its extensive economic engagement alongside its developmental discourse would help Beijing win more friends and partners than Washington in their global contest. That is why the South-South cooperation is increasingly important in China’s grand strategy, and the Global South is often framed as being in one family and sharing a common destiny with China.

To fully grasp the implications of the GDI for international politics, one should look beyond the lens of Chinese development assistance and examine how effectively and robustly Beijing will pitch the GDI as a diplomatic and discursive device to propagate Chinese norms of governance, rally other countries in broad and flexible coalitions that support China’s global vision and agenda, and undermine American (and Western) normative influence and leadership in the global governance system. As noted by Joseph Lemoine and Yomna Gaafar, “[W]ith the GDI, China wants to lead what it hopes is a new era in development – not only by investing money, but also by leading the conversation.” It is in this broader context that this article looks at how the GDI has been received in Southeast Asia and what implications it may have for the Sino-US strategic competition in the region.

Most Southeast Asian countries are developing countries with huge development deficits. This makes the GDI an attractive offer to their governments. Southeast Asian countries have unanimously expressed their support for the GDI. The leaders of Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand attended the High-level Dialogue on Global Development hosted by Xi in June 2022. All ten ASEAN countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI at the UN. They also stand to become the largest regional group to benefit from this initiative, with 14 out of a total 50 projects (28%) in the GDI Project Pool’s first batch. These projects focus on poverty reduction, pandemic response, food security, climate change and green development. Mainland Southeast Asian countries have a larger share of projects than the maritime ones. Singapore – the most advanced economy in ASEAN – has but one project on digital border information connectivity.

At the ASEAN level, the ASEAN-China foreign ministers meeting in August 2022 “welcomed the Global Development Initiative (GDI)… and encouraged participation in the GDI priority areas” This was followed by the adoption of the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Strengthening Common and Sustainable Development at the 25th ASEAN-China summit in November 2022, which affirmed both sides’ “commitment to development” and “priority to development undertakings”. Xi pledged in 2021 that China will provide US$1.5 billion in development assistance for ASEAN countries in the next three years. In 2022, China offered to set up a special loan for ASEAN’s and China’s common development.

The GDI builds upon the existing ASEAN-China development cooperation agenda. During recent years, this agenda has increasingly focused on public health, green transition and digital development – three priority areas of the GDI. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven closer ASEAN-China cooperation in public health. As of August 2022, China had donated US$6 million to the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and provided over 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Southeast Asian countries (in both donations and sales). In green transition, both sides adopted the 2021 Joint Statement on Enhancing Green and Sustainable Development Cooperation “to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation” through energy transition and energy resilience, forest management, climate smart agriculture, and knowledge sharing on climate change tackling. In digital transformation, the ASEAN-China Partnership on Digital Economy is being implemented through its 2021-2025 five-year action plan; policy exchanges are conducted through the annual ASEAN-China Digital Ministers Meeting starting from 2021; and an ASEAN-China Digital Trade Centre will be established in Guangxi, China. 

Apart from these new priority areas, the GDI’s poverty alleviation component would be of great interest to Southeast Asian countries, given that their development goals have been seriously undermined by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Asian Development Bank, the pandemic pushed an additional 4.7 million people in Southeast Asia into extreme poverty in 2021 and caused 9.3 million job losses, compared with a baseline no-COVID scenario. Meanwhile, China has lifted 800 million out of poverty over the past four decades and declared in 2021 that it had eliminated absolute poverty (at the threshold of below US$1.90 per day). Building upon its success story, the Chinese government has made poverty reduction a highlight of its development cooperation agenda, calling for the achievement of a “Global Community of Shared Future Free from Poverty”. Mainland Southeast Asian countries are among the largest recipients of Chinese development aid targeted at poor communities. Together with Vietnam, these countries accounted for 74% of China’s aid to the region between 2000 and 2014. More importantly, China’s role in enabling poverty reduction in Southeast Asia is channelled through economic opportunities from its enhanced trade and investment ties with the region.

Going forward, it is also important to follow ASEAN-China cooperation in the sharing of development knowledge, which is driven by China’s efforts to legitimise and promote the ‘China Model’ internationally. One manifestation of this is the rise of international development studies in China, focusing on China’s developmental path and promoting it as a model of development in Global South–South relations. China has established the Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD) which actively promotes the GDI and concurrently serves as the Secretariat of the China-ASEAN Knowledge Network for Development launched in May 2022. Under the 2021-2025 plan of action to implement the ASEAN-China strategic partnership, both sides have agreed to enhance policy communication and promote sharing of experiences on governance, including e-governance, public sector reform, local administration capacity building, environmental governance, and digital governance.

