Posted inAT FinanceChinaIndiaIndonesiaMiddle EastPakistanRussiaSouth AsiaSyriaWorld

The Daily Brief for Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Syria-Trump is right: The ceasefire in three Syrian provinces announced after Friday’s Trump-Putin meeting in Hamburg is the first correct step that the United States has taken in the Middle East in more than 20 years, argues David P. Goldman. The Syrian deal should be understood in the context of Donald Trump’s earlier address in Warsaw, says Goldman, when the US President challenged Russia to “join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself.”

Pakistan’s unjust taxes: The poorest of the poor pay 80% of taxes collected in Pakistan while the rich, whose total contribution to overall tax revenue does not exceed 5%, enjoy special rights or privileges and a concessionary regime under the country’s unethical tax structure.
F.M. Shakil reports that the poor pay huge indirect taxes on utilities, petrol, and mobile communication and Pakistan’s premier tax collection machinery, the Federal Board of Revenue, has failed miserably to widen the country’s tax net.

Trump in Bali? Indonesian billionaire Hary Tanoesoedibjo’s managerial partner is US President Donald Trump and the pair are associated with a bid to redevelop a picturesque Balinese golf course into a six-star resort, reports John McBeth. The resort site overlooks the iconic island Hindu temple of Tanah Lot which could make the development a very sensitive one as Bali has, to date, managed to retain its strong cultural and religious identity despite the presence of millions of tourists.

India-Amarnath terror attack: India’s mainstream opposition parties are engaged in a blame game after a terror attack by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba left seven pilgrims dead in Jammu and Kashmir’s Amarnath district on Monday. E Jaya Kumar writes that Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi squarely blamed the federal government for security lapses despite knowing that 40,000 armed soldiers had been deployed in the region to protect the pilgrims.

China-Handbags join ‘shareconomy’: High-end handbags from top-tier luxury brands ranging from Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermes and Prada to Louis Vuitton are now available for rent on a platform called “Dou Bao Bao”, writes Lin Wanxia. The platform, which literally means “show off your handbags” launched last month on WeChat and its handbags join the car rides, bicycle hires, basketballs, umbrellas and mobile-phone chargers that are already available as part of China’s booming “sharing economy”.

Posted inBeijingChinaGuangzhouShanghaiTianjinWorld

China Digest for Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Xi Jinping urges greater effort in advancing judicial reforms

President Xi Jinping said China should deepen reforms in the country’s judicial system and follow the path of rule of law with Chinese characteristics, Caixin reported. A comprehensive rule of law is important in promoting the national judicial system and the modernization of government, it added.

China Mobile sets up 5G test group

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile network operator, has officially set up a 5G network test group with China Mobile Beijing and Datang Telecom Group, Yicai reported. The group plans to start trials within this year in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou and Ningbo, and launch full commercial services in 2020, the report added.

Dongbei moves to restructure following bankruptcy

Dongbei Special Steel Group, a state-owned enterprise based in Liaoning Province, submitted its draft bankruptcy reorganization plan to the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court, the Paper reported. The Group encountered a serious debt crisis last year in March, with corporate bonds continuing to breach contract, the report added.

Survey points to rise in investor confidence

China’s stock market investor confidence index reached 54.5 in June, a 11.5% rise compared with May, the Paper reported, citing data released by the China Securities Investor Protection Fund Corp. Investor confidence on domestic economic policy and valuation of stocks also remained high, it said.

Wanda Film in bid to buy Wanda Media

Trading in Wanda Film Holding Co Ltd was suspended on the Shenzhen market after it made an offer to buy Wanda Media through a share offer, the Economic Information Daily reported. Wanda Film had planned to buy Wanda Media for 37.2 billion yuan (US$ 5.47 billion) in May, 2016, but the merger was stopped due to changes in the securities market.

Hefei to reach megacity status by 2020

Hefei, the capital of China’s eastern Anhui province, is expected to hit a population of more than five million to become a megacity by 2020, Yicai reported. The urbanization rate of permanent residents and the registered population is projected to reach 56% and 35% respectively, by 2020, the report said.

China produced most renewable energy in 2016

China has surpassed the US to be the largest renewable energy producer in 2016, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing the British Petroleum statistical review of world energy. China contributed 40% to world renewable energy growth, which is more than the total amount contributed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Wang Hongjiang dismissed over disciplinary violations

Wang Hongjiang, former member of the Standing Committee of Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party, has been dismissed from office for misusing financial funds, Caixin reported. Wang was removed from his administrative post and has been placed on probation for one year, the report said.