Presidents Xi and Trump Talk Possible Trade Deal
On Thursday, President Trump and President Xi spoke on the phone on topics such as trade and
North Korea, indicating positive momentum towards a possible upcoming meeting
between the two leaders at the G20. President Trump tweeted later that he'd had "a long and very
good conversation with President Xi. . .discussions are moving along nicely,"
while the Chinese readout of the call reported that President Xi noted successful precedents for resolving economic and trade
disputes between the two countries and pointed to next week's Shanghai import expo as evidence of China's
opening up process. Bloomberg reported
on Friday that President Trump may have asked key U.S. officials to begin drafting potential
terms for a deal to halt mounting economic friction with China.
The conversation came during a week in which
the Trump administration has escalated its response to alleged theft of
intellectual property by Chinese organizations. On Monday, the U.S. issued another purchase ban on a Chinese technology
company for national security reasons. State-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit,
which manufactures semiconductors used in smartphones, laptops and servers, will be
blocked from purchasing American components in response to allegations the firm
stole intellectual property from U.S. semiconductor firm Micron Technology, as Reuters reports. And on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice formally accused 10
Chinese nationals, including intelligence officers, of theft of commercial aerospace
technology from American and European firms over a period of five years.
For an analysis of the barriers that may prevent Presidents
Trump and Xi from reaching an agreement at the G20 later this month,
read Cheng Li and Diana Liang's article from earlier this year on why it may be
difficult to cut a deal to end the trade dispute.
China Mourns Jin Yong
On Tuesday, the world lost famed Chinese
martial arts novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung, best known by his pen name Jin
Yong, who passed away from a long illness at the age of 94. He is said to have sold more books than J.K. Rowling, author of
the international phenomenon "Harry Potter." Originally born in mainland China,
Mr. Cha spent the majority of his life in Hong Kong, initially putting pen to
paper as an essayist and co-founder of one of Hong Kong's largest newspapers, Ming Pao;
later transitioning his writing talents to the world of literature.
Mr. Cha is regarded by many as one of the most
influential wuxia authors of the 20th
century, dominating the genre of martial arts and chivalry stories. He somewhat
stumbled into the genre, initially writing his first novel, The Book and the Sword, as a serial
piece for a newspaper. This book's instant success spurred Mr. Cha's prolific
career. He completed 14 additional novels during his lifetime.
Despite publishing his last work in the 1970s, Mr. Cha's fantastical world
continued to come to life in television shows, films and video games. His most
famous series, The Legends of Condor
Heroes, was recently translated into English, facilitating
his introduction to a wider audience.
The works of Mr. Cha are compared to smash
hits in the West such as JRR Tolkien, whose Lord
of the Rings universe defined a generation. Critics often praised his use
of poetic language to create a fictional world that was distinctively Chinese,
with Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam saying that Mr. Cha's writing "inherited the tradition of Chinese classics with the
integration of history and culture." While able to capture the
unique qualities of Chinese fantasy, Cha noted that he did not seek a place in
history. Instead, he said, "All I want is that after one or two hundred years, there
will still be people reading my books."
The Yuan Falls to Weakest Point Against U.S. Dollar
The yuan hit its weakest point against the U.S. dollar in a decade this week, which has put China's financial
system back under the microscope. While most currencies like the dollar are
free floating — markets set their exchange rates minute by minute — the yuan moves in a controlled way whereby
authorities fix a daily midpoint and let the yuan trade as much as 2 percentage
points above or below the midpoint. Analysts believe that The People's Bank of
China raised offshore interest rates this year, making it costlier to bet
against the currency.
China's currency has weakened steadily these
past few months, but its external debt remains comparatively low despite having
risen in the past couple of years. "China might be tempted to double down on stimulating
aggregate demand with short-term measures like channeling more infrastructure
investment through local governments and further credit easing for state-owned
firms. But that approach would risk creating another decade's worth of problems,"
said Shang-Jin Wei, professor of finance and economics at Columbia University.
Structural reforms, such as greater labor-market flexibility, could reduce the
risks that China's economy faces.
However, President Trump and President Xi's
"long and very good conversation" mostly about trade drove global markets up
this week as investors became hopeful that a trade agreement may be reached. "While we are still cautious over a full resolution of
recent tensions in the medium term, resumption of dialogue between Washington
and Beijing would be good enough to investors for now," said Tai
Hui, chief market strategist for Asia at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Retired PLA General to Speak on China-U.S. Military Relations At NYU
On Tuesday, November 6, we invite you to join
the China-United States Exchange Foundation at New York University as retired
Major General of the People's Liberation Army, Dr. Yao Yunzhu, speaks on
military relations between the United States and China.
Among the highest ranking women in the Chinese
military, Dr Yao joined the PLA in 1970. She holds an M.A. from the PLA's
Foreign Languages Institute and a Ph.D. in Military Science from the Academy of
Military Science. She is a prominent military analyst and has published
numerous books and articles on military and security issues.
Dr. Yao will speak on the subject
"China-America Military Relations: From Partners to Competitors?", then engage
in a wide-ranging conversation with Jeffrey Lehman, Vice Chancellor of NYU
Shanghai, and Daniel Russel, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian
and Pacific Affairs from 2013 to 2017, and the Vice President for International
Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute. For more
information on the location and time, please visit our website.