There are economic motives beyond development cooperation that make the GDI an attractive value proposition for both Southeast Asia and China. On the Chinese side, the GDI is arguably driven less by altruistic motives than by the need to synergise China’s global engagement with its new development stage characterised by Xi’s development philosophy of “innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development”. As such, China’s domestic economic agenda has increasingly pivoted towards sustainability and innovation-driven growth, which entails the need to secure export markets for Chinese goods, services and technologies in these new sectors. At the 2022 ASEAN-China Summit, Chinese premier Li Keqiang highlighted five areas of strengthened cooperation between China and ASEAN economies, namely (i) trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, (ii) new-type industrialisation, (iii) digital transformation, (iv) low-carbon development, and (v) agricultural modernisation. These areas overlap with the GDI priorities, and they signal China’s coming of age as an economic heavyweight, a technological powerhouse, and a global development actor.

On their part, Southeast Asian countries embrace the GDI not only because they anticipate larger Chinese development assistance but more importantly, they expect China to up its economic game in the region. Most Southeast Asian countries, except Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, have moved from recipients of aid to providers of development cooperation. Rather than counting on Chinese aid, they would look towards greater development opportunities through extensive economic ties with China. 

There are ample development needs and new drivers of growth in Southeast Asia, making the region a prime destination for China’s investment, collaboration and assistance in new areas. For example, Chinese big techs have deep stakes in the region’s digital economy to tap into its growth potential which is estimated to reach US$363 billion in 2025. Alibaba-owned Lazada is the largest e-commerce platform in the region, operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Alibaba and Tencent are major investors in most promising tech start-ups in the region such as SEA, Tokopedia, and Go-Jek. Chinese tech titans, notably Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei, are building multiple data centres in Southeast Asia since this region is assessed to be “indispensable for growth” of Chinese cloud companies.

In terms of the sustainability agenda, China’s ongoing innovation drive towards green development has had positive spill-over effects to other countries. For example, its 80% market share for all manufacturing stages of solar panels has reduced the cost of solar PV by over 80% in the past decade, which helped to accelerate worldwide clean energy transition. At the same time, China needs a global market to upscale and export its manufacturing capacity for greater cost efficiency, including in Southeast Asia where the green economy sectors will potentially generate US$1 trillion economic opportunities by 2030 if climate action is seriously pursued.

The GDI is not only an instrument of Chinese economic statecraft but also a normative vessel to promote China’s state-centric approach to development to serve its domestic political and geopolitical agenda. At the heart of this approach is the belief that ‘development’ – understood by China as economic progress in material terms – is “the master key to solving all problems”, from poverty to conflict and turmoil, in line with the Chinese traditional philosophy that “the essence of governance is livelihood; and the essence of livelihood is adequacy.” The GDI’s normative significance therefore lies in its intent and effect to “reframe narratives around governance and human rights” to counter the Western discourse that places emphasis on civil-political and individual rights. This Chinese approach finds strong resonance among Southeast Asian ruling elites who embrace the ‘right to development’ in the 2012 ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and prioritise the delivery of economic prosperity over the realisation of civil-political rights in their governance ethos.

The GDI also serves as a diplomatic and discursive tool to discredit what China views as the US and its allies/partners’ security-centric approach in their Indo-Pacific strategies. It pitches China-led win-win economic cooperation versus US-led zero-sum alliance-building. This simplistic framing glosses over China’s own military build-up as well as efforts by the US and its allies/partners to compete with China in delivering global public goods from Covid-19 vaccines to clean energy. However, this narrative resonates with many Southeast Asian leaders whose current top concerns are to have their economies recover from the pandemic, overcome economic fallouts from the war in Ukraine, and avoid entanglement in great power conflict. Chief among them is Indonesian president Joko Widodo who is well-known for his preoccupation with bread-and-butter issues rather than geopolitics. Under his watch, Indonesia’s 2022 G20 presidency prioritised three issues, namely inclusive health management, digital-based transformation and transition towards sustainable energy, all of which fall under the GDI’s ambit. Xi’s speech at the Bali G20 summit focusing on global development dovetailed well with Jokowi’s preference.

On their part, Southeast Asian countries embrace the GDI not only because they anticipate larger Chinese development assistance but more importantly, they expect China to up its economic game in the region.

Some pundits have criticised Jokowi for his parochial foreign policy, but his stand is not without public support. According to the State of Southeast Asia 2023 survey, the majority of Southeast Asian respondents view the increase in energy and food prices as the most serious impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the region (58.3%), well above the second-ranked concern over the erosion of the rules-based order and violation of national sovereignty (25.9%). Against this backdrop, China could leverage the GDI to tap into the discontent among developing countries who feel that the US and Europe devote too much attention and resources to the war in Ukraine at the expense of the Global South’s development needs. Even India – a strategic opponent of China and a member of the Quad – has voiced similar grievances. In December 2022, Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar highlighted two big divides in the world: “One is the East-West divide centering around Ukraine and the other is a north-south divide centering around development.” In the same vein, Chinese media decried Washington’s US$150 million in development assistance pledged at the special ASEAN-US summit in May 2022, saying that it is “just a drop in the bucket if compared to US support for Ukraine” (US Congress approved a US$40 billion aid package for Ukraine in the same month) and also a meagre amount compared to Xi’s pledge of US$1.5 billion in 2021.

