December 29, 2018 – January 6, 2019
https://tinyurl.com/ycxmqyy3 As China matters become the material for generalist opinion-writers and “pundits,” once in a while the inevitable simplification helps to illuminate basic truths. Here is an example, under the heading “Be careful what you wish for” as regards economic difficulties in China.
https://tinyurl.com/ya5cm5vc Midway through the “90 Days” that Trump gave China to negotiate something acceptable, the press twiddles its thumbs daily. As thumb-twiddling articles go, though, this one is quite informative, and it brings with it an interesting 5-minute video interview with Charlene Barshefsky, the US Trade Representative under President Clinton who negotiate the key terms of China’s accession to the WTO in 1999.
https://tinyurl.com/y96cmpnw Veteran observer Claude Barfield of the American Enterprise Institute on the insufficiency of recent Trump Administration indictments of certain Chinese officials for involvement in vast hacking operations by Ministry of State Security in the US. See also the following, on which Barfield drew extensively: https://www.lawfareblog.com/failure-united-states-chinese-hacking-indictment-strategy .
Editor’s Recommendation: We take the unusual liberty of recommending to readers a fascinating book, by two scholars in the state of Georgia, one of whom was Your Editor’s Ph.D. student long, long ago:
China In Family Photographs: A People’s History of Revolution and Everyday Life. http://www.bridge21.us/china-in-family-photographs.html The authors write, “This book is a collection of translations from Old Photos, a Chinese bimonthly publication launched in 1996 that presents photographs and narratives from ordinary readers and professional historians in a manner that proclaims: this is our history, not the history those above would have us believe. The magazine was concerned with the everyday lives of ordinary people while also covering the momentous, often traumatic, political life of the People's Republic. “
https://www.wsj.com/articles/latest-chinese-central-bank-effort-better-than-nothing-analyst-says-11546604229 As China’s economy slows, credit loosing gathers steam. “Deleveraging” focus, given China’s immense load of debt, will be difficult to cast aside, but immediate problems, especially for small businesses, are dictating loosening. Challenge is to expand “good” loans while avoiding adding to the pile of “bad” loans outstanding.
https://tinyurl.com/ybqawzfh Falling birth rates cause ripples throughout the economy and concerns for the future.
http://chinaheritage.net/journal/to-summon-a-wandering-soul/?fbclid=IwAR0p1bvuUTt7MORe7v9FEeJCMLkc4sLDiExlDIhlCeq8qUZk3-d0QSQtu3c What translation entails when it is really good. This is a long read, and the up-front comments are central to its meaning.
https://tinyurl.com/yc2bvqgv “Frosty Boy.” A photo goes viral, and triggers public debate about national priorities.
Daily’s compendium of 2018 top stories (multiple pages). Worthy of review.
https://beta.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/united-states/article/2179846/xi-jinpings-china-ignoring-role-us-and-others Wang Chi, an American who has played a distinctive role in the building of ties between his native China and his home country, the US, with an important observation about China’s current minimization (to the point of nullity) of the role of the US in the post-1978 building of China’s robust modern economy.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/world/asia/china-change-4-moon.html An impressive success: China lands a vehicle on the dark side of the moon. Further coverage, with photos, at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201901/03/WS5c2d8d46a310d912140534a0.html .
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jimmy-carter-how-to-repair-the-us-china-relationship--and-prevent-a-modern-cold-war/2018/12/31/cc1d6b94-0927-11e9-85b6-41c0fe0c5b8f_story.html?utm_term=.46b66358375b President Jimmy Carter talks sense on US-China relations and responsibilities at this very difficult moment.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/opinion/america-china-climate-change-nuclear-weapons.html Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin on the critical necessity of U.S.-China cooperation on global issues.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/01/01/us-china-diplomatic-relations-turn-40-2019-trade-interests-column/2446447002/ Chinese Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai, in USA Today, with his broad (and generally familiar) arguments in favor of stable Sino-American relations and mature management of issues in dispute.
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201901020005.aspx An official Taiwan site reports US-Taiwan relations best in forty years, following Trump signature on new bills boosting US ties with the island.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/world/asia/china-american-centers-culture.html The discouraging story of US government-funded US university-organized “American culture centers” on campuses in China and the PRC’s robustly unwelcoming response. Before the US brouhaha over on-campus “Confucius Institutes” in the US.
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-21/when-iphone-assembler-foxconn-sounds-the-siren-you-better-listen A blunt illustration of U.S.-China economic “interdependence,” centering on signs that Apple’s flattening sales growth in China, which has affected U.S. markets more broadly, could and should have been foreseen over the past several years.
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html State Department travel advisory to Americans and dual citizens, focusing on PRC “exit bans” potentially able to prevent departures from China. Level 2 – “Exercise Increased Caution.”
https://amcham-shanghai.org/en/article/scott-kennedy-us-china-relations-start-2019 Good podcast with CSIS’s Scott Kennedy on US-China trade and economic issues and prospects 2019. Kennedy is a good, crisp, interviewee, and his crispness reveals his ability to summarize quickly a variety of points that have been made elsewhere as well.
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3259789 A legal look at the so-called “1992 Consensus” by Prof. Jerome Cohen and legal scholar Yu-jie Chen. Any vestigial notions that authorities on the mainland and on Taiwan share a common view of the existence and the content of the “1992 Consensus” seem to be withering now.