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The Daily Brief for Thursday, 8 June 2017

Pyongyang, more missiles: North Korea fired several land-to-ship missiles off its east coast on Thursday, less than a week after the UN Security Council stepped up sanctions on the reclusive state for its nuclear and missile programs. Asia Times reports that this is the fourth missile test by North Korea since President Moon Jae-in took office on May 10 pledging to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang.

China import rise: A robust rebound in the import levels of a broad range of non-resources during May pushed China’s foreign trade growth far beyond expectations, in a sign that the world’s largest emerging economy is trying hard to avoid slipping into the doldrums. Steve Wang and Lin Wanxia report that the turnaround is also a demonstration of China’s shift from heavy industry toward higher value-added and innovation-driven producers.

Japan-Lloyd Wright’s birthday: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright created a thousand designs that transformed America’s architectural identity and today marks the 150th anniversary of his birth. Karen Severns writes that Wright had an extended stay in Tokyo where he designed a clutch of buildings that both transformed Japan’s cities and the Japanese architects that worked on the projects.

India’s nuclear roadblock: Since 2016, India has been making efforts to attain membership of the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group. Sabena Siddiqui writes that the group is a nuclear technology control organization created to prevent misuse or proliferation of nuclear technology and China, along with other nations, have disapproved of India’s entry as they say it could lead to a nuclear arms race.

Vietnam knows nose-to-tail: Le Petit Saigon, a new Hong Kong restaurant, is proof positive that Vietnamese cooks have been using the whole of the pig from long before anyone knew the phrase ‘nose-to-tail’. Mischa Moselle writes that the restaurant’s banh mi thit – Vietnam’s iconic baguette-style roll – comes packed with five different preparations of pork, a healthy dose of chicken liver pate, sweet Vietnamese chillies, spring onions, fish sauce, pickled carrot with daikon and fresh cucumber and coriander and it is a mouthful of wonder.

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China Digest for Thursday, 8 June 2017

Central bank unit, HK to set up joint venture on bond connect

The China Foreign Exchange Trading System (CFETS) would hold a 60% stake in a joint venture firm to be set up with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the Paper reported. The firm would allow foreign investors to buy bonds on the mainland via the international trading system. The CFETS is the interbank and foreign exchange division of the People’s Bank of China.

Net financing volume of interbank deposits slump

Net financing volume of interbank deposits among commercial banks slumped to minus-330.4 billion yuan (US$48.6 billion) in May, the lowest since December 2013, reported Yicai. Net financing volume of interbank deposits at all banks stood at 425.5 billion yuan in March and declined to 115.7 billion yuan in April after the China Banking Regulatory Commission issued deleveraging plans.

Wang Jianlin’s giant buys Yunnan land to build ‘Wanda City’

Wanda Group bought 926,600 square meters of commercial and residential land across 24 sites in Xishan district, Kunming city, with the smallest parcel costing 7.477 billion yuan, Caixin reported on Wednesday night. Founder Wang Jianlin plans to invest 30 billion yuan to build Wanda City, including cinemas, water parks, shopping centers, hotels and tourist hubs.

Fosun’s medical equipment unit to list in Hong Kong

Shanghai Fosun’s non-wholly owned subsidiary Sisram Medical, plans to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange, Caixin reported. An investor said the listing in Hong Kong instead of in the US may signal Fosun’s intention to integrate its medical equipment business with the Israeli firm.

Steam coal price declines for 10 straight trading periods

The Economic Information Daily reported that as of June 6 the steam coal price declined to 562 yuan (US$82.7) per ton. Steam coal prices have declined for 10 consecutive trading periods.

US$41.65 billion in administrative charges on firms axed

Companies in the construction, energy, banking and insurance industry are expected to enjoy further reductions on 283 billion yuan worth of administrative charges, as the State Council rolled out new fee reduction measures, Shanghai Securities Journal said. Earlier this year, 718 billion yuan in taxes and fees were cut.

New income tax break for small businesses

The taxable income of small businesses has risen from 300,000 yuan to 500,000 yuan, the Finance Ministry said on its website on Wednesday. For small businesses whose taxable income is lower than 500,000 yuan, only half of its income will be taxed and the rate capped at 20%. The new policy takes immediate effect and expires at the end of 2019.

Newcomer joins Xi’s cyber security cabinet

China Telecom President Yang Xiaowei has been appointed deputy director of the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Informatization, the policy-making body set up under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to tackle cyber issues, Sina Finance reported.

Consultation paper on self-driving cars out soon

Authorities propose 95 standards on products, technology application and general rules for self-driving vehicles in a public consultation paper to be released soon, the Paper reported. The aim is to establish standards to support development of self-driving vehicles before 2025.