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The Daily Brief for Wednesday, 7 June 2017

China’s Forex mountain: Beijing’s foreign reserves rose at the fastest pace in four months to US$3.054 trillion as of May 31. Steve Wang and Poo Yee Kai report that the world’s largest stockpile of foreign reserves continues to grown as China again announces it will not be loosening its tight control on offshore capital flow.

Manila’s international war: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s security forces are struggling to contain an on-going Islamic State-linked attack on Mindanao that has dangerous new international dimensions, writes David Hutt. Reports from the front-lines indicate foreigners from countries as far-flung as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, India, Malaysia and Indonesia are fighting alongside the local IS-linked Maute Group.

Washington and OBOR? US participation in China’s One Belt, One Road plan and reciprocity on bilateral trade issues has just been made more likely, writes Doug Tsuruoka. The emergence of Matthew Pottinger and Terry Branstad as key players in formulating Donald Trump’s policy toward Beijing will have a major impact on diplomatic and business relations.

Asian stocks performing: Emerging Asia has disappointed equity investors during the past seven years but there are now good reasons to expect Asian stocks to outperform the S&P in the next couple of years. David P. Goldman writes that emerging Asia now sits at the centre of a revival of world trade and this, combined with a changed, more positive, perception of Chinese economic management and the regional impact of Beijing’s $1 trillion infrastructure Silk Road spending plan, are all positives for Asian stocks.

Short film award: A creative four-minute movie about a woman escaping from the drudgery of her office to explore Hong Kong’s natural beauty, made by Francis So Ka-chun, has won a string of awards. Asia Times writes that the film, ESCAPE, had already won awards at the ARFF Amsterdam International Film Festival, the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival, and the European Cinematography AWARDS (ECA) and just added the 6th Finisterra Arrbida Film Art Tourism Festival in Portugal to the list.

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Posted inBeijingChinaGermanyHong KongShanghaiWorld

China Digest for Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Yuan swap deals stuck with 21 Belt and Road countries: PBOC

The People’s Bank of China Deputy Director Yin Yong said 21 countries along the Belt and Road Initiative has signed deals to implement currency swaps with China at an estimated value of 982.2 billion yuan (US$144.51 billion dollars) in a Caixin report on Tuesday night. Belt and Road countries were positive over the launch of business such as promoting offshore yuan financial centres, Yin added.

Chinese firms’ investments overseas soar 148% in 2016

Chinese companies invested US$215.8 billion overseas in 2016, a 148% increase from a year earlier, National Business Daily said on Tuesday, citing a joint Hurun Research and DealGlobe report. The US was the most attractive investment destination, followed by Hong Kong and Germany.

12 departments to regulate rare earths mining

A new joint supervisory team comprising 12 ministries and government agencies would punish mining companies for illegal production of rare earths, China News reported. They include the National Development and Reform Commission and the ministries of Industry and Information Technology as well as Land and Resources.

LeEco firms face five lawsuits for failing to pay US$8.83 million

An advertising agency’s parent company filed five lawsuits against subsidiaries of founder Jia Yueting’s Chinese conglomerate LeEco for failing to pay more than 60 million yuan in fees, Caixin reported. The LeEco subsidiaries named in the suits include LeSport, video website Le.com and an e-commerce affiliate.

Transactions on new homes in Beijing shrink

Some 2,912 contracts for new homes in the capital were signed in May, a 38% decrease from a year earlier, marking the fourth month this year of transactions falling below 3,000, the Beijing Daily reported. Around 90% of the purchases were homes outside the fifth ring road in the city.

Half of the world’s green cars made in China

Production of electric vehicles in the country exceeded 500,000 by the end of last year, with more than 1 million units, which accounts for 50% of the world’s inventory, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Technology.

Air quality in 254 cities fail to meet national standards in 2016

A Ministry of Environmental Protection report showed 254 out of 338 cities at prefecture level and above failed to meet new air quality standards set in January last year, China News reported.

First O2O charity shop opens in Shanghai

The first O2O charity shop opened in Jing’an district in Shanghai, offering donated goods at 50% to 70% of the normal retail price, the Paper reported. Jing’an district will try to expand the business to other communities.

Hubei to clamp down on high prices in airports, railway stations

Authorities will fine shops in closed areas of Hubei, such as airports and railway stations, 50,000 yuan if they sold goods at excessively high prices, Xinhua reported, which was part of new rules to prevent price gouging.

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