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The Daily Brief for Friday, 16 June 2017

Indian Ocean tensions: A potential Cold War in the Indian Ocean could pit an informal alliance of the US, India, Australia and Japan against a China that, for the first time in modern history, is making inroads into the region. Bertil Lintner writes that more than 60% of the world’s oil shipments pass through the ocean as does 70% of all container traffic and while tensions are not yet as high as in the hotly contested South China Sea, potential for conflict is unmistakably rising.

Singapore-First family feud: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s younger siblings claim Singapore’s premier has failed to execute their late father Lee Kuan Yew’s last wishes. Kirsten Han writes that the row has now gone way beyond a family squabble over the management of their late father’s house and is now about abuse of power.

China bonds plummet: There was comforting data in the People’s Bank of China May monetary statement but there was also a massive plunge in the growth of broad money supply, reports Steve Wang and Liu Hsiu Wen.
The shockingly cruel numbers, that saw the fledgling corporate bond market’s biggest outright contraction in history, mean a quarter trillion yuan (US$36.7 billion) of liquidity will have been sucked out of the economy within a month.

America’s lawyers’ war: The US is in the middle of a “cold civil war” but its fighters are not gunmen but lawyers, argues David P. Goldman. A considerable portion of America’s permanent bureaucracy, including elements of its intelligence community, says Goldman, is engaged in an illegal and unconstitutional litigation-led mutiny against the elected commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump.

Tamil bribe shock: Tamils in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere have been left aghast by an explosive bribery scandal rocking Tamil Nadu politics, reports E Jaya Kumar. A sting by a newspaper and TV channel indicates that huge bribes have been paid to fix elections and voters are now wondering whether the incumbent government still has any legitimacy.

Posted inChengduChinaShanghai

China Digest for Friday, 16 June 2017

Xiongan geographical, green database to be set up

Hebei province will set up a cloud-based geographic information system and a mechanism to protect the environment in the Xiongan New Area, the Paper reported on Thursday evening. The Hebei and National Administrations of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation will collect the information.

Coverage of narrow band internet of things to expand

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will speed up expanded coverage of the narrow band internet of things (NB-IoT) to major cities with 1.5 million base stations, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. NB-IoT is a type of wireless wide area network designed to allow long-range communications at a low bit rate among connected objects.

Growth rate in Shanghai personal home loans dip in May

Growth rate of personal home loan approvals fell 3.6% in May in Shanghai, the sixth consecutive month of decline, but lending to developers rose, the People’s Bank of China said in a Caixin report.

Chengdu banks raise mortgage interest rates

Several banks in Chengdu have raised the interest rates on first home loans to 20%, as the property market remained hot, Sina Finance reported.

Simpler taxation licensing takes effect in July

Simpler procedures on taxation licensing will take effect on July 1 to reduce the overlap in paperwork, the State Administration of Taxation said in the Economic Information Daily on Thursday evening.

Original web-only series to top TV dramas

The number of original web-only series is expected to exceed conventional television dramas in the country this year, Yicai reported. Traffic on drama series made for and aired only on the internet tripled from 12.3 billion in 2014 to 89.2 billion in 2016, while production costs had also soared 230%, it added.

Capacity cuts in crude steel, coal to reach target this year

The country has reduced production capacity in crude steel by 42.39 million tons and coal by 97 million tons as of May 31, accounting for 84.8% and 65% of the annual target, respectively, the Securities Daily reported, quoting National Development and Reform Commission spokesman Meng Wei.