IMF cuts global growth forecasts, citing escalating trade tensions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

IMF cuts global growth forecasts, citing escalating trade tensions

Xinhua

The International Monetary Fund has cut growth forecasts for the global economy this year and next year, as escalating trade tensions could dent business sentiment and trigger financial market volatility.

In its updated World Economic Outlook report released on the IMF’s website on Monday, the Washington-based international lender said global economic growth is projected to reach 3.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, 0.2 percentage points lower than its previous forecasts in July.

“Downside risks to global growth have risen in the past six months and the potential for upside surprises has receded,” the report said, adding the economic expansion has become “less balanced” and “may have peaked” in some major economies.

The IMF maintained its growth forecast of 2.4 percent for advanced economies in 2018, while downgrading its forecast for those economies in 2019 to 2.1 percent, 0.1 percentage points lower than its July forecast.

Growth in emerging markets and developing economies is projected to reach 4.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, 0.2 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points, respectively, lower than the previous forecasts in July.

The IMF kept its growth forecast for China at 6.6 percent this year, while shaving its projection for China’s growth next year to 6.2 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from three months ago.

As the United States unilaterally imposed additional tariffs on some of its main trade partners in the past several months, the IMF warned that “escalating trade tensions and the potential shift away from a multilateral, rules-based trading system” are key threats to the global outlook.

“An intensification of trade tensions, and the associated rise in policy uncertainty, could dent business and financial market sentiment, trigger financial market volatility, and slow investment and trade,” the report said.

“Higher trade barriers would disrupt global supply chains and slow the spread of new technologies, ultimately lowering global productivity and welfare,” the report argued, adding more import restrictions would push up the prices of consumer goods, thus harming low-income households disproportionately.

The report comes as global financial ministers and central bankers gather in Bali, Indonesia, this week to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Officials are expected to have a heated discussion on the trade tensions.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, last week called on economies around the world to “de-escalate and resolve the current trade disputes” as global economic growth outlook has dimmed.

“The stakes are high because the fracturing of global value chains could have a devastating effect on many countries,” Lagarde said, urging countries to work together to build a global trade system that is “stronger, fairer, and fit for the future.”

China marks Japan’s WWII surrender

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China marks Japan’s WWII surrender

Xinhua

A peace assembly was held in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, yesterday to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

Representatives from countries, including China, Japan, the United States and Thailand, attended the event held at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, mourning the 300,000 people who were killed in one of the most barbaric episodes of World War II.

Japanese invaders slaughtered about 300,000 Chinese during a six-week rampage after they captured the city, which was then China’s capital, on December 13, 1937.

Members of an anti-war NGO based in Kobe, Japan, laid wreaths and paid tribute to the victims in silence. It was the 22nd time the group had attended the peace assembly in Nanjing.

“We choose to come to China to mark the event because Chinese people were the victims of the war and they deserve tribute and remembrance,” said Miyauchi Yoko, head of the group.

“Ordinary people suffer the most in times of war,” said a student from Thailand. “Everyone should make contributions to world peace.”

Ge Daorong, a survivor of the massacre, was only 10 years old when Nanjing fell to the Japanese. During the massacre, he and his close family took refuge in a safety zone and survived the onslaught, but his three uncles did not.

“We look back at sad episodes of history in order to cherish today’s peace,” Ge said at a forum held after the assembly.

In northeastern Heilongjiang Province, nearly 100 teenagers from China and Russia took part in a historical reenactment to mark the anniversary of Japan’s WWII surrender.

The activity was held at Shengshan Stronghold, a war relic that has now been turned into a base for patriotic education of young people from China and Russia.

“Both China and Russia suffered great losses during WWII,” said Yulia Ablova, an education official from the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. “We need to remember the history and cherish the peace.”

In the southwestern city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, 1,207 hand prints of WWII Chinese veterans were donated to the Jianchuan Museum Cluster, the largest private museum complex in China, to commemorate the anniversary.

The hand prints were from surviving soldiers in Hunan Province who fought during the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-1945).

During the ceremony on Tuesday, Fan Jianchuan, curator of the museum, said the veteran hand-print installation was expanding. More than 4,800 red hand prints have been imprinted on tempered glass slabs arranged in a V-shape to symbolize victory.