The GDI signals China’s intent to be a global leader in development cooperation on its own terms. Its focus on poverty reduction, healthcare, green transition and digital transformation corresponds to the global trends of sustainability and innovation as well as the prevailing needs for pandemic response and the economic recovery of many countries. The GDI, however, is not simply a package of development projects supported by Chinese foreign aid. Its significance – and its implications – should be perceived in the broader context of Chinese statecraft that seeks to synergise China’s domestic economic shift towards sustainability and innovation-driven growth with its international engagement. It also serves as a discursive weapon to legitimise the Chinese developmentalist approach to domestic and global governance as well as to discredit the US’ security-centric approach in the Indo-Pacific and US’ role as the provider of security goods in the region.

Since ‘development’ is an encompassing and positive-sounding concept, the GDI has become China’s new rallying cry to deepen its comprehensive ties with Southeast Asian countries and ASEAN as a whole, from education to health, green transition to digital transformation, social security to economic integration. Southeast Asian countries support the GDI as they expect material benefits out of it as well as normative alignment around the ‘right to development’. However, it is premature to infer that they consent to China’s “hegemonic bargain”, i.e. enjoyment of China’s economic rewards in exchange for acceptance of China’s hegemony. China’s expectation is that confluence of economic interests would trump disagreements on security issues. Judging by the enduring distrust towards China among Southeast Asian foreign policy elites, their doubts about China’s Global Security Initiative, and their abiding interest in deepening ties with other major powers, China has a long way to go to convince Southeast Asians that looking towards Beijing is their best hope. 

By Hoang Thi Ha on March 3 2023 for Fulcrum.

China, Pacific

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14.03.2023

China’s 2023 oil demand expected to grow by 500,000-600,000 bpd

China's oil demand will grow 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day in 2023, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said on Tuesday, as the world's top crude importer emerges from COVID-19 restrictions.

"With China opening up, we are quite optimistic, cautiously," he told the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

OPEC expects global...

China's oil demand will grow 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day in 2023, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais said on Tuesday, as the world's top crude importer emerges from COVID-19 restrictions.

"With China opening up, we are quite optimistic, cautiously," he told the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

OPEC expects global...

14.03.2023

China’s retail chain Miniso to boost overseas business expansion

Chinese budget chain retailer Miniso will boost its overseas business expansion in the years ahead as the company, based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, enters the 10th anniversary of its establishment, according to a senior company executive.

"We have upgraded the global brand strategy by deeply participating in the global retail market...

Chinese budget chain retailer Miniso will boost its overseas business expansion in the years ahead as the company, based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, enters the 10th anniversary of its establishment, according to a senior company executive.

"We have upgraded the global brand strategy by deeply participating in the global retail market...

14.03.2023

China’s energy transition sees ‘staggering’ progress on renewables — and a coal power boom

China is making rapid progress in scaling up clean energy, tentatively boosting hopes that the world’s largest carbon emitter could soon start to curb greenhouse gas pollution.

A massive wave of permits for new coal-fired capacity poses a significant challenge to the country’s climate goals, with Beijing seen as “the glaring...

China is making rapid progress in scaling up clean energy, tentatively boosting hopes that the world’s largest carbon emitter could soon start to curb greenhouse gas pollution.

A massive wave of permits for new coal-fired capacity poses a significant challenge to the country’s climate goals, with Beijing seen as “the glaring...

14.03.2023

Government Work Report strengthens foreign enterprises’ confidence in China

Foreign companies in China said that remarks that China will accelerate efforts to attract foreign investment, made in the Government Work Report at the ongoing two sessions, have strengthened their confidence in China.

They said they see broader opportunities in the big market of China. They will further develop the Chinese...

Foreign companies in China said that remarks that China will accelerate efforts to attract foreign investment, made in the Government Work Report at the ongoing two sessions, have strengthened their confidence in China.

They said they see broader opportunities in the big market of China. They will further develop the Chinese...

14.03.2023

Heavily overpriced gringo dollar keeps yuan pressed

China's yuan weakened to a more than two-month low against the dollar on Wednesday, approaching the threshold of 7 per dollar and pushed lower by broad greenback strength following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's hawkish rhetoric on U.S. interest rates.

The dollar was pushed to three-month peaks by Powell's warning that...

China's yuan weakened to a more than two-month low against the dollar on Wednesday, approaching the threshold of 7 per dollar and pushed lower by broad greenback strength following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's hawkish rhetoric on U.S. interest rates.

The dollar was pushed to three-month peaks by Powell's warning that...

14.03.2023

Bears retain hold on China stock markets

Hong Kong stocks slumped, while China shares fell slightly on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank will likely need to raise interest rates more than expected. ** China's blue-chip CSI 300 Index edged down 0.36%, while the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.06%.

