Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

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Posts Tagged ‘china’

The Economist this week: Biden’s China doctrine

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 19 luglio 2021

Our cover this week is about President Joe Biden’s China doctrine. Between them, Mr Biden and Donald Trump have engineered the most dramatic break in American foreign policy in the five decades since Richard Nixon went to China. Optimists long hoped that welcoming China into the global economy would make it a “responsible stakeholder”, and perhaps bring about political reform. Today Mr Biden foresees a struggle that pits America against China—a struggle that he says can have only one winner. The administration believes that America must blunt China’s ambitions, by building up its strength at home and working with allies abroad. Much about Mr Biden’s new doctrine makes sense, but the details contain a lot to be worried about—not least the fact that it is unlikely to work. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The brutal reality of dealing with China

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 marzo 2021

Our cover this week asks an epoch-defining question: how should the free world best secure prosperity, lower the risk of war and protect freedom as China rises? The parable of Hong Kong defies those looking for a simple answer. Even as China has slapped down democracy there, the territory is enjoying a financial boom. The same pattern is to be found on the mainland: repression in the Western region of Xinjiang last year goes alongside $163bn of fresh multinational investment and $900bn of cumulative foreign flows into China’s capital markets. Some counsel full Western disengagement from China, in an attempt to isolate it and force it to change. Such a price might be worth paying if an embargo were likely to succeed. But there are many reasons to think that the West cannot just penalise the Chinese Communist Party out of power. We look at how to make engagement work. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief The Economist

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The battle for China’s backyard

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 marzo 2021

From The Economist: We have two covers this week. In Asia we write about how the growing rivalry between America and China will hinge on South-East Asia. Although the region has no clear battle-lines, unlike cold-war Europe, which was divided into camps allied to the Soviet Union and the United States, that only makes the competition more complex. People across South-East Asia already see America and China as two poles, pulling their countries in opposite directions. This contest will become more fierce—both because of China’s need to secure access to raw materials and markets and because South-East Asia is ever more important in its own right. The region is home to 700m people, and its economy is big and growing rapidly. Prepare for a tug-of-war in China’s backyard. In the rest of the world we dissect a new turn in the global tech contest. The idea of the technology industry being dominated by monopolies is so widely held that it has monopolised much thinking, from investors’ strategies to antitrust watchdogs’ legal briefs. Yet it is becoming harder to sustain. In America digital markets are shifting towards oligopolies, in which second- and third-ranked firms compete vigorously against the incumbent. The big tech companies are wrestling over customers and standards: witness the confrontation between Apple and Facebook over who controls iPhone users’ privacy. And all across Asia digital conglomerates are battling it out. A more contested digital economy would be consequential—for markets, consumers and businesses alike. Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-In-Chief

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Order levels recovering and transformation taking effect

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 febbraio 2021

Due to the increasingly tangible successes yielded by the company’s transformation, plus growing demand from China and, since the third quarter, from Europe, too, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is raising its target operating return for financial year 2020/21 as a whole. Consequently, the company anticipates that its EBITDA margin excluding restructuring result will grow to approximately 7 percent, even though the coronavirus pandemic may lead to a sales decline of around EUR 450 million to EUR 500 million compared to the previous year (previous year’s sales: EUR 2,349 million) for the year as a whole. Previously, Heidelberg had anticipated an EBITDA margin that would, at its lowest, equal that of the previous year at 4.3 percent. It is also an encouraging sign for the coming months that print volumes among Heidelberg customers have almost reached the levels of the previous year, with the print volume in the packaging sector even exceeding the previous year’s level.”The successful roll-out of the transformation measures has enabled Heidelberg to achieve a clearly positive operating result, despite the huge pressures caused by COVID-19. When it comes to both our finances and our balance sheet, we have done our homework. Signs of recovery are now emerging on the markets in China and Europe that are important to us. That is why our EBITDA target margin excluding restructuring result is being increased to around 7 percent. The growing interest in our contract business and strong demand for our electromobility charging stations are also grounds to be optimistic about the future,” says Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer, commenting on the developments. Again in the third quarter, the numerous measures of the transformation program launched in March of last year more than compensated for the negative effect on earnings caused by a significant drop in sales due to COVID-19. As a result, after nine months of financial year 2020/21 (April 1 to December 31, 2020), the operating result including effects from the measures that have been implemented was above that of the same period of the previous year.
The sale of the Gallus Group, which did not go ahead at the end of January 2021 despite there being a valid purchase contract, is
clouding the positive picture. However, this is not causing limitations with regard to the results forecast for the current
financial year. CFO Marcus A. Wassenberg explains: “All in all, we have made much faster and more successful progress with our company’s transformation than previously reported. We have raised more than EUR 450 million in liquidity, reduced debt
by approximately EUR 260 million, moved away from loss-makers and will reduce costs by more than EUR 170 million a year on a
sustainable basis. We are therefore confident we will return to attractive profitability in the medium term.” (abstract)