“Seventy-three years ago, these hands held broadswords and spears, threw hand grenades and buried landmines to safeguard our country and rescue our people,” Fan said. “They should be remembered.”

China to continue opening up: Chinese Ambassador to US

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS SERVICE ‘SHINE’)

 

China to continue opening up: Chinese ambassador to US

Xinhua

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said here that China will continue to open its doors to the global community.

“We cannot develop ourselves behind closed doors… We have to open our door even wider and seek cooperation with others, particularly with countries like the United States,” Cui said at the welcome banquet held by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin on Monday.

Cui said China-US relations are not zero sum game, but rather will continue to be mutually beneficial. He said Beijing and Washington should deal with trade issues in an effective way.

Addressing Kentucky officials and businesses, Cui said he has full confidence in bilateral cooperation at the provincial, municipal and county levels, adding that the Chinese people came to know the state after the first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant opened in Beijing over three decades ago.

Over the past decades, the Chinese people have learned that the state has much more to offer, including Bourbon, race horses, farm products and manufactured goods, prompting the Chinese public and business leaders to develop strong relations with Kentucky, Cui said.

For his part, Bevin said his administration is working to cut red tape for businesses who wish to invest here, highlighting the elaborate transportation web his state boasts.

Bevin admitted that certain trade policies Washington has pursued created uncertainties for bilateral business ties, but pledged to work at a state level to assure foreign investors.

China Robust July foreign trade shows little impact from row with US

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Robust July foreign trade shows little impact from row with US

China’s foreign trade accelerated in July despite escalating trade tensions with the United States, with data pointing to a more balanced trade picture.

Growth in imports and exports, denominated in US dollars, rebounded in July, with imports rocketing by 27.3 percent — nearly double the growth pace in June — and exports rising 12.2 percent from a year earlier, data released yesterday by the General Administration of Customs showed.

July’s trade data was under the spotlight as it was the first reading since fresh US tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods went into effect. The US slapped an extra 25 percent tariff on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports beginning July 6, to which China responded with an equivalent retaliatory measure.

China’s surplus with the US shrank slightly to US$28.09 billion in July from a record high of US$28.97 billion in June.

“China-US trade tariffs seem to have had more impact on China’s exports than its imports from the US,” said Betty Wang, senior China economist at the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

China’s exports to the US rose 11.2 percent year on year in July, compared with an increase of 12.5 percent in June, while China’s imports from the US grew by a faster 11.1 percent in July, up from June’s 9.6 percent.

At the same time, China’s imports from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and Australia jumped 30.2 percent, 20 percent and 33.7 percent, respectively, “which may suggest that China is trying to seek other import sources in the midst of the trade war,” according to the ANZ Group.

“Currency devaluation, which may have helped exports to some extent, has been largely market-driven in our view and is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policy-makers as part of retaliatory measures,” Wang said.

Wang added that the much higher-than-expected import growth was mainly driven by surging commodity, mechanical and electrical products.

The better-than-expected growth might be partly because China tends to strengthen economic and trade ties with other major economies amid trade tensions with the US, Huatai Securities said in a research note.

Yesterday’s data also revealed a more balanced trade picture, thanks to the surge in imports.

China’s global trade surplus narrowed by 40 percent from a year earlier to US$28 billion last month. The trade gap with the 28-nation EU contracted by 8 percent to US$11.2 billion.

China has been seeking a more balanced trade pattern, with a series of pro-import policies introduced.

Last month, the State Council released guidelines on expanding imports, promising tariff cuts, clean-ups of unreasonable price markups, and better intellectual property rights protection.

The policy incentives have had positive impacts on imports, Huatai Securities noted. It added that a decision of intensifying efforts to improve infrastructure, made at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in late July, will further drive imports of industrial raw materials such as iron ore.

Looking forward, China tends to maintain strong imports, while exports are also likely to hold steady despite uncertainties rising from trade tensions with the US, said Bai Ming with the Ministry of Commerce research department.

“The tariffs have so far had a limited impact on overall trade,” China Merchants Securities said. While short-term effects might be mild, the impact of US tariffs on China’s trade may be gradually revealed as time passes and more tariffs on Chinese goods threatened by the US take effect, it noted.