The Hang...

Hong Kong stocks slumped, while China shares fell slightly on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank will likely need to raise interest rates more than expected. ** China's blue-chip CSI 300 Index edged down 0.36%, while the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.06%.

The Hang...

14.03.2023

China's economic momentum injects vitality across the globe

China's 2023 economic growth target of around 5 percent unveiled at the ongoing "two sessions" certainly gave a fillip to the world.

As the announcement was made, I couldn't help but recall the scenes I witnessed in the port city of Tianjin some time ago.

At Tianjin airport, planes would intermittently roar...

China's 2023 economic growth target of around 5 percent unveiled at the ongoing "two sessions" certainly gave a fillip to the world.

As the announcement was made, I couldn't help but recall the scenes I witnessed in the port city of Tianjin some time ago.

At Tianjin airport, planes would intermittently roar...

Eurasia

14.03.2023

Kazakhstan displays balanced formula on cooperation with China

The unprecedented rise of China politically and economically in the last decade especially seen through its announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative in Astana, Kazakhstan, has understandably elicited significant alarm and apprehension within the Western community. This is no less the case with scholars within the domain of IR....

The unprecedented rise of China politically and economically in the last decade especially seen through its announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative in Astana, Kazakhstan, has understandably elicited significant alarm and apprehension within the Western community. This is no less the case with scholars within the domain of IR....

14.03.2023

Central Asia-Caucasus Middle Corridor means shift in connectivity between China and the European Union

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is continuing to reshape Eurasian connectivity. As the traditional Russian route, which served as a major corridor for decades between the EU and China is facing problems, favorable alternative conditions for trade routes are emerging. These include the Middle Corridor, which spans from Turkiye to Central Asia...

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is continuing to reshape Eurasian connectivity. As the traditional Russian route, which served as a major corridor for decades between the EU and China is facing problems, favorable alternative conditions for trade routes are emerging. These include the Middle Corridor, which spans from Turkiye to Central Asia...

14.03.2023

China-Belarus Industrial Park connects Eurasia through industries

The China-Belarus Industrial Park is a landmark cooperation project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The park has suffered impacts including the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has withstood the challenges, and attracted more investment, mirroring a strong bilateral trade between the two countries, the Global Times...

The China-Belarus Industrial Park is a landmark cooperation project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The park has suffered impacts including the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has withstood the challenges, and attracted more investment, mirroring a strong bilateral trade between the two countries, the Global Times...

14.03.2023

China-Russia trade in Jan-Feb soars 36.4%

Trade between China and Russia in the first two months of this year surged by 36.4 percent to hit 232.5 billion yuan ($33.59 billion), Chinese customs data showed on Tuesday, demonstrating the continuous strong growth momentum of bilateral economic cooperation.

Officials and experts noted that from industrial cooperation to bilateral trade,...

Trade between China and Russia in the first two months of this year surged by 36.4 percent to hit 232.5 billion yuan ($33.59 billion), Chinese customs data showed on Tuesday, demonstrating the continuous strong growth momentum of bilateral economic cooperation.

Officials and experts noted that from industrial cooperation to bilateral trade,...

14.03.2023

Cargo hub for China-Europe freight trains inaugurated near Russian border

A new cargo consolidation hub for the China-Europe freight trains on Saturday was put into operation in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province.

A train carrying 55 containers left for Russia on Saturday morning, marking the inauguration of the China Railway Express (Shenyang) Hub.

The hub covers a total land area...

A new cargo consolidation hub for the China-Europe freight trains on Saturday was put into operation in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province.

A train carrying 55 containers left for Russia on Saturday morning, marking the inauguration of the China Railway Express (Shenyang) Hub.

The hub covers a total land area...

14.03.2023

Kazakhstan/Xinjiang's Alatau Pass port sees more freight train routes

The total number of China-Europe freight train routes passing through the Alatau Pass, a major land port in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has reached 100, according to the China Railway Urumqi Group Co Ltd.

The average daily number of China-Europe freight trains handled by the port remains 17 today,...

The total number of China-Europe freight train routes passing through the Alatau Pass, a major land port in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has reached 100, according to the China Railway Urumqi Group Co Ltd.

The average daily number of China-Europe freight trains handled by the port remains 17 today,...

Europe

14.03.2023

EU business community positive on investing in China

A senior executive of Volkswagen (VW) visiting the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture plant in Xinjiang and stating that there is no evidence of human rights violations or forced labor, despite pressure, has sent a clear signal that the European Union's (EU) business community is positive on investing in China, according...

A senior executive of Volkswagen (VW) visiting the SAIC Volkswagen joint venture plant in Xinjiang and stating that there is no evidence of human rights violations or forced labor, despite pressure, has sent a clear signal that the European Union's (EU) business community is positive on investing in China, according...

