Finance & Economy

China’s challenges – pollution, corruption, and the economy – have imbued the reform efforts necessary to lead to unpredicted innovation, both by Internet companies and a vast provision of international infrastructure projects.

USChina

A major piece in the most recent weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal points out that it’s time to rethink about the U.S. relations with China. This thought provoking article is extremely timely and the issues raised are critical to the future of both countries.

Xi Jinping-Putin

With the support of Russian resources, China is emerging as a much stronger player in Central Asia. States in the region may exploit this Sino-Russian rapprochement in order to advance their own goals, receiving security and funding from Moscow and Beijing, while not being required to change political regimes.

Historic gains in the Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share stock markets are causing some Western analysts to speculate that the growth is being driven by irrational behavior. There are both institutional and individual explanations for this over-confidence, which will need to monitored if the market contracts.

RMB

The recent initiative provides the possibility for RMB internationalization to grow deep roots, but that global outreach could be a “double-edged sword.” Exchange-rate fluctuations will mean greater exchange risks for enterprises, but the RMB cross-border settlements could also help enterprises to hedge exchange-rate risks.

Despite obstacles, the White House continues to push preferential trade deals in Asia and Europe. But neither can reverse the erosion of U.S. innovation and in Asia Pacific the proposed pact is more likely to divide than unify the region.

With trade deals on the horizon, President Obama has asked Congress to grant him trade promotional authority, also called fast track, to ‘‘write the rules for the world’s economy.’’ This measure would allow the President to pass sweeping trade partnerships without the input of the American people through their elected representatives in the normal process.

Protectionist U.S. Congressmen are proposing a series of amendments that would enforce currency disciplines for China-U.S. cross-border trading. Rather than protecting import-sensitive sectors with that would penalize developing country producers, Congress and global policymakers would be better off updating the fraying architecture of the international monetary system.

south china sea

South China Sea territorial claims — at least in Reed Bank — is really about energy. If all sides recast dangerous nationalistic posturing to more hard-headed economic calculation, it opens the way for more rational, mutual gain negotiations. These could center upon joint development of South China Sea resources. This, as an alternative to war.

RMB

China’s monetary goals call for increased consideration of market supply and the exchange rates of basket currencies, guidance of market expectations, and maintenance of a stable renminbi exchange rate. The IMF recently said the RMB is now “fairly valued”, which bodes well for the inclusion of the RMB into the Special Drawing Rights currency basket of the IMF before the end of 2015.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised $50 billion in funding for a trans-oceanic railroad from Peru to Brazil, which politicians in Latin America have been dreaming to build for decades. However, an unforgiving geography and political disputes could prove challenging.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with congressional approval, is primed to have “fast track” status to avoid public debate. The TPP would provide new incentives to send jobs abroad, increase corporate earnings, remove protections from both overseas and U.S. environments and workers; supporters argue that it is necessary to “outflank” China.

Philippine efforts to revisit the historical value of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade (MAGT) and China’s revival of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) can be seen as national projects aimed at rekindling a deep historical relationship with the sea. Growing Sino-Latin American trade may encourage an extension of the MSR across the Pacific and also reignite the importance of MAGT.

Win-win

Comparing the world’s two largest economies by “who’s on top” analysis is the wrong way view U.S. and Chinese leadership, and can even be a barrier to sensible policy, like IMF quota reform. The rules of the game now require a larger and more equal share in the governance of the international institutions.

AIIB is redefining global relationships in finance, in an attempt to break through the profit-driven nature of capital and meet more needs for infrastructure investment, writes Zhang Monan.

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