China’s export sector posts stronger than expected figures for July

China’s export industries performed strongly last month after spending the first half of the year hampered by shortages of raw materials and pandemic-related lockdowns at major ports. Offering an encouraging boost to the economy, outbound shipments grew 18% in July from a year earlier, the fastest pace this year, official customs data showed on Sunday, beating analysts’ expectations for a 15% gain, though imports remained sluggish. Analysts had expected exports to fade amid growing signs that Europe, the US, UK and Australia are heading for recession, dampening the outlook for…

Mortgage strikes threaten China’s economic and political stability

The alarm bells are ringing louder. Last week, hundreds of depositors gathered in front of the Zhengzhou branch of the People’s Bank of China in the provincial capital of Henan, demanding their frozen life savings held in rural banks. A day later, tens of thousands of homeowners threatened to stop paying mortgages on scores of unfinished housing projects they had purchased. All of this happened in a week where the officials reported lacklustre second-quarter economic performance. China’s economy is facing a dangerous cocktail of stalling growth, high unemployment, spreading mortgage…

China banks told to bail out property developers as mortgage boycotts threaten economy

Chinese banks have been told to bail out struggling property developers to help them complete unfinished housing projects and head off the growing mortgage strike that threatens to seriously damage the economy. With thousands of homebuyers banding together to refuse to keep up with mortgage instalments on unfinished apartments bought off the plan, regulators have stepped up efforts to encourage lenders to extend loans to qualified real estate projects. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) told the official industry newspaper on Sunday that banks should meet developers’ financing…

China says relationship with Australia ready to ‘set sail again’ amid hopes coal import ban will be scrapped

Australia’s relationship with China can “set sail again”, the Chinese government says, as it reportedly considers scrapping a ban on Australian coal exports. China put trade sanctions on Australian coal – and a range of other exports – in 2020. Last week, Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, met with her Chinese counterpart, describing the meeting as a “first step” towards resetting the antagonistic relationship. The Australian trade minister, Don Farrell, has suggested a compromise on trade disputes might be possible. Bloomberg has reported that Chinese bureaucrats are set to…

FBI and MI5 leaders give unprecedented joint warning on Chinese spying

The head of the FBI and the leader of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency have delivered an unprecedented joint address raising fresh alarm about the Chinese government, warning business leaders that Beijing is determined to steal their technology for competitive gain. In a speech at MI5’s London headquarters intended as a show of western solidarity, Christopher Wray, the FBI director, stood alongside the MI5 director general, Ken McCallum. Wray reaffirmed longstanding concerns about economic espionage and hacking operations by China, as well as the Chinese government’s efforts to stifle dissent abroad.…

Australian trade minister offers ‘compromise’ with China over anti-dumping tariffs

Australia’s trade minister has extended an olive branch to China, suggesting a “compromise situation” or “alternative way” to settle trade disputes might emerge in talks between the two countries. Don Farrell made the comments in an interview with Guardian Australia hailing “positive signs” in Australia’s relationship with China, including the foreign minister, Penny Wong, planning to meet her counterpart, and China’s consent to a trade dispute appeal process. Since the Albanese government was elected in May, Australia and China have reopened lines of communication including the deputy prime minister, Richard…

The sheer size of the China trading relationship is why Australia has to share its feasts and famines with Beijing | Satyajit Das

Concentration on security and regional influence has distracted from the economic relationship with China, a key foundation of Australian prosperity. A high proportion of Chinese growth has been engineered by a large government-sponsored debt-fuelled infrastructure and property bender. This underpins demand for Australian products and services boosting incomes. The data on bilateral trade reveals the importance of the China relationship. Despite trade restrictions on selected products, 35 to 40% of Australian exports go to China, and 20% of imports come from China. Chinese nationals normally constitute the largest number of…

‘Do whatever it takes’: Beijing urged to act as China’s economy falters

At a recent online gathering of top Chinese economists, a palpable sense of urgency filled the virtual meeting room. In recent weeks, a slew of reports by Chinese and foreign economists pointed to a deteriorating economy. Outside the country, talk of China being the engine of global economic growth no longer convinces. During the meeting Huang Yiping, a Peking University professor and a former central bank adviser, urged Beijing to “do whatever it takes to save the economy”. Huang was paraphrasing a line from the height of the European debt…

US stock markets fall sharply as investors worry about recession

The wild ride on the US stock markets continued on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking more than 1,100 points as investors worried about a looming recession. All of the major US markets fell sharply, with the S&P closing down 4%, its largest fall since June 2020, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq losing 4.7%. On Tuesday markets had rallied following positive news about consumer spending and signs that China was relaxing its strict Covid-19 lockdowns. Just a day later concerns about an economic slowdown triggered a wide-ranging sell-off. The…

US sues casino mogul Steve Wynn to compel him to register as an agent of China

The US Department of Justice on Tuesday sued Steve Wynn, the billionaire former casino mogul and senior Republican fund raiser, to compel him to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as an agent of China. The department said Wynn, 80, had contacted then-US president Donald Trump and members of his Republican administration in 2017 to convey China’s request to cancel the visa of or otherwise remove a Chinese businessperson who had sought political asylum in the United States. In a statement the Department of Justice said it was seeking…