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China and the EU agree to protect each other’s food and drink specialities

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 novembre 2020

Parliament consented to an agreement by 645 votes, with 22 against and 18 abstentions, signed in September 2020 between the EU and China to ensure that onehundred European products bearing geographical indications (GIs) – including Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, or Queso Manchego – will be legally protected in China against imitations and the misuse of a product’s name.In exchange, one hundred Chinese products will benefit from the same form of protection in the EU.MEPs agreed to extend the agreement to a further 175 European and Chinese products within four years. In a resolution adopted by 633 votes, with 13 against and 39 abstentions, Parliament welcomed the agreement, calling it an “important confidence-building exercise” during the ongoing EU-China negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement. At the same time, Parliament expresses its concern about the market-distorting practices used by Chinese state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trading practices.Parliament is also deeply concerned by the reported exploitation and detention of Uyghur people in factories in China. With Parliament’s consent, the Council must now adopt the agreement so that it can enter into force at the beginning of 2021. In 2019, China was the third largest destination for EU exports of GI products, including wines, spirit drinks, and agri-food products. In 2018 and 2019 however, 80% of European seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods originated in China, causing losses of €60 billion to EU suppliers, says the draft resolution.

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EU agri-food products to be protected in China

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 ottobre 2020

In a resolution approved by 38 votes, with one vote against and three abstentions, the Trade Committee backed the EU’s agreement with China, signed in September 2020. It will ensure that one hundred European products bearing Geographical Indications (GIs) such as Cava, Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego will be protected against imitations and misuse of a product’s name. In exchange, one hundred Chinese products will enjoy the same type of protection in the EU.Within four years, the agreement will be extended to include a further 175 European and Chinese products.While trade MEPs welcomed the agreement they see primarily as a confidence-booster, they call on China to extend the constructive cooperation to the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement, as well as into areas of conflict such as on industrial subsidies, state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer, reciprocity in public procurement and overcapacity in steel, aluminium and high-tech.Rapporteur Iuliu Winkler (EPP, RO), said: “The EU-China Agreement on the protection of GIs is a positive step forward in the bilateral relationship and a good tool to promote and protect the authenticity of high-quality products on our respective markets. It is primarily a confidence-building exercise, serving as a measurement of the parties’ ambition to ensure the deal is implemented effectively. The trade committee will actively participate in monitoring and scrutinising the agreement’s effective implementation, seeking frequent reporting from the European Commission.” Parliament is set to vote on its consent to the agreement and the accompanying resolution at its first November session (11-12 November). With Parliament’s consent, the Council has to adopt the agreement so that it can enter into force at the beginning of 2021.

