Zhang Rui

Economics professor

Zhang Rui is an economics professor in Guangdong province. He is on the editorial team of financial and economic publications for Peking University and Nanjing University, and is a writer and columnist for publications such as Economic Daily and China Youth Daily. He is the author of six books on finance and economics.

 

Pedestrians outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, 31 December 2021. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

How the global economy can speed up its recovery in 2022

In 2022, as global supply chains normalise and inflation gradually decreases, there is room for cautious optimism in the global economic outlook, but much will depend on countries’ fiscal policies and the extent to which the US Federal Reserve adjusts its interest rates. Economics professor Zhang Rui predicts that if investments of economic giants such as the US, the EU, Japan and China continue to rise, the global economy will expand, but emerging countries will need to be wary of increasing their debt burdens.
In an aerial view, shipping containers and a container ship are seen at the Port of Los Angeles on 20 September 2021 near Los Angeles, California. (Mario Tama/AFP)

The truth behind the US’s huge trade deficit

Economics professor Zhang Rui notes that the US’s huge trade deficit cannot be looked upon in isolation from the dominance of the US dollar; when exporting countries hold more US dollars, they are more able to purchase US debt and support the US in issuing national debt and get US dollars to flow back to the US. This suggests that looking beyond the surface of its large trade deficit, the US's fundamentals remain strong and with the advantages it has in the capital account and services trade, there is little chance that its leading position in global trade can be usurped.
A general view shows the Lujiazui financial district (left) in Shanghai, China, on 22 September 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China joining the CPTPP: It's a matter of time

Zhang Rui analyses that there are more pros than cons to China’s entry to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) whether one looks at it from China’s individual economy, regional industrial chains or global income gains. However, sizeable obstacles stand in the way of its entry, not least US-led political roadblocks, even if the latter is not currently a member of the reconfigured CPTPP. China’s internal system and regulations will also have to change to meet the rigours of the high-standard CPTPP. Can China play the long game and will the world truly move closer towards Asia-Pacific economic integration?
A road along Qidaoliang village located in a deep valley in Hebei province, China, 2014. (SPH)

Chinese villages' failed toilet revolution, clogged ponds and dangerous roads

Professor Zhang Rui takes stock of the government’s high-priority rural revitalisation project in villages, warning of cases of resource misallocation and misplaced priorities. He says while much manpower and resources have been mobilised to build new infrastructure, Chinese villages continue to be afflicted by poor sanitary facilities, lousy roads and a lack of clean water. The problem cannot be solved by simply building more of the same. 
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?
Medical staff treating a critical patient infected by the Covid-19 coronavirus at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan. (AFP)

China's public healthcare system needs a revamp

The investment is low, the focus is flawed, the mindset needs changing... For Chinese economics professor Zhang Rui, it is evident that China's public healthcare system is not robust enough. He says that long-term public health capacity building, particularly in disease prevention and emergency preparedness, should be at the top of the Chinese agenda.