This aerial photo taken on 1 November 2021 shows volunteers helping farmers harvest rice in Huzhuang, Jiangsu province, China. (AFP)

China’s embrace of GM crops will have global implications

Despite China’s efforts to make genetically modified organisms (GMO) technology a key plank of China’s food security, China has yet to meaningfully translate its research efforts into successful commercialisation, say academics Shaleen Khanal and Zhang Hongzhou. If China manages to overcome the various obstacles to commercialising GM crops, the global landscape of GMO governance, production and exports will be greatly changed.
Houthi fighters brandish their weapons as they rally during an anti-Israel and anti-US rally in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, Yemen, on 22 January 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP)

[Big read] Global anxiety as Houthis hold Red Sea in chokehold

As the Red Sea crisis goes on, with the Houthis targeting this key shipping route due to various geopolitical factors, logistics companies have to think of alternatives to move goods around the world.
A Houthi policeman takes part in a protest against recent US-led strikes on Houthi targets, near Sanaa, Yemen, on 14 January 2024. (Khaled Abdullah/Reuters)

Red Sea shipping chaos puts strain on Chinese exports

Academic Jasper Verschuur points out that the trade route disruptions caused by the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait are having a devastating impact on major shipping countries, not least China.
In this photo taken on 11 September 2023, BYD electric cars waiting to be loaded on a ship are stacked at the international container terminal of Taicang Port at Suzhou Port, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. China's top electric automaker BYD will build a car factory in Hungary, the company said on 22 December 2023, as it eyes expansion in the European market. (AFP)

[Big read] China's global EV expansion despite trade hurdles from the US and EU

As growth in the sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) slows in China, a growing number of Chinese carmakers are speeding up their entry into foreign markets. While rising trade protectionism in Europe and North America is affecting their pace of expansion, Chinese carmakers are exploring new markets in South America and Southeast Asia, and localising their production to achieve breakthroughs. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim speaks with industry insiders to find out more.
Pedestrians in Xiamen, China, on 5 January 2024. (Raul Ariano/Bloomberg)

How will de-risking impact China’s economic fortunes in 2024?

Academic Naoise McDonagh assesses the headwinds in store for China in 2024, as the US and Europe ratchet up their de-risking efforts. It is clear that Brussels and Washington are also trying to calculate the costs they are willing to absorb in the new world of weaponised trade, meaning all sides will have to dance carefully to the tune of de-risking in the year to come.
Four thousand US dollars are counted out by a banker counting currency at a bank in Westminster, Colorado, 3 November 2009. (Reuters/Rick Wilking)

Could de-dollarisation develop into an irreversible historical trend?

Zhang Yugui, dean of the School of Economics and Finance at the Shanghai International Studies University, notes that while the renminbi has gained traction as a global currency for trade settlements, investment and as a reserve currency, the US dollar will still maintain its hegemony until 2030. However, the US is most worried that de-dollarisation could develop into an irreversible historical trend.
Shoppers outside a department store in Berlin, Germany, 14 December 2023. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

De-risking from China easier said than done for German companies

In theory, the Germans are supportive of the government’s call for greater economic independence from China. In practice, this is hard to implement. A roadmap and a better explanation to companies of how this will work and who will pay the price is needed, says The Berlin Pulse editor Jonathan Lehrer.
Pedestrians walk down a shopping street in Taipei, Taiwan, on 6 December 2023. (Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg)

[Big read] No cross-strait policy to appease all parties in Taiwan's presidential race

As the Taiwan presidential election day nears, Lianhe Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han takes a look at the three presidential hopefuls, their stances and how the voters are responding. Meanwhile, cross-strait tensions will be high even after the election results, as major powers will attempt to influence the content of the new president’s inaugural address.
A general view of visitors looking at models from BYD, a Chinese automobile manufacturer, ahead of the official opening of the 2023 Munich Auto Show IAA Mobility, in Munich, Germany, on 4 September 2023. (Leonhard Simon/Reuters)

China-Latin America ties deepen amid boom in cross-border auto trade, e-commerce

China has been Latin America’s second largest trading partner since 2012, and last year total bilateral trade reached a record high of US$486 billion. Against the backdrop of the ongoing friction between Beijing and Washington, and the latter’s push for nearshore trade, Mexico has been the biggest beneficiary.