Issue 213 - 16.09.2021
17.09.2021

Experience guides course of Belt & Road

The Belt & Road Initiative has yielded substantive results since it was initiated eight years ago, and it is expected to inject impetus to promote the healthy development of globalisation, experts said.

In 2013, during his visits to Central and Southeast Asian countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the major initiatives of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

This launched a new journey in China’s high-level opening up to the world. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences released the Handbook for the Belt & Road 2020 in Beijing on September 7.

The event gathered Chinese and foreign experts alike for a discussion on how to promote the Belt & Road Initiative. Some thoughts of few experts is shared in this article;

Xie Fuzhan President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS):

Aimed at fostering the common development and prosperity of all countries, the Belt & Road Initiative has brought tangible benefits to countries and regions along its routes.

At a time when the world faces new problems and challenges brought about by COVID-19 and other unstable international situations, three aspects could be strengthened in order to achieve greater development of this initiative.

The first is to summarise the new experience gained from practice in order to build on the theoretical system of the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative has gradually transformed from concept to action, from vision to reality in eight years, and has achieved fruitful results.

By the end of 2020, Chinese enterprises had invested nearly $40 billion in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in countries along the routes, over $4.4 billion in taxes and fees were paid to host countries, and 330,000 local jobs were created.

Affected by COVID-19, global trade and investment shrank sharply in 2020, but projects under the Belt and Road Initiative still showed strong resilience and vitality. Thus, it provides a broad space for theoretical research and social scientists are able to research current practices in order to provide solid theoretical guidance for promoting its high-quality development.

This research should be focused on real world problem-solving. The process of theoretical innovation is the discovery of problems, screening problems, researching into problems, and problem-solving.

At present, the world’s unprecedented changes and the pandemic are intertwined, bringing more instability and uncertainty to the international situation. Governance deficit, trust deficit, development deficit and peace deficit are increasing.

There is a long way to go to achieve universal security and promote common development. The complex international environment poses major challenges to the Belt & Road Initiative, and many practical problems need to be solved. We are in urgent need of in-depth study in social sciences.

The Belt and Road projects cannot be separated from the understanding, recognition and support of the people in the countries and regions along the routes. The English version of The Handbook of the Belt & Road 2018 is a wonderful example of dialogue and cooperation between scholars in China and the West and at the heart of our mission to explain, and to connect people across countries and cultures.

Cai Fang Chief Expert of National High-End Think Tank at CASS:

Over the past eight years, the Belt & Road Initiative has increasingly become an open and inclusive platform for cooperation across national and regional boundaries, different stages of economic and social development, and diverse civilisations. It is now a global public good jointly participated by all parties interested.

No country or region can develop in a state of separation from one another, and thus all countries and regions are destined to be part of globalisation. At the same time, the healthy development of globalisation does not arise naturally, nor will it be a process free from constraints.

That’s why it needs to be repaired, improved and maintained. Pressure brought on by the pandemic has pushed some countries to attempt to decouple from global supply chains.

However, the disruption of supply chains during the pandemic, and the chaos and losses caused by the blockage of the Suez Canal in March after the grounding of a container ship, are proof that globalisation cannot be reversed and remains fragile. This demonstrates the fact that there are still huge gaps in the infrastructure that connects the world.

The initiative involves a large number of countries along the routes and third parties, along with large numbers of current and future construction. Therefore, there are difficulties caused by economic systems, policy concepts, cultural traditions and other factors that must be overcome.

Zhai Dongsheng Director General of China Center for Promoting Belt & Road Initiative under National Development & Reform Commission:

We need to develop some new areas, for example, we are now proposing the construction of the Green Silk Road, the Digital Silk Road and the Health Silk Road. People-to-people exchanges need to be strengthened and people’s livelihoods should also be improved, all of which require new measures.

All projects must follow market rules, commercial rules and international practices, to make sure the Belt & Road Initiative is truly market-oriented. Efforts should also be made to align Belt and Road standards with international rules, as well as to manage the coordination between the initiative and development strategies of critical partners along the routes.

We have to put a special emphasis on risk prevention. The government, enterprises and social organisations should shoulder different responsibilities. The government should increase its supervision and management. Enterprises need to strengthen self-discipline. For some major infrastructure construction projects, the feasibility study is important.

