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The Daily Brief for Monday, 26 June 2017

US-India summit talks: Donald Trump and Narendra Modi will hold their first face-to-face meeting in Washington on Monday, with both seeking to boost bilateral relations despite differences over trade, the Paris climate accord and immigration. Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom report that while progress is expected around defense, the solving of other frictions will largely depend on the personal chemistry between these notoriously outspoken presidents.

Russia courts yuan: Russia has been burdened recently by US and EU sanctions and increasingly has expressed interest in further financial cooperation with China. Zi Yang writes that Beijing’s top financiers have also been reaching out to their Moscow counterparts at recent international meetings but the Russian banking system remains fragile, meaning there is still considerable risk in such collaborations.

Manila’s false economy: Overseas workers remitted something like US$30 billion back to the Philippines last year and this helped stabilize the national economy. Yet, argues William Pesek, instead of replying on people as the nation’s main product, President Duterte should make good on the infrastructure boom he promised, to generate domestic employment, competitiveness and investment.

Russia-casino license voided: Primorsky Krai authorities in Far East Russia have voided an agreement with local operator Royal Time Primorye after it failed to follow through on an investment to build a casino resort. Asia Times reports that the new resort, valued at US$215 million and including a casino, hotels, an aqua park, a mall and a concert arena, is now likely to be built by a Hong Kong or Macau operator.

Japan’s military dependence: Japan’s establishment was both astonished at Donald Trump election and also terrified that he’d live up to campaign promises about tackling supposed unfair Japanese trade practices and Tokyo paying more for US forces based in Japan. Grant Newsham writes that Shinzo Abe has managed to momentarily appease Trump, with flattery and a gift of golf clubs, but to really level the relationship, Japan will have to redress the defense balance after decades of excessive dependence on the United States.

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Posted inBeijingChinaGuangzhouShanghaiWorld

China Digest for Monday, 26 June 2017

Iron, steel SOEs breach production rules

Non-ferrous metal, iron and steel state-owned enterprises violated regulations on expanding production, Yicai reported. The National Audit Office inspected 2015 annual financial revenues and found these SOEs performed weak risk management on investment decisions.

Over 400,000 affordable homes left vacant

A total of 401,100 affordable homes had been left vacant for more than a year in 31 provinces, with 128,700 of them not used due to delays in supporting infrastructure such as access roads, Yicai reported, citing a 2016 audit report of 2016 development projects. Around 272,400 were vacant because of remote location and improper design.

Wealth management market to break US$32 trillion mark by 2020

Industry experts at a global private equity summit at West Lake in Hangzhou say the wealth management industry is set to go past the 220 trillion yuan mark (US$32.17 trillion) by 2020, the Economic Information Daily said on Sunday.

Inactive accounts at China Merchants Bank will be closed

China Merchants Bank will close personal accounts on July 15 that have had no transactions for more than six months, Xinhua reported. The People’s Bank of China issued a notice in September 2016 to limit individuals to one type of account in each bank and suspend counter services for accounts that had been inactive for more than six months.

Guangzhou’s first 5G base station up and running

The first 5G base station was launched on June 24 in Guangzhou ahead of the Mobile World Congress Shanghai from June 28 to July 1, the Shanghai Securities Daily reported. 5G is a fifth-generation mobile network, allowing a higher density of broadband users, and supports device-to-device and massive machine communications.

Improved high-speed trains launched

Two Fuxing Hao Express trains were launched on June 26 that will offer improved high-speed rail services between Beijing and Shanghai, providing commuters smartphone charging services and wifi, the Paper reported. National operator China Railway Corporation owns the intellectual property rights on various technologies developed for the train, whose name is translated as the Rejuvenation Express, which took five years to build.

Bilibili to require real-name registration for video sharing

The Bilibili video-sharing website themed on anime, manga and fandom videos will require users who upload their own content to register their real names from July 5, the Paper said. Fandom videos form a huge part of the website and the move is to comply with new rules as authorities crackdown on the online video services industry, the report added.

Property price curbs in Luoyang city

Luoyang city authorities in Henan province told 93 developers that their new home prices cannot exceed the market average before May 9 this year, the Paper reported on Sunday. New home prices are expected to follow those in surrounding areas, it added.

Beijing’s 27,754 quota on electric cars filled in 2017

The 27,754 quota on electric cars for private use in Beijing had been filled and nearly 30,000 people had already registered for next year’s quota, reflecting high demand for green vehicles, Xinhua reported on Sunday.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.