14.03.2023

China-EU economic cooperation to inject confidence in global prosperity

The mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU will inject more confidence and hope for global prosperity and stability, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday.

Germany is China's largest trading partner in the EU bloc and the close economic and trade ties between the...

The mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation between China and the EU will inject more confidence and hope for global prosperity and stability, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday.

Germany is China's largest trading partner in the EU bloc and the close economic and trade ties between the...

14.03.2023

Austria’s Blum opens new factory in China

On average, an experienced fitter requires about 30 minutes to produce a hinge.

But in a factory in Shanghai's Qingpu Industrial Park, the production of a hinge takes just a fraction of that time - one minute.

Here, 13 automated assembly lines operate around the clock as a team of 22 engineers...

On average, an experienced fitter requires about 30 minutes to produce a hinge.

But in a factory in Shanghai's Qingpu Industrial Park, the production of a hinge takes just a fraction of that time - one minute.

Here, 13 automated assembly lines operate around the clock as a team of 22 engineers...

14.03.2023

Unilever shows commitment to China with icecream factory

With a designed daily output of 9 million ice creams, Unilever's ice cream "lighthouse factory" in Taicang of East China's Jiangsu province represents the company's long-term commitment to the China market by better satisfying Chinese consumers' demands with digital and intelligent technologies, a senior executive from the consumer goods company...

With a designed daily output of 9 million ice creams, Unilever's ice cream "lighthouse factory" in Taicang of East China's Jiangsu province represents the company's long-term commitment to the China market by better satisfying Chinese consumers' demands with digital and intelligent technologies, a senior executive from the consumer goods company...

14.03.2023

Deutsche Bank eyes bigger role in China's economy

Deutsche Bank firmly believes in the strong rebound of the Chinese economy, which will also have a positive impact on the global economy, said Alexander von zur Muehlen, CEO of Deutsche Bank Asia-Pacific.

"We forecast an above-consensus GDP increase this year at a time when many countries are heading for a...

Deutsche Bank firmly believes in the strong rebound of the Chinese economy, which will also have a positive impact on the global economy, said Alexander von zur Muehlen, CEO of Deutsche Bank Asia-Pacific.

"We forecast an above-consensus GDP increase this year at a time when many countries are heading for a...

14.03.2023

BASF to invest in citral plant in China

Chemical giant BASF announced on Tuesday that it will invest in a new citral plant as part of its site in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, as well as in menthol and linalool plants at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

"These plants are expected to come on stream from 2026 onward," BASF said...

Chemical giant BASF announced on Tuesday that it will invest in a new citral plant as part of its site in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, as well as in menthol and linalool plants at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

"These plants are expected to come on stream from 2026 onward," BASF said...

14.03.2023

Lego Group builds China presence block by block

The Lego Group is accelerating its expansion in China, with plans to open more than 80 new branded stores this year and penetrate lower-tier cities to reach more consumers after posting double-digit growth in revenue for 2022.

The company has opened more than 90 new stores in China, part of its...

The Lego Group is accelerating its expansion in China, with plans to open more than 80 new branded stores this year and penetrate lower-tier cities to reach more consumers after posting double-digit growth in revenue for 2022.

The company has opened more than 90 new stores in China, part of its...

14.03.2023

Sweden's Electrolux endeavours to keep expanding investment in China

Sweden-headquartered global appliance company Electrolux Group will continue to expand its investment in China, an executive of the Fortune Global 500 company said recently.

"China is not only the second-largest economy in the world, but also the middle-class consumers here are growing very fast, who are looking for products with good...

Sweden-headquartered global appliance company Electrolux Group will continue to expand its investment in China, an executive of the Fortune Global 500 company said recently.

"China is not only the second-largest economy in the world, but also the middle-class consumers here are growing very fast, who are looking for products with good...

South Asia, Middle East

14.03.2023

South Asia remains China’s priority in BRI plans

Strategically South Asia, together with Southeast Asia, is the most important expanse to the BRI. For China, both regions are terrestrial gateways to the Indian Ocean. South Asia is also economically the world’s fastest-growing region, growing at an average of 7% since 2014 (Song 2019). To understand the impact of...

Strategically South Asia, together with Southeast Asia, is the most important expanse to the BRI. For China, both regions are terrestrial gateways to the Indian Ocean. South Asia is also economically the world’s fastest-growing region, growing at an average of 7% since 2014 (Song 2019). To understand the impact of...

14.03.2023

China-Nepal-India border port Burang resumes two-way trade with Nepal

The land port Burang in Southwest China's Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region has restored the imports of goods from Nepal since March 1, meaning the two-way trade between China and Nepal has been fully resumed, said Xizang border management authority. The Burang port is located in Ngari Prefecture's Burang County, one...

