Finance & Economy


Based on what we know from leaks, Transatlantic and Pacific trade deals disproportionally empower corporations. Instead of trade regionalism driven by corporatism and overrated security imperatives, the EU, the USA and China, should join forces and with a trilateral trade commission shape a vast economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Open to insiders and restrictive to outsiders, as they lower trade barriers among member economies, regional FTAs tend to build higher trade barriers against non-member economies. Often tools for working around loopholes in the WTO, such regional agreements buck the trend toward globalization.

China certainly experienced a turbulent summer, owing to three factors: economic weakness, financial panic, and the policy response to these problems. But none on its own would have threatened the world economy. The assumption that China is now the global economy’s weakest link is highly suspect.


For China and the United States, a new type of economic and trade relationship with each other is in the best interest of the two major powers, and they should work towards this end. That will require Washington to view the new TTP through the lens of its best economic interests, and join China in creating the world’s largest free-trade zone by around 2030.

Despite President Xi Jinping’s efforts to assuage the concerns of U.S. business executives while in Seattle, Hugh Stephens argues that these statements don’t reflect reality—that China imposes a much wider range of restrictions on U.S. investors than is the case for Chinese investment in the US.

Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership say the trade deal would help counter China’s influence over the Pacific, but that argument is flawed. China’s dominance is inevitable.

Whether or not the struggling talks produce an agreement soon, the US and China do not need to be defensive about the TPP. Instead, they should open an obstruction-free channel for dialogue, through which both countries can use anticipatory diplomacy to enhance mutual trust.

As Xi Jinping heads to the United States he might need to check that he takes his irony meter with him, for there seems little evidence that anyone in the Western media has one they might be willing to lend him.

Thanks to misguided stories about President Xi’s reforms, America risks losing the opportunity to participate appropriately in China’s massive economic rebalancing and reform drive.


China’s stock-market correction was predictable after its wild rise, but it does not signal a sustained economic slump. However, “China shock” did influence the U.S. and European stock markets, despite the effect being psychological and temporary. During the first half of September, U.S. and European markets have been rising steadily, despite the lingering struggles for Chinese stocks. With an expected mild rebound by the end of the year and beyond, it is likely that China’s imports will gradually pick up, thus contributing more to the world commodities demand recovery.

economic crossroads

In 1997, at the height of the East Asian currency crisis, I wrote an article, “The Sky is not Falling (天塌不下来),” basically saying that the Chinese economy would be able to emerge from the crisis more or less unscathed.

While China’s National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) reporting on GDP growth grates have been called into question by international observers, there is acknowledgement that the structure of China’s economy is changing. The real test of the reliability of official reporting, therefore, will come when NBS issues its Q3 headline GDP figure.

A close bilateral relationship is always accompanied by more differences, frictions or even conflicts, including profound structural contradictions. So long as both regard and handle their relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, there will be no difficulty that China and the US cannot overcome.

The gravest threat to American global leadership is neither Russia nor China but continued interest group-driven Congressional abandonment of the kind of balanced strategy that won the Cold War.

China’s economy has shifted to a slow gear, having a bigger impact on those resource-exporting countries which highly depend on China’s market, but having no remarkable impact on European and the US economic growth. In particular, China’s slow economy is not the “culprit” of the recent US stock market slump, which was caused by the American market’s own problems.

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