George N.Tzogopoulos EU-China Program Director at Centre International de Formation Européenne:

Cooperation can give some new hope to the global community. The first is the international cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic. What we need is to join forces, because it is influencing all countries and makes no distinction between them.

Another area where international cooperation is necessary is that of regional security. We saw a few weeks ago that the new situation in Afghanistan is causing anxiety and uncertainty about the future.

Countries need to work together not only to stabilise the situation in Afghanistan, but also to contribute to the prosperity of the people in the country. It is clear evidence that the Belt & Road Initiative can function as a source of growth in several countries. Why not in Afghanistan?

There should also be international cooperation on climate change. In 2021, summer was dramatic for several countries, including my country, Greece, which suffered from wildfires. No one would disagree that countries need to sit at the same table and join the same causes in order to work together for a better future for the next generations.

By G.P. Wilson on September 15 2021 for Belt & Road News.

China, Pacific

17.09.2021

China’s economic activity slows in August

China's economy kept its recovery momentum in August, but the COVID-19 flare-ups in multiple cities and the summer floods impeded economic activity, requiring the recovery basis to be consolidated, the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday. 

Retail sales, a key gauge of China's consumption, grew 2.5 percent in...

China's economy kept its recovery momentum in August, but the COVID-19 flare-ups in multiple cities and the summer floods impeded economic activity, requiring the recovery basis to be consolidated, the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday. 

Retail sales, a key gauge of China's consumption, grew 2.5 percent in...

17.09.2021

With 9.38 mln jobs created, China achieves 85.3 percent of annual employment goal

A total of 9.38 million urban jobs were created from January to August, achieving 85.3 percent of China's annual goal, official data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday. 

The urban unemployment rate in August remained unchanged at 5.1 percent, according to statistics.  The employment situation is remaining stable,...

A total of 9.38 million urban jobs were created from January to August, achieving 85.3 percent of China's annual goal, official data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday. 

The urban unemployment rate in August remained unchanged at 5.1 percent, according to statistics.  The employment situation is remaining stable,...

17.09.2021

China's retail sales growth in August slows down

The growth of China's retail sales, a key economic indicator, slowed down in August as the Delta variant outbreak and extreme weathers constrained consumption during the summer vacation, but favorable factors will still sustain stable consumption growth for the rest of the year. The country's retail sales stood at 3.44...

The growth of China's retail sales, a key economic indicator, slowed down in August as the Delta variant outbreak and extreme weathers constrained consumption during the summer vacation, but favorable factors will still sustain stable consumption growth for the rest of the year. The country's retail sales stood at 3.44...

17.09.2021

China’s CAAC to support airlines after double-digit decline in August

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will offer various supports for domestic airlines to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including lifting restrictions on cargo flights, following a double-digit decline in passenger and cargo volume in August, an official said on Tuesday.

During a press briefing, Wang Haibo, an...

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will offer various supports for domestic airlines to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including lifting restrictions on cargo flights, following a double-digit decline in passenger and cargo volume in August, an official said on Tuesday.

During a press briefing, Wang Haibo, an...

17.09.2021

China shows greater appeal to foreign investment than US

China has shown greater appeal to new foreign direct investment projects than the United States amid COVID-19, and the success mainly lies in the country's economic policy-making, a US risk manager and political economist has said.

In this vein, Robert Ginsburg, who currently manages the boutique law and consulting firm RBG...

China has shown greater appeal to new foreign direct investment projects than the United States amid COVID-19, and the success mainly lies in the country's economic policy-making, a US risk manager and political economist has said.

In this vein, Robert Ginsburg, who currently manages the boutique law and consulting firm RBG...

17.09.2021

China's power use up 3.6% in August

China's electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, expanded by 3.6 percent year on year in August, as the country's economy further recovers, official data showed.

Total power use came in at 760.7 billion kWh last month, the National Energy Administration said.

In August, power consumption by the primary and secondary...

China's electricity consumption, a key barometer of economic activity, expanded by 3.6 percent year on year in August, as the country's economy further recovers, official data showed.

Total power use came in at 760.7 billion kWh last month, the National Energy Administration said.

In August, power consumption by the primary and secondary...

17.09.2021

China stock markets hover as new data being digested

Chinese shares traded mixed on Wednesday as weak factory and retail growth data weighed on sentiment. Hong Kong stocks were dragged lower by tech and casino gaming stocks.