The land port Burang in Southwest China's Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region has restored the imports of goods from Nepal since March 1, meaning the two-way trade between China and Nepal has been fully resumed, said Xizang border management authority. The Burang port is located in Ngari Prefecture's Burang County, one...

14.03.2023

China-Australia trade sees double-digit growth

China and Australia trade amounted to 259.7 billion yuan ($37.47 billion) in January and February, with both imports and exports achieving double-digit growth year-on-year, data from China's General Administration of Customs shows on Tuesday, amid the improved bilateral relations and the gradual unleashing of  economic and trade potential.

Goods such as...

China and Australia trade amounted to 259.7 billion yuan ($37.47 billion) in January and February, with both imports and exports achieving double-digit growth year-on-year, data from China's General Administration of Customs shows on Tuesday, amid the improved bilateral relations and the gradual unleashing of  economic and trade potential.

Goods such as...

14.03.2023

China’s Temu to get high-profile rollout in Australia, NZ

Online discounter PDD Holdings announced on Monday the company will roll out its cross-border e-commerce platform Temu in Australia and New Zealand starting March 13 as part of its broader push to help Chinese manufacturers boost their global reach.

The Chinese-made products sold on Temu in North America will be available for Australian...

Online discounter PDD Holdings announced on Monday the company will roll out its cross-border e-commerce platform Temu in Australia and New Zealand starting March 13 as part of its broader push to help Chinese manufacturers boost their global reach.

The Chinese-made products sold on Temu in North America will be available for Australian...

14.03.2023

UAE opens exhibition for Chinese industrial products

The opening of the first Chinese Industrial Products Exhibition hosted by China's Jiangsu Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company, or JOCIC, in Abu Dhabi on March 7 garnered over 500 visitors and the signing of bilateral agreements that covered research, technology, and space.

During the exhibition's opening ceremony, Zhang Yiming, ambassador of...

The opening of the first Chinese Industrial Products Exhibition hosted by China's Jiangsu Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company, or JOCIC, in Abu Dhabi on March 7 garnered over 500 visitors and the signing of bilateral agreements that covered research, technology, and space.

During the exhibition's opening ceremony, Zhang Yiming, ambassador of...

Africa, Americas

14.03.2023

China’s engagements in Ethiopia brings domestic, regional benefit

The BRI is successfully pioneering transport systems, roads, railways, small industries, automotive sectors, and health development programs in Ethiopia. As result, the Chinese investments bring changes to the country after the successful launch of the BRI. Furthermore, the study concludes that there is a need to initiate numerous projects to...

The BRI is successfully pioneering transport systems, roads, railways, small industries, automotive sectors, and health development programs in Ethiopia. As result, the Chinese investments bring changes to the country after the successful launch of the BRI. Furthermore, the study concludes that there is a need to initiate numerous projects to...

14.03.2023

China refutes Western claims of debt trap in Africa

China has never attached any political conditions, nor has it sought any political self-interest, the country is willing to continue to promote the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for further development, Wang Chao, a spokesperson for the first session of the 14th National People's Congress...

China has never attached any political conditions, nor has it sought any political self-interest, the country is willing to continue to promote the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for further development, Wang Chao, a spokesperson for the first session of the 14th National People's Congress...

14.03.2023

China, US need stable trade environment to shore up firms' confidence

China and the US need to create a stable and predictable economic and trade environment, to enhance the confidence of enterprises in both countries, Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

The remarks were made in response to media questions about how China's Ministry of Commerce...

China and the US need to create a stable and predictable economic and trade environment, to enhance the confidence of enterprises in both countries, Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

The remarks were made in response to media questions about how China's Ministry of Commerce...

14.03.2023

US to ban investment in Chinese high tech

Washington plans to prohibit American investment in the high-tech sectors of rival economies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing sources and reports on the proposed regulation from the US Treasury and Commerce Department.

The restrictions will likely target private and venture capital investments in the production of semiconductors, artificial...

Washington plans to prohibit American investment in the high-tech sectors of rival economies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing sources and reports on the proposed regulation from the US Treasury and Commerce Department.

The restrictions will likely target private and venture capital investments in the production of semiconductors, artificial...

14.03.2023

China, South Sudan sign agreement on borehole drilling, water supply project implementation

China and South Sudan on Friday signed an agreement on the implementation of a China-aided borehole drilling and water supply project that will improve access to clean and safe water for local communities.

"This project will focus on borehole drilling for water supply in village-level small population gathering areas and town-level...

China and South Sudan on Friday signed an agreement on the implementation of a China-aided borehole drilling and water supply project that will improve access to clean and safe water for local communities.

"This project will focus on borehole drilling for water supply in village-level small population gathering areas and town-level...

14.03.2023

China-US trade reaches 703 billion yuan in January-February

Two-way trade between China and the US reached 703 billion yuan ($101.2 billion) in the first two months this year, down 10.6 percent year-on-year, official data showed on Tuesday.

The volume accounts for 11.4 percent of China's total foreign trade, compared to 12.7 percent for the corresponding period last year. Chinese...

