Banks

"Doctors scour mountains and the sea to exterminate every single virus."

[Comic] Dystopia or 'a beautiful new world'?

Comic artist Bai Yi's artwork gives a glimpse into a dystopian world where individual lives are considered insignificant before the all-powerful and all-important state machine, and where herculean efforts are needed to uphold the dignity of human lives.
This photo taken on 8 July 2022, shows people passing a checkpoint with a flag of the Chinese Communist Party at a shopping mall in Shenzhen, in China's southern Guangdong province. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Countdown to CCP's 20th Party Congress: Financial technocrats in the post-1970s generation

Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, notes that China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse has been accompanied by the rise to prominence of seasoned financial technocrats or self-taught experts. While these "new kids on the block" will most likely enter the new CCP Central Committee this fall for the first time, time will tell how they will respond to the many daunting economic and financial challenges at both the provincial and national levels.
Residential buildings under construction in Shanghai, China, on 27 July 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s economic crisis is a ticking time bomb

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang believes that China’s economy is under threat, with the unravelling of intertwining issues in the financial industry, property sector and government finances that cannot be easily resolved. How will China boost its investment-led economy, push down unemployment rates, and regain consumer and investor confidence?
A woman holds US dollar banknotes in this illustration taken 30 May 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Quit the dollar: Can Asia build its own digital currency and digital payment infrastructure?

Calls for de-dollarisation have increased since the financial sanctions of the Ukraine war and the very real threat of the US dollar being weaponised. In this context, academic Pei Sai Fan explains why conditions are ripe for China and Asia to offer innovative alternatives, such as developing regional digital currency cooperation in the payment and settlement of regional trade and investment, and expediting the development of new cross-border digital payment infrastructure in Asia known as multi-CBDC platform projects.
A Chinese national flag flies in front of HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong, China, 28 July 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

A geopolitical read of HSBC’s potential split-up

While the drama over a potential split-up of HSBC is still unfolding, what is clear is that geopolitical tensions may raise the stakes on potential financial decoupling down the road. Mixed West-East financial institutions such as HSBC stand at the forefront of the transitions and realignments under way.
A woman holds Chinese RMB banknotes in this illustration taken on 30 May 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Easing pandemic controls could curb RMB’s tumble against the dollar

The RMB's recent dramatic weakening did not come as a surprise to many. As stringent Covid-19 measures gradually ease, along with possible relaxations of policies in the real estate sector, could the worst be over for China's economy?
Pedestrians walk in front of an electronic quotation board displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, on 6 January 2022. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Can a sliding Japanese yen survive the Fed's interest rate hike?

The Japanese yen has been on a prolonged decline and is unlikely to see an upside given the Japanese central bank’s persistence with its ultra-loose monetary policy. As a result, Japan’s trade balance is worsening and the Japanese people are feeling the crunch as energy and consumer goods prices soar. Chinese academic Zang Shijun believes that the Japanese currency will face even more pressure of rapid depreciation as the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates.
Chinese and Sri Lankan national flags flutter from poles at the Chinese-funded sea reclamation Port City project as sail boats compete in a sailing event attended by Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi (not pictured) on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Sri Lanka and China at the Colombo Port city project, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 9 January 2022. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

Funding wars between China and the West: The politics of bankrolling developing countries

While several alternatives to China's Belt and Road Initiative have sprung up, such as the G7’s Build Back Better World and the EU’s Global Gateway, developing countries are not exactly facing a buffet spread of options, as each avenue comes with strings attached. Only time will tell if China will turn out to be a more benevolent lender and if the new Cold War will bring better spoils for developing countries.
A woman walks on a sidewalk in the central business district in Beijing on 16 December 2021. (Greg BakerAFP)

China to prioritise economic stability ahead of CCP 20th Party Congress

While China’s economy grew about 8% in 2021, the GDP growth target for this year is expected to be a more modest “above 5%”, taking into consideration various easing measures by the central bank and political considerations heading into the 20th Party Congress in autumn this year. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong gives her assessment.