The CSI300 index fell 0.4% to 4,899.96 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% to 3,673.86.

The...

Chinese shares traded mixed on Wednesday as weak factory and retail growth data weighed on sentiment. Hong Kong stocks were dragged lower by tech and casino gaming stocks.

The CSI300 index fell 0.4% to 4,899.96 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% to 3,673.86.

The...

17.09.2021

China’s credit growth eases in August

In August, Chinese banks distributed CNY 1.2 trillion (roughly USD 190 billion) in new yuan loans, up from July’s 1.1 trillion figure. Annual growth in M2 money supply dipped from 8.3% in July to 8.2% in August, while annual growth in the stock of total social financing (TSF)—a broader measure...

In August, Chinese banks distributed CNY 1.2 trillion (roughly USD 190 billion) in new yuan loans, up from July’s 1.1 trillion figure. Annual growth in M2 money supply dipped from 8.3% in July to 8.2% in August, while annual growth in the stock of total social financing (TSF)—a broader measure...

17.09.2021

Heilongjiang pilot free trade zone booms as China-Russia trade surges

China’s northernmost Free Trade Zone, the Heilongjiang pilot free trade zone, celebrates its second anniversary this week and has been enjoying a boom while other areas have seen trade suppressed due to COVID outbreaks.

The FTZ has three separate areas, each operating the same regulations and under the same management: one FTZ...

China’s northernmost Free Trade Zone, the Heilongjiang pilot free trade zone, celebrates its second anniversary this week and has been enjoying a boom while other areas have seen trade suppressed due to COVID outbreaks.

The FTZ has three separate areas, each operating the same regulations and under the same management: one FTZ...

17.09.2021

Chinese soft power in Kyrgyzstan grows through culture and language

Long isolated culturally and linguistically from each other, Kyrgyzstan and China are now increasing their economic integration as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The economic presence of Chinese investors has triggered Sinophobic attitudes among the people of Kyrgyzstan. In recent years, however, the teaching of Mandarin and the...

Long isolated culturally and linguistically from each other, Kyrgyzstan and China are now increasing their economic integration as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The economic presence of Chinese investors has triggered Sinophobic attitudes among the people of Kyrgyzstan. In recent years, however, the teaching of Mandarin and the greater opportunities to...

Eurasia

17.09.2021

China-Russia trade hemisphere comprises BRICS, RCEP and Belt & Road Initiative

The Russian Trade Representative to China, Alexey Dakhnovsky, has stated that Chinese investment in Russia exceeded US$12 billion in 2020, speaking at the Russian Chinese investment cooperation forum, which is part of the 21st China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen.

He also stated that “Russia and China...

The Russian Trade Representative to China, Alexey Dakhnovsky, has stated that Chinese investment in Russia exceeded US$12 billion in 2020, speaking at the Russian Chinese investment cooperation forum, which is part of the 21st China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen.

He also stated that “Russia and China...

Europe

17.09.2021

EU to suspend planned tariffs on Chinese aluminum

The European Union is set to impose duties on aluminium from China in October, only to suspend them for nine months, the EU industry association said on Wednesday, adding that this would threaten jobs and send the wrong signal to Beijing.

The European Union is set to impose duties on aluminium from China in October, only to suspend them for nine months, the EU industry association said on Wednesday, adding that this would threaten jobs and send the wrong signal to Beijing.

The European Commission launched an investigation into aluminium flat-rolled products, which are used in a variety...

17.09.2021

Sanofi's novel drug for teen skin disease admitted in China

An innovative targeted biological agent developed by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi was recently approved by the National Medical Products Administration to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in teenagers aged 12 and above.

The company said on World AD Day on Tuesday that the drug, which was approved in China on...

An innovative targeted biological agent developed by French pharmaceutical company Sanofi was recently approved by the National Medical Products Administration to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in teenagers aged 12 and above.

The company said on World AD Day on Tuesday that the drug, which was approved in China on...

South Asia, Middle East

17.09.2021

China-ASEAN Expo concludes with record-smashing deal value

The annual China-ASEAN Expo, a vital platform for cementing China's trade ties with its largest trading partner, set a new record as measured by the total value of signed deals, the event organizer announced at the expo's conclusion on Monday.

Such an achievement attests to the prevalence of bilateral trade dependence...

