A cargo ship berths at Lianyungang port, in Jiangsu province, China, on 9 May 2023. (AFP)

Chinese exporters turn toward emerging markets

The diverging performance of China’s ports reflects a shift in trade for the world’s largest exporter. A growing proportion of shipments are destined for emerging markets such as countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Middle East and Latin America, and an increasing share of exports consist of intermediate goods and capital items. Meanwhile, the shift in demand for Chinese exports is driving up prices for container shipping, squeezing margins for China’s small, private exporters.
A China Railway Express train travelling from the Qingdao China-SCO Countries Cooperation Hub to Uzbekistan, 12 May 2023. (CNS)

Back to the future: Trade routes from the Silk Road(s) to the BRI corridors

Chinese President Xi Jinping convening an in-person summit with Central Asian country leaders in Xi'an, Shaanxi province this week is a timely reminder that trade continues to bind regions of the world, as new Silk Roads form out of the merging and melding of ancient and new routes in China’s BRI. US academic Chen Xiangming examines the issue.
A man walks on an overpass near a construction site of a subway station in Beijing, China, 18 April 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China’s overseas lending needs a full-fledged debt restructuring

China finds itself in a similar predicament as Japan in the 1970s, when the latter was a major lender to the Latin American countries which eventually suffered a major debt crisis in the 1980s. Now a major lender to various developing countries, especially after Covid, China’s apparent approach of kicking the can down the road means that time bombs of massive defaults are waiting to go off.
Shipping containers are seen at a commercial port in Vladivostok, Russia, 15 February 2023. (Tatiana Meel/Reuters)

Russia opening Vladivostok port to China after 163 years

Amid the Russia-Ukraine war, Russia has opened the key port of Vladivostok to China, which will enhance the transportation of domestic goods in China’s northeast region. Many see this as an act of goodwill, while some believe that Russia could be turning into a vassal of China. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong takes us through what the port opening means for China.
Banknotes of Chinese renminbi and US dollar are seen in this illustration picture taken 29 September 2022. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

The US’s dilemma: Dollar dominance or re-industrialisation

In response to former US President Donald Trump’s recent scare about China trying to “displace the US dollar as the number one currency throughout the world”, academic Han Heyuan says that a certain equilibrium is maintained by the US suffering a trade deficit but safeguarding dollar hegemony. If the US wants to bring manufacturing back to the US, it may not be able to export dollars the way it used to, and cannot hope for the dominance of the US dollar to hold.
People walk through a shopping mall on the second day of the 5-day Labour Day holiday in Beijing on 30 April 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Has the pandemic left a 'permanent scar' on the Chinese economy?

Almost all countries have been suffering the impacts of the pandemic since 2020, but China was hit by the pandemic first and had implemented the longest and strictest anti-Covid policy. China could suffer a worse "scarring effect" as a result, both on the societal and economic levels. China is desperate for solutions to get out of this situation.
This picture shows a poster depicting King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud (left), the founder of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (centre), and Crown Prince Mohammed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 16 April 2023. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP)

Chinese firms flock to Saudi Arabia in Middle East gold rush

Chinese businesses are flocking to Saudi Arabia, in what they see as the latter's "reform and opening up" period of opportunities. While bilateral trade and investment has increased, the Chinese also see Saudi Arabia as a gateway for the Middle East market, in emerging fields such as cloud services and artificial intelligence, and as a vibrant venture capitalist hub.
A man walks past the entrance to a construction site in Beijing, China, on 23 March 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Chinese local governments facing debt crisis: Waiting for bailouts

Local governments are teetering dangerously close to bankruptcy, going by the amount of debt that they have racked up. While their financial troubles are likely to ease with the China’s post-Covid economic recovery, the central government is still expected to step in to prevent regional economies from toppling like a house of cards. But will certain forms of intervention do more harm than good?
Employees work on an assembly line producing speakers at a factory in Fuyang, Anhui province, China, on 31 March 2023. (AFP)

It may be too early to celebrate China’s exports rebound

China’s exports grew by 14.8% in US dollar terms in March from the year before, ending five straight months of decline. But a spike in exports may be a false hurrah for China’s economic economy, given the mixed signals from different data indicators. Levels of consumption and inward investment are important as well, and the improvement of these factors will need to take into account the impact of US-China tensions on foreign enterprises in China.