Posted inAT FinanceBeijingChinaEuropean UnionIndiaMiddle EastNorth KoreaNortheast AsiaRussiaSouth AsiaSyriaVietnamWorld

The Daily Brief for Friday, 7 July 2017

Syria’s new front? A commander of US-backed Kurdish forces currently engaged in the final battle for al-Raqqa believes that the fall of ISIS might be delayed because of a looming confrontation between his troops and invading Turkish forces. Sami Moubayed writes that the last thing Syria needs is another frontline but the Kurds, who claim they are being ‘sacrificed by the Kremlin’ as part of a geopolitical Russian-Turkish pact, say if forced, they will fight.

Washington sanctioning Beijing? Yet another North Korean missile launch and a growing realization that China is not going to help with North Korea pushed the Trump Administration to impose sanctions against a Chinese bank, two individuals, and a shipping firm for facilitating illegal transactions with the rogue state. Grant Newsham writes that if the Trump administration is prepared to play really rough with China over North Korea, sanctions have to be broadly applied and punitive.

China-Russia media alliance: On the sidelines of the July 4 summit between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, a less publicized event was held that could have long-lasting implications, reports Zi Yang. Besides inking long-term partnership agreements,
the 120 representatives from 75 media outlets recognized the media’s role in facilitating better friendship between the Chinese and Russian people, as well as with re-balancing Western-led global opinion.

Sikkim border tensions: Many believe the on-going border standoff at Sikkim could be resolved if Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to have a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. E Jaya Kumar writes that China said the atmosphere is not conducive for such talks with India also confirming it has not sought a bilateral meeting and the two countries terse approach reflects the current mood between Beijing and New Delhi.

Hanoi’s rights crackdown: A growing crackdown on dissent in Vietnam comes as the country reaches towards the US and the European Union for new trade deals to lessen its rising economic reliance on China. Helen Clark reports that the international community hoped the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership would provide a framework to push Vietnam towards progress on human rights and government transparency but this disappeared when Donald Trump’s administration withdrew from the multilateral trade pact.

Posted inChinaFranceShanghaiWorld

China Digest for Friday, 7 July 2017

Jia Yueting quits as chairman of LeEco’s listed unit

The founder of media conglomerate LeEco, Jia Yueting, has resigned as chairman of LeShi Internet Information and Technology, the company said in an exchange filing. Jia will not have any role with LeShi and it’s believed Sun Hongbin of Sunac China was nominated as a non-independent director, the Paper reported. Jia still remains as main controlling shareholder of LeShi, although his assets have been frozen by a court ruling.

PBOC targets market-oriented reforms in 2017

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it would emphasize market-oriented reforms this year, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing the Financial Market Development Report 2016. The country will improve market-oriented interest rate reform, exchange rate formation mechanisms for rmb, will standardize regulation and set up free trade pilot zones.

State Council sets stop trade deadline on gold exchange violations

The State Council group on the rectification of internet financial risks announced it will stop trading in any gold exchange products that are deemed to violate existing regulations and set a strict deadline of July 15 for compliance, Caixin reported. Some peer to peer financing products allegedly violated the private equity of up to 200 people, the report said.

China’s trust industry embroiled in costly complaints

The Securities Times reported on Friday that 32 companies in China’s trust industry were involved in 167 complaints last year. Out of the 32 companies, there were 25 companies involved that had close to 22.8 billion yuan (US$3.35 billion) of funds mired in the complaints filed, the report said. Minmetals International Trust tops the list with 31 complaints with Everbright Xinglong Trust is next with 15 complaints.

Per capita floorage exceeds 40 square meters in 2016

The country’s per capita floorage, an indicator of social progress, stood at 40.8 square meters nationwide in 2016, while the figure was 36.6 square meters in urban districts and 45.8 in that of rural areas, the Economic Information Daily reported. Average annual growth rate of per capita floorage was 2.7% and 5.4% in urban and rural areas respectively compared to 2012.

Natural gas to hit 10% of primary consumption by 2020: NDRC

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it believes natural gas will reach 10% of primary energy consumption by 2020, and 15% in 2030, in a joint statement with 13 other government agencies, Caixin reported. This marks an increased focus on natural gas, which now accounts for 6.2% of China’s primary energy consumption.

State Council eyes PPP breakthrough in 2017

Premier Li Keqiang announced in a State Council meeting on Wednesday that it plans to set up more highly qualified public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the following six months to boost investment and financing reform, Sina Finance reported. It’s hoped the actions will attract active social capital to participate in PPP projects.

CFDs in place at Hinkley Point nuclear plant: China General Nuclear Group

The secondary investor behind UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, China General Nuclear Power Group, said a “contract for difference” remains in place to protect investors’ initial investment, a day after it responded to rising cost estimates of the project, the Paper reported. France’s EDF, the main backer, had estimated the cost of the plant to increase by 1.5 billion pounds (US$1.95 billion), to which China General said initial estimates were still “too early” and the company remains committed to the project.

Finance ministry cites risks of poverty alleviation schemes

The finance ministry and the agriculture ministry said that government agencies must be “wary” of the risks involved in poverty alleviation finance schemes, the Shanghai Securities Journal reported. Agencies were advised to adequately study the “intricacies” before investing in different schemes and also warned against high risk schemes. The government has stepped up efforts to alleviate poverty with an 80 billion yuan (US$11.76 billion) budget.