The annual China-ASEAN Expo, a vital platform for cementing China's trade ties with its largest trading partner, set a new record as measured by the total value of signed deals, the event organizer announced at the expo's conclusion on Monday.

Such an achievement attests to the prevalence of bilateral trade dependence...

17.09.2021

China, Singapore to focus on cooperation in anti-epidemic, B&R, regional integration

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Singapore Tuesday that China and Singapore have agreed to focus on coordination and cooperation in five fields, including anti-epidemic efforts, the Belt and Road construction and regional economic integration.  At a joint press conference with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian...

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Singapore Tuesday that China and Singapore have agreed to focus on coordination and cooperation in five fields, including anti-epidemic efforts, the Belt and Road construction and regional economic integration.  At a joint press conference with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian...

17.09.2021

China gifts new $150 million national stadium to Cambodia

China handed over to Cambodia a $150 million stadium in Phnom Penh, with officials saying Sunday it is the result of Beijing's biggest ever infrastructure grant to the country.

The 60,000-capacity venue is the latest project under China's trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative, a plan to fund infrastructure projects and increase...

China handed over to Cambodia a $150 million stadium in Phnom Penh, with officials saying Sunday it is the result of Beijing's biggest ever infrastructure grant to the country.

The 60,000-capacity venue is the latest project under China's trillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative, a plan to fund infrastructure projects and increase...

17.09.2021

Pakistan-China business activities to be backed up by new legal service platform

Recently, the "Belt and Road" legal and commercial innovation service platform was launched at the Forum on the Law Empowerment of BRI and “Two Zones” (Beijing as a national comprehensive demonstration zone and a Pilot Free Trade Zone). 

“While Pakistan and China has been always coordinating closely, this platform will further...

Recently, the "Belt and Road" legal and commercial innovation service platform was launched at the Forum on the Law Empowerment of BRI and “Two Zones” (Beijing as a national comprehensive demonstration zone and a Pilot Free Trade Zone). 

“While Pakistan and China has been always coordinating closely, this platform will further...

Africa, Americas

17.09.2021

Coup in Guinea drives China’s multi-billion-dollar trade and investment scheme to more complexity

The coup in Guinea that by overthrowing President Alpha Conde in the previous week, the recent military takeovers in Chad and Mali, as well as an attempted coup in Niger, is adding fuel to complicate China's inroads into the semi-arid Sahel region and parts of West and Central Africa.

The larger...

The coup in Guinea that by overthrowing President Alpha Conde in the previous week, the recent military takeovers in Chad and Mali, as well as an attempted coup in Niger, is adding fuel to complicate China's inroads into the semi-arid Sahel region and parts of West and Central Africa.

The larger...

17.09.2021

Africa’s newest president looks at China for copper powerhouse

Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, Zambia, is buckling under billions of dollars in debt, and its new President has a plan to get out from underneath it: stop borrowing so much, and mine harder.

Hakainde Hichilema was elected last month, a triumph that followed five failed attempts at the presidency, and a...

Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, Zambia, is buckling under billions of dollars in debt, and its new President has a plan to get out from underneath it: stop borrowing so much, and mine harder.

Hakainde Hichilema was elected last month, a triumph that followed five failed attempts at the presidency, and a...

17.09.2021

Faster trade from inland China to Africa via Port of Guangzhou facilitated

The port of Guangzhou, the world's fifth-largest port, has opened a trade route carrying food from Central China to Africa, utilizing the multi-mode transportation of rail and sea freight, the port's operator said on Wednesday.

A train carrying the first batch of rice, part of Chinese aid to South Sudan and...

The port of Guangzhou, the world's fifth-largest port, has opened a trade route carrying food from Central China to Africa, utilizing the multi-mode transportation of rail and sea freight, the port's operator said on Wednesday.

A train carrying the first batch of rice, part of Chinese aid to South Sudan and...

17.09.2021

Breakthrough in China-Latin American trade to boost post-COVID economic recovery

Uruguay's government is reportedly pushing ahead with free trade talks with China, hoping to become a gateway for the regional Mercosur bloc in negotiations with the world's second largest economy.

Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou has long pushed for an agreement with China to boost exports of key products such as...

Uruguay's government is reportedly pushing ahead with free trade talks with China, hoping to become a gateway for the regional Mercosur bloc in negotiations with the world's second largest economy.

Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou has long pushed for an agreement with China to boost exports of key products such as...