Two-way trade between China and the US reached 703 billion yuan ($101.2 billion) in the first two months this year, down 10.6 percent year-on-year, official data showed on Tuesday.

The volume accounts for 11.4 percent of China's total foreign trade, compared to 12.7 percent for the corresponding period last year. Chinese...

14.03.2023

Honeywell helps provide solutions for China’s Guangdong Petrochemical project

Honeywell announced on Wednesday that it has provided a series of products, process equipment and technical solutions for the aromatics complex in the refining and chemical project of China National Petroleum Corp's Guangdong branch.

The complex, successfully put into production in February, is the world's largest single-series aromatics complex licensed by...

Honeywell announced on Wednesday that it has provided a series of products, process equipment and technical solutions for the aromatics complex in the refining and chemical project of China National Petroleum Corp's Guangdong branch.

The complex, successfully put into production in February, is the world's largest single-series aromatics complex licensed by...

14.03.2023

China’s CNOOC delivers component modules for Canada LNG project

The China National Offshore Oil Cooperation (CNOOC) announced on Wednesday that the last two component modules among a total of 35 contracted modules for Canada LNG (liquified natural gas) project were delivered in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province.  According to a press release sent from the Offshore Oil Engineering Co...

The China National Offshore Oil Cooperation (CNOOC) announced on Wednesday that the last two component modules among a total of 35 contracted modules for Canada LNG (liquified natural gas) project were delivered in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province.  According to a press release sent from the Offshore Oil Engineering Co...

Markets

14.03.2023

Global stock markets draw strength from retreating greenback as US Fed remains wild card

The U.S. dollar slid from a 2-1/2-month high versus the Japanese yen on Friday, on track for its largest weekly loss since mid-January against a basket of six major currencies, as traders stepped back to gauge the path for Federal Reserve policy. Analysts said the market has for the...

The U.S. dollar slid from a 2-1/2-month high versus the Japanese yen on Friday, on track for its largest weekly loss since mid-January against a basket of six major currencies, as traders stepped back to gauge the path for Federal Reserve policy. Analysts said the market has for the...

14.03.2023

Brent crosses $85/b threshold, logs weekly gain

Oil prices recovered from a brief sell-off to gain by more $1 per barrel on Friday and ended the week higher, driven by renewed optimism around demand from top oil importer China.

Brent crude futures rose $1.08, or 1.3%, to settle at $85.83 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude...

Oil prices recovered from a brief sell-off to gain by more $1 per barrel on Friday and ended the week higher, driven by renewed optimism around demand from top oil importer China.

Brent crude futures rose $1.08, or 1.3%, to settle at $85.83 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude...

14.03.2023

Continuing LNG glut subdues natural gas benchmark

Europe's benchmark gas contract hit its lowest for 18 months as liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers continue to head to Europe while milder, windier weather is forecast for next week.

The front-month contract at the Dutch TTF hub a European benchmark, was down by 1.80 euro at 45.70 euro per megawatt...

Europe's benchmark gas contract hit its lowest for 18 months as liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers continue to head to Europe while milder, windier weather is forecast for next week.

The front-month contract at the Dutch TTF hub a European benchmark, was down by 1.80 euro at 45.70 euro per megawatt...

14.03.2023

LNG gets bearish with spring at the door

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices continued their downtrend this week, hitting the lowest level since July 2021, due to tepid demand which is expected to last until the end of March.

The average LNG price for April delivery into northeast Asia <LNG-AS> was $14.50 per million British thermal units...

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices continued their downtrend this week, hitting the lowest level since July 2021, due to tepid demand which is expected to last until the end of March.

The average LNG price for April delivery into northeast Asia <LNG-AS> was $14.50 per million British thermal units...

14.03.2023

Bulls switch from gringo dollar to bullion

Gold prices rose on Friday, on track for their first weekly gain in five, as the dollar eased, even though fears persisted that the U.S. Federal Reserve would keep raising interest rates to curb inflationary pressures.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,840.89 per ounce, as of 0119 GMT. U.S. gold...

Gold prices rose on Friday, on track for their first weekly gain in five, as the dollar eased, even though fears persisted that the U.S. Federal Reserve would keep raising interest rates to curb inflationary pressures.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,840.89 per ounce, as of 0119 GMT. U.S. gold...

14.03.2023

Ferrous ore, metals peak as demand rises

Dalian iron ore futures hit an eight-month high on Friday, driven by favourable fundamentals and optimism about future steel demand.

The most-traded May iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 1.04% higher at 919 yuan ($133.15) a tonne, a peak since July 2022.

On the Singapore...

Dalian iron ore futures hit an eight-month high on Friday, driven by favourable fundamentals and optimism about future steel demand.

The most-traded May iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) ended daytime trade 1.04% higher at 919 yuan ($133.15) a tonne, a peak since July 2022.