China to slap additional tariffs on US

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI ‘SHINE’ NEWS AGENCY)

 

China to slap additional tariffs on US

Xinhua

China has decided to impose additional tariffs on imported products from the United States worth about US$16 billion, according to an official statement released yesterday.

Approved by the State Council, its Customs Tariff Commission has decided to impose additional duties of 25 percent on the US$16 billion of US products after making proper adjustments to the second part of a list of the products subject to the tariffs. The additional duties will take effect on August 23.

Commenting on the decision, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said it is totally unreasonable for the US to put domestic laws above international laws time and time again. To defend its legitimate rights and interests and the multilateral trade system, China was forced to take necessary countermeasures, said the spokesman.

The customs tariff commission said the list has been appropriately adjusted after taking into account the advice of related government departments, industry associations and enterprises to best protect the interest of domestic consumers and companies.

The commission also published a final version of the second part of the list on the website of the Ministry of Finance.

In June, the customs authority unveiled a list of products from the US worth US$50 billion that will be subject to additional tariffs in response to US announcement to impose additional duties on Chinese imports.

Additional duties on the US products in the first part of the list, worth US$34 billion, came into force on July 6.

China says US trade move contrary to bilateral consensuses

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

(COMMENTARY: FROM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE PEOPLE OF CHINA, THIS POLICY FLIP FLOP IS 100% FROM THE IGNORANT EGOMANIAC BRAIN OF THE STUPID ASS WHO SITS IN THE OVAL OFFICE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THIS IS NOT THE WISHES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOR OF AMERICAN BUSINESSES.)(OLDPOET56)

 

China says US trade move contrary to bilateral consensuses

Xinhua

China’s Ministry of Commerce said yesterday that the US trade statement is contrary to the consensuses the two sides have previously reached in Washington.

Calling the White House statement as unexpected and within expectation, the ministry said whatever measures the United States will take, China has the confidence, capability and experience to defend the interests of Chinese people and the core interests of the country, the ministry said on its website.

Earlier yesterday, the US said it will continue pursuing action on trade with China.

By June 15, Washington will release a list of US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods that will be subject to a 25 percent tariff, the White House said in a statement.

By June 30, the US will announce investment restrictions and “enhanced export controls” for Chinese individuals and entities “related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology,” it said.

 

 

China’s premier calls for ecological efforts

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI NEWS PAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

China’s premier calls for ecological efforts

Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for efforts in greening and prevention and control of forest fires, floods and droughts to ensure socio-economic growth and the building of an “ecological civilization.”

Li made the remarks in a written instruction to a teleconference on national work in land greening and prevention and control of forest fires, floods and drought held in Beijing on Tuesday.

He instructed governments at all levels to carry out solid work in greening as well as disaster prevention and control, which are pivotal for sustainable development and the security of lives and property.

Extensive land greening programs should be carried out to build a green shield, meeting the annual goal of adding 100 million mu (about 6.7 million hectares) of forests, Li said.

Work in forest fire prevention should be done in a scientific way, while strictly following procedures and preventive measures.

He also called for efforts to enhance preparation for flood and drought by improving water infrastructure and disaster prevention and control abilities.

Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said at the meeting that green resources should be increased via multiple channels, including key forestry projects, and called for efforts to improve ecological protection and develop green industries.

Hu also called for intensified safety supervision and monitoring, urging improvements in emergency planning for disaster prevention and control.

Major revamp for neighborhoods near Shanghai Confucian Temple

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY: SHINE)

 

Major revamp for neighborhoods near Shanghai Confucian Temple

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

The memorial gateway of the Shanghai Confucian Temple, or Wenmiao area, the core and original place of the city’s old town, dating back to over 700 years.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A girl skips rope on Menghua  Street behind the temple.

 

A new round of renovation has started on the city’s old town area around the Shanghai Confucian Temple to retain the its historic flavor while improving the living condition for residents.

About 2,000 illegal buildings, including those built by residents to make up for the limited living space, will be demolished by June around the landmark temple in Huangpu District.

Their houses will be renovated to have separate toilets or improved shared facilities by November, the Laoximen subdistrict said yesterday.

The area along Zhonghua and Wenmiao roads is the core and original place of Shanghai’s old town, dating back to over 700 years.

