The Chinese-backed Pacific Refinery, the largest project in Ecuador’s history, sheds light on Ecuador’s current trading relationships with the United States and China, and a region transforming with China’s loans and construction.
Shrill forebodings of a return to ‘currency wars’ and irremediable U.S.-China trade quarrels are overblown – although the prognosis on this front is somewhat mixed. A small step backwards (the yuan devaluation on August 11th) might yet come to reflect the biggest leap forward in Asian economic, trade and financial regionalism in the years and decade ahead.
The 1.8% devaluation of the yuan has started a debate in China-watching circles about whether or not the People’s Bank of China is trying to make the RMB more market-determined, or trying to make boost its exports. Most likely, Beijing is allowing the RMB to find its feet before the IMF review in November.
Although the degree of depreciation could be determined by how the Chinese government weighs the advantages and disadvantages of RMB exchange-rate movement, market forces play a more important role, and investors must pay close attention to this.
Far from competing with US interests, the two meetings offer blueprints for more and better cooperation with Washington in a new world order.
Washington’s goals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership may have been economic at first, but the most recent negotiations suggest the trade agreement has become a tool of the US ‘pivot to Asia’. A symptom of its quest to contain China, it’s an unworthy goal for the US – and it’s doomed to fail.
The tremendous volatility of China’s markets has led to direct and indirect government involvement, which is ultimately a short-term fix. Beijing must re-commit to the opening of its financial markets and to a deepening of capital market reforms.
Support for Chinese investment has been declining in Canada, particularly because of the concentration of investments in the resource sector. However, attitudes toward Asia can change, depending on the context, the question, and extraneous elements such as negative media coverage of domestic and international events.
Concerns about the wealth gap and debt service linger to keep the US economy from growing at its full potential.
China’s current stock market volatility, though not necessarily desirable, represents a natural market correction from its June 12 peak. The economy has undergone a standard cycle of displacement, overtrading, monetary expansion, discredit, and revulsion, all in a matter of less than 12 months.
The White House’s effort to hammer the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Maui failed. As time is running out for President Obama’s legacy achievement, both Washington and Beijing are reassessing their options.
Through dams, grid construction, and renewable energy technologies, China is significantly helping to address sub-Saharan African energy shortages, and help improve livelihoods.
The China wave will continue to roll across the globe crashing on far away shores as the 21st century unfolds. Individuals, states, and nations can do nothing and be swamped or learn to surf and ride the wave.
More than 60 countries and institutions have embraced President Xi Jinping’s call for connectivity programs both within Asia and between Asia and Europe, both by land and by the sea, to strengthen traditional infrastructure and build highways of trade, finance, and cultural exchange.
Quantitative easing (QE) is utilized by U.S. and European banks to manipulate asset prices and provide stimulus to asset-dependent economies. China’s market manipulation is no less blatant, but is distinct in its aim to promote new markets.