China – Asean Monitor Weekly


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Employees stand next to a container ship at Ningbo port in Ningbo, Zhejiang province June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Trade and Investment

Chinese trade data shows signs of industrial recovery
China’s import and exports grew unexpectedly in November, reflecting a pick-up in both domestic and global demand. Imports grew at the fastest pace in more than two years, fuelled by its strong demand for commodities from coal to iron ore. The data adds to signs of a modest industry recovery in the world’s largest economies, even as China and other Asian exporters brace for a potential trade war once US President-elect Trump takes office.
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Political Security


Northern Myanmar rebel clashes turn deadly, China offers help

At least 11 people have died this month in northern Myanmar state in escalating clashes between security forces and armed rebel fighters. Thousands have fled their homes since fighting erupted in late November, with many crossing the border into China, which has offered Myanmar to work together to stabilize their shared border. China is worried about the risk of violence in northern Myanmar spilling onto its side of the border, as it did last year, when five Chinese people were killed.
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Trade and Security


China Is Transforming Southeast Asia Faster Than Ever

China’s investment is transforming its smaller Southeast Asian neighbours like never before while helping turn Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar into bigger destinations for its exports. China is investing in everything from railroads to real estate in the three countries. Last week, China signed a deal to build a 2,000-hectare city near Cambodia’s capital worth US$1.5 billion, about one tenth of Cambodia’s GDP. Last year, China started work on the China-Laos 414 kilometres railway, which is a part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road initiative’ and will cost US$5.4 billion.
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Russia, China, and Japan Fill the Trump Trade Gap

The US President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which took the dozen nations seven years to hammer out, has left global trade with a “leadership vacuum”, according to Hussain Rammal, senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney Business School. China is already moving to replace the US as trade champion. “Despite its recent setbacks, globalization remains an irreversible trend of our times,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in November. The collapse of the TPP is thought to give way for the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

A TPP collapse would also be welcome news for Russian President Vladimir Putin as he’s been an outspoken critic of the deal and its cousin, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Among major trading nations, no country has more riding on the success of the TPP than Japan. In November, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the TPP without the US would be meaningless, but the next day his chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Japan still plans to lobby other TPP members to ensure it takes effect.
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China-ASEAN relations


China opens ASEAN law institution, aligns Asean Policy with Cambodia

The Chinese government will open the China-Asean Law Cooperation Institution in Cambodia on 8 December and will allow its commercial arbitrators to work with the Cambodian National Commercial Arbitration Center (NCAC) to handle business conflicts for Chinese investors or businessmen across ASEAN. China is also considering setting up an industrial zone in Cambodia and says it will announce new areas of cooperation with ASEAN nations in line with Cambodia’s industrial development policy.
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Chinese president vows stronger partnership with Laos

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to strengthen joint efforts to build stronger comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between Laos and China, during his meeting Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Beijing on 8 December. Thongloun, who was elected in April 2016, is on a four-day China visit from 5 to 8 December.
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