Some 120,000 square meters of old public and private houses stand around the Confucian temple, or Wenmiao. The temple was founded in 1291 during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and has been renovated or rebuilt several times.

Many locals also equate the temple with a popular wholesale book market opened in 1993 which moved elsewhere in 2013. A smaller scale second-hand book operates every Sunday in a part of the temple.

“The place kept many historic traces of Shanghai’s development and retained the traditional lifestyle of the city,” an official with the subdistrict said.

Over 5,500 households are living in the old town area, with 70 percent of their houses listed as the old residential lanes with the poorest living environment by the city government.

“However, the cramped living space and environment can hardly meet the standard of urban life,” the official said.

But the area is also home to eight traditional shikumen, or stone-gate, lanes which incorporates Chinese and western architecture as well as the city’s last remaining cigarette and paper stores.

“It used to be a prosperous region with collectors bargaining and trading old books and worshippers to the temple hope to have lucky reading,” said Ge Guoying, who runs an old-style zip repair store on the opposite side of the temple for over four decades.

Most house owners have rented the dingy rooms to out-of-towners who are lured by the cheap lease and downtown locations, while some locals are still living in the two-story houses.

Lu Zhenhua, 69, one of the original residents occupying an eight-square meter apartment, dreams “for decades to have an indoor kitchen and separate bathroom.”

Lu’s hope for renovation might be realized soon as the authority has mapped out over 40 projects to improve the residents’ living conditions as well as the environment of the area.

Gas will be connected through pipes to the first batch of 93 households like Lu’s who are still using liquefied gas bottles. Over 200 households with an extra space will have separate kitchens and toilets by the end of the year, according to the subdistrict.

For households which do not adequate space for a kitchen or toilet, the authority will build public ones with full facilities across the community.

Additional public facilities will also be built, such as public baths, pocket parks and small fire stations, to improve living conditions, the official said.

The authority will move the radial overhead cables across the area underground or rearrange them to improve the old town’s image to minimize potential risks.

China must accelerate implementation of big data strategy: Xi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA ‘SHINE’ NEWSPAPER)

 

China must accelerate implementation of big data strategy: Xi

Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the country to accelerate implementation of big data strategy to better serve social and economic development and improve people’s lives.

Efforts should be made to advance national big data strategy, improve digital infrastructure, promote integration and sharing of digital resources, and safeguard data security, Xi said during a collective study session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Political Bureau on Friday.

“We should target cutting-edge technology and mobilize prime resources to make breakthroughs in developing core big data technology, and accelerate building an independent and controllable industrial chain, value chain and eco-system of big data,” said Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

He called for building high-speed, mobile, ubiquitous and safe information infrastructure, integrating government and social data resources, and improving the collection of fundamental information and important information resources in key areas.

The market should play a key role in the mission, and data must work as a bridge to integrate production, study and research. A group of pioneering companies and a varied and diverse talent workforce should be established, he said.

Xi underscored the importance of building a digital economy with data as a key factor, highlighting the fact that research on and use of big data is indispensable in building a modern economy.

The Internet, big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the real economy should be interconnected. Industrialization and the use of information should be integrated deeper, according to Xi.

Xi also emphasized the necessity of using big data to improve governance. A nationwide information-sharing platform should be set up with the use of e-government and smart city systems.

He also ordered efforts to improve Internet governance and clean up cyberspace.

Xi urged better use of big data in improving people’s wellbeing, calling for the advancement of “Internet plus education,” “Internet plus medical treatment” and “Internet plus culture” to further ensure citizens’ equitable access to public services.

He stressed solving problems, especially prominent problems concerning people’s wellbeing, urging the widespread use of big data in areas such as education, employment, social security, medicine and the healthcare system, housing and transportation.

Big data should also be used extensively in implementing targeted poverty reduction and environmental protection, he added.

Efforts should be made to safeguard the nation’s data security, Xi said, urging strengthened ability to protect the nation’s crucial data resources, speed up relevant legislation, and improve protection of data property rights.

Protection of technical patents, digital copyrights and individual privacy should be enhanced to safeguard people’s interests, social stability and national security, said Xi.

He stressed increasing research on international data governance rules.

He urged leading officials at all levels to intensively study big data and improve their ability to use big data in their work.