Economic power

China-US competition  has extended into the realm of digital currency. (iStock)

As China's digital currency moves ahead, can Facebook's Libra match up?

The People’s Bank of China recently started pilot-testing a digital RMB in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and Xiong’an New Area. Will this development threaten the US dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency in the future? Meanwhile, Facebook and the non-profit Libra Association headquartered in Switzerland have been working towards launching a revolutionary cryptocurrency since June 2019. Although the shape of the project has changed, what will Libra be adding to the mix?
George Washington is seen with printed medical mask on the one Dollar banknotes in this illustration, 31 March 2020. (Dado Ruvic/REUTERS)

AIIB, ADB or World Bank: Which is the bigger lender to Southeast Asian countries?

In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, various countries have extended support to nations in need, including those in Southeast Asia. There has been talk about possible shifts in the international balance of power. In terms of funding provisions to Southeast Asian countries at least, the pandemic does not seem to have made big dents to long-established patterns. The more established multilateral development banks — the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank — are still ahead of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, but this could change in the near future with the latter stepping up its efforts in the region.
A woman walks past Vietnam national flags along a street in Hanoi, 18 May 2020. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Foreign investors exiting China: Vietnam milks the gains

Vietnam stands to benefit from MNCs’ efforts to diversify their production base beyond China. How much it will actually benefit, however, depends on how fast it can roll out measures to further improve its infrastructure and business environment.
The fearless girl statue and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) are pictured on 20 April 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. (Johannes Eisele/AFP)

Will the pandemic undermine the long-term leadership capability of the US?

With the coronavirus rampaging through the West, especially the US, some people think that this might signal the start of a decline in the leadership status of the US, with China ready to step up in its place. Chinese professor Yu Zhi does not agree.
A deliveryman walks past a closed Luckin Coffee store at Sanlitun, Beijing, China on 7 February 2020. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Misbehaving US-listed Chinese enterprises and their gambler attitudes

Chinese companies listed on US stock exchanges such as Luckin Coffee and iQiyi have been embroiled in accounting scandals of late, causing investors to eye Chinese concept stocks with doubt. What can Chinese companies with hopes of gaining access to foreign investment do to improve their bad reputations by association?
A woman crosses a street in Beijing, April 22, 2020. China's economy shrank for the first time in decades last quarter. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Salvaging China’s economy: Economic growth is meaningless if the society is ruined

Professor Zheng Yongnian recognises that the economic impact of the coronavirus will be deep. Beyond thinking about whether short-term cash payouts should be given, he mulls over measures that can see China through protracted headwinds. Key is the political will needed to move the country’s strategies away from GDPism, or an obsession with GDP, to those of building social safeguards as the country strives to build a sustainable economy.
Workers in protective suits after loading travellers onto buses outside the New China International Exhibition Centre, near Beijing Capital Airport in Beijing, 17 March 2020. The exhibition center is being used as a registration and screening centre for travellers arriving in Beijing before transferring them to quarantine locations. (Greg Baker/AFP)

From supply chain to BRI, a super-connected China impacts the world

From the global industrial chain to the Belt and Road Initiative, China's interactions with the world is markedly changing due to the Covid-19 outbreak. East Asian Institute’s senior research fellow Yu Hong says that as the impacts of globalisation are magnified during the pandemic, the world will be reconsidering the consequences of its over-reliance on and deeply entrenched links with China. But are alternatives available?
Oil and gas tanks at an oil warehouse at a port in Zhuhai. (Aly Song/REUTERS)

The most likely outcome of the BRI

Professor Andrew Delios shares the possible outcomes of the BRI, from fulfilling strategic objectives to the Red Scare Scenario. To find out which is the most likely, he says we must first consider if the BRI is just a series of road, rail and ocean linkages across nations. And what is the point of a route of transportation, without a destination? He finds the answers in China's economic zones.
In this photo taken on 13 February 2020, a man walks by a deserted Los Angeles Chinatown as most stay away due to fear of the Covid-19 epidemic. (Mark Ralston/AFP)

China enters ‘pre-decoupling stage’ amid Covid-19 outbreak

Senior research fellow Chen Gang says that the Covid-19 outbreak has led the Chinese government to announce that it is facing “wartime conditions” and will be imposing a system of political, economic, social management for extreme circumstances. The world is also taking preventive measures. Such a scenario sees China entering a “pre-decoupling stage” where its resilience and self-reliance will be severely tested.