On the Singapore...

14.03.2023

Nickel flat, tin down as other base metals log weekly gains

Copper prices on Friday headed for their biggest weekly gain since early January as strong economic data in top consumer China raised demand hopes.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.7% at $9,020 a tonne at 1135 GMT and up around 3.5% for the week.

Prices hit a...

Copper prices on Friday headed for their biggest weekly gain since early January as strong economic data in top consumer China raised demand hopes.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.7% at $9,020 a tonne at 1135 GMT and up around 3.5% for the week.

Prices hit a...

14.03.2023

Bears return to US cereals contract markets

Chicago soybean futures struggled to find direction on Friday, but were poised for weekly losses, despite some support from concerns about supply from top producer Argentina amid dry weather conditions.

Wheat edged lower, while corn held steady. Both commodities were headed for weekly losses.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board...

Chicago soybean futures struggled to find direction on Friday, but were poised for weekly losses, despite some support from concerns about supply from top producer Argentina amid dry weather conditions.

Wheat edged lower, while corn held steady. Both commodities were headed for weekly losses.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board...

14.03.2023

Global stock markets take blow, greenback peaks on US Federal Reserve’s stance

The dollar scaled multi-month highs against most other major currencies on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that U.S. interest rates might need to go up even faster and higher than expected to rein in stubborn inflation.

Higher rates benefit the dollar by improving its yield and as traders...

The dollar scaled multi-month highs against most other major currencies on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that U.S. interest rates might need to go up even faster and higher than expected to rein in stubborn inflation.

Higher rates benefit the dollar by improving its yield and as traders...

14.03.2023

Brent holds steady within $80-85/b range

Oil prices steadied after earlier losses on Wednesday, driven by fears that more aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes would hit demand, while the market awaited further clarity on inventories.

Brent crude futures climbed 11 cents, or 0.1%, to $83.40 per barrel by 1103 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures...

Oil prices steadied after earlier losses on Wednesday, driven by fears that more aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes would hit demand, while the market awaited further clarity on inventories.

Brent crude futures climbed 11 cents, or 0.1%, to $83.40 per barrel by 1103 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures...

14.03.2023

Chilly air, hot strikes push natural gas benchmarks up

British and Dutch gas prices rose on Wednesday morning due to strikes in France and an ongoing cold snap in Britain and amid concerns of Russian escalation after new intelligence pointed to a pro-Ukraine group in the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline.

The British front-month contract rose by 1.15 pence...

British and Dutch gas prices rose on Wednesday morning due to strikes in France and an ongoing cold snap in Britain and amid concerns of Russian escalation after new intelligence pointed to a pro-Ukraine group in the attack on the Nord Stream pipeline.

The British front-month contract rose by 1.15 pence...

14.03.2023

Bullion plummets as greenback surges

Gold prices slipped to a one-week low on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates might need to go higher than previously expected to curb inflationary pressures.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,811.83 per ounce, as of 0128 GMT, after falling more than 1% on Tuesday....

Gold prices slipped to a one-week low on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said interest rates might need to go higher than previously expected to curb inflationary pressures.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,811.83 per ounce, as of 0128 GMT, after falling more than 1% on Tuesday....

14.03.2023

Iron ore logs gains,ferrous metals mixed

Dalian iron ore extended gains on Wednesday as market participants bet on the prospect of steel demand picking up since China has entered its peak construction season.

Singapore benchmark iron ore, however, felt slight downward pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates...

Dalian iron ore extended gains on Wednesday as market participants bet on the prospect of steel demand picking up since China has entered its peak construction season.

Singapore benchmark iron ore, however, felt slight downward pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated the U.S. central bank could raise interest rates...

14.03.2023

Copper, zinc appreciate as other base metals post setback

Aluminium prices slipped on Wednesday under pressure from a stronger dollar and completed production cuts in China's major producing provinces.

Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.6% at $2,335.0 a tonne in official rings.

The stronger dollar added to pressure on metals priced in the currency by making them more expensive for buyers holding...

Aluminium prices slipped on Wednesday under pressure from a stronger dollar and completed production cuts in China's major producing provinces.

Benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.6% at $2,335.0 a tonne in official rings.

The stronger dollar added to pressure on metals priced in the currency by making them more expensive for buyers holding...

14.03.2023

US wheat contract subdued by Black Sea truce

Chicago wheat futures slid on Wednesday, giving up much of the previous session’s gains and trading near a 17-month low reached earlier this week, on expectations for a Black Sea grain corridor deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Soybeans eased, while corn firmed.

“The wheat market is pricing in that the Black Sea...

Chicago wheat futures slid on Wednesday, giving up much of the previous session’s gains and trading near a 17-month low reached earlier this week, on expectations for a Black Sea grain corridor deal between Russia and Ukraine.

Soybeans eased, while corn firmed.

“The wheat market is pricing in that the Black Sea...