17.09.2021

Chinese pharma company announces partnership with Canadian biotech firm

Chinese biopharmaceutical company Everest Medicines Ltd announced on Monday a strategic partnership with Canadian biotechnology company Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc in an effort to develop mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Under the partnership, Everest is licensed rights to Providence's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates in Asian emerging markets, including China, Southeast Asia and Pakistan....

Chinese biopharmaceutical company Everest Medicines Ltd announced on Monday a strategic partnership with Canadian biotechnology company Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc in an effort to develop mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Under the partnership, Everest is licensed rights to Providence's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates in Asian emerging markets, including China, Southeast Asia and Pakistan....

Markets

17.09.2021

Greenback resumes downward spiral on vague economic outlook

The dollar weakenedagainst major currencies on Wednesday after softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data released on Tuesday eased short-term expectations about tapering of asset purchases from the Federal Reserve.

The dollar index last stood at 92.441, down about 0.3% on the day from Tuesday, when it dropped following the inflation data but then...

The dollar weakenedagainst major currencies on Wednesday after softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data released on Tuesday eased short-term expectations about tapering of asset purchases from the Federal Reserve.

The dollar index last stood at 92.441, down about 0.3% on the day from Tuesday, when it dropped following the inflation data but then...

17.09.2021

Oil and gas multinationals pull stock markets up

European stocks fell on Wednesday as investors sifted through disappointing Chinese data and amid surging energy prices. According to Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, the former triggered concerns that the Chinese economy was in "much worse shape than originally believed". Regarding the latter, he said that "with energy...

European stocks fell on Wednesday as investors sifted through disappointing Chinese data and amid surging energy prices. According to Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, the former triggered concerns that the Chinese economy was in "much worse shape than originally believed". Regarding the latter, he said that "with energy...

17.09.2021

Brent price capped after briefly topping $76/b

Oil prices rose over $2 a barrel on Wednesday after government data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, and on expectations demand will rise as vaccination roll-outs widen.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell last week to the lowest since September 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, extending...

Oil prices rose over $2 a barrel on Wednesday after government data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, and on expectations demand will rise as vaccination roll-outs widen.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell last week to the lowest since September 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, extending their drawdown after...

17.09.2021

EU, UK natural gas prices appreciate on supply woes

British and European gas prices soared on Wednesday morning on continued fears over low inventories, a lack of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargos and as a fire at a UK-France power link cut electricity imports to Britain.

The British within-day gas contract was up 15.00 pence at 182.00 p/therm by 0942...

British and European gas prices soared on Wednesday morning on continued fears over low inventories, a lack of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargos and as a fire at a UK-France power link cut electricity imports to Britain.

The British within-day gas contract was up 15.00 pence at 182.00 p/therm by 0942...

17.09.2021

Bullion retains $1,800/oz level on swaggering monetary policies

Gold prices on Wednesday consolidated in a tight range near the key $1,800 level as softer U.S. inflation data fed uncertainty about the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,801.97 per ounce by 1133 GMT, just below a one week peak of $1,808.50 hit on Tuesday, in...

Gold prices on Wednesday consolidated in a tight range near the key $1,800 level as softer U.S. inflation data fed uncertainty about the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,801.97 per ounce by 1133 GMT, just below a one week peak of $1,808.50 hit on Tuesday, in...

17.09.2021

Copper prices surge as other base metals’ performances vary

Copper firmed on Wednesday as the dollar dipped on lower-than-expected U.S. inflation figures which softened expectations for stimulus to be tapered soon, while a string of weak data from top metals consumer China capped gains.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose for the first time this week, climbing...

Copper firmed on Wednesday as the dollar dipped on lower-than-expected U.S. inflation figures which softened expectations for stimulus to be tapered soon, while a string of weak data from top metals consumer China capped gains.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose for the first time this week, climbing...

17.09.2021

US wheat benchmark contract rallies as supply concerns return

Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday, hitting a new near one-week high on global supply concerns fuelled by a sharp downward revision of Canadian crop estimates at a time of strong global demand. Corn rose for a second session, while soybeans bounced back.

"Wheat futures are down but tightness in...

Chicago wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday, hitting a new near one-week high on global supply concerns fuelled by a sharp downward revision of Canadian crop estimates at a time of strong global demand. Corn rose for a second session, while soybeans bounced back.

"Wheat futures are down but tightness in...