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China going carbon neutral before 2060 would lower warming projections by around 0.2 to 0.3 degrees C

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 settembre 2020

If China were to achieve its announced goal of achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, it would lower global warming projections by around 0.2 to 0.3degC, the biggest single reduction ever estimated by the Climate Action Tracker.The announcement by President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly yesterday – that China will “aim to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060” – is a true milestone in international climate policy. It is the first time that China has acknowledged the need to reach zero CO2 emissions by mid-century. If China were to submit the carbon neutrality pledge as a commitment under the Paris Agreement, it would affect the CAT temperature estimate of the aggregated national “pledges and targets” by around 0.2 to 0.3degC – the biggest dip in the CAT’s warming projections since 2015 after the EU and China had submitted their first indicative targets to the Agreement.Assuming full implementation of the Paris Agreement “pledges and targets”, without the new China announcement, the CAT estimates global temperature increase will be 2.7degC by 2100. The Chinese announcement would lower the warming to around 2.4 to 2.5degC, closer to the 1.5degC warming limit of the Paris Agreement.“China’s critically important announcement comes at a time when the EU is also ramping up its climate action, aiming for a more ambitious 2030 target, and climate neutrality by 2050,” said Climate Analytics CEO Bill Hare. “If China and the EU – which together account for 33% of global GHG emissions – were both to officially submit these new steps to the Paris Agreement, this would create the much-needed positive momentum the world – and the climate – needs.” With both the EU and China’s commitments, this brings the number countries with similar carbon or climate neutrality announcements to a total of 126, together responsible for around 51% of global emissions, with China contributing 25%. The CAT noted that the goal of “before 2060” was not soon enough to keep warming to 1.5degC, where global CO2 needs to be at net-zero by 2050 (IPCC special report on 1.5degC).China’s short-term emissions trajectory towards carbon neutrality is also important. The CAT’s latest analysis of the nation’s climate action shows that it is already set to overachieve its 2030 target. China has significant room to update its 2030 target and submit it to the Paris Agreement. In a briefing being released today, the CAT has analysed the post COVID-19 economic recovery packages of five countries, including China. “It’s clear that China needs to re-examine its economic recovery and aim it at more low-carbon projects if it wants to reach the carbon neutrality goal before 2060,” said Höhne.

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China’s ambassador to the EU: “China will do right things in the right time”

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 settembre 2020

EU relations with China have deteriorated over the years, mainly because of China´s aggressive policies and unfulfilled promises, said MEPs during a meeting with China’s EU Ambassador. China accepts well intended criticism, but it does not accept malicious attacks, nor does it allow anyone to meddle in its internal affairs. This was one of the main messages voiced by the Chinese EU Ambassador Zhang Ming, as he addressed Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday evening.MEPs wanted to hear his views on a range of issues, from the human rights situation in China to ethical dilemmas in the development of artificial intelligence and digital technology and the Chinese unfulfilled promises within the scope of the current trade relations.Relations with China have deteriorated in the last couple of years, stated the Chair of Parliament’s delegation for relations with China, Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens, DE). There are two main reasons for that, he added. One is China´s aggressive policy with domestic oppression and the territorial conflicts she currently has with nine countries. The other one is a “promise fatigue” on the European side, who expects China to live up to the promises it made during the Summit in April 2019.“The EU and China do not share the same set of values and principles, that are also enshrined in the EU’s market economy”, said Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service. The EU has moved to a more robust, more realistic approach to China, and recognised the degree of complexity but also the necessity for principled pragmatism in dealing with China.The Chinese EU Ambassador agreed with his European colleagues that 2020 should be a crucial year for EU-China relations, with both sides striving to achieve a comprehensive investment deal by the end of this year. He said China is devoted to its reforms, ready to cooperate in the digital fields and in the field of sustainable development, as well as in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also necessary to rebalance economic relations, but both sides need to move in the same direction, he said. China is opening up, but it will do right things in the right time, stated the Ambassador, who also represents the EU’s second biggest trade partner.

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China’s draconian security law for Hong Kong buries one country, two systems

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 luglio 2020

THE CHINESE government is spreading fear in Hong Kong. The first shock came in May, when it announced plans to impose a sweeping national-security law on the territory, without the say-so of its legislature. Then it drafted the bill behind closed doors, keeping details secret even from Hong Kong’s administration. Even after the law was passed on June 30th by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, hours passed before it was published at close to midnight. The 18-page bill, which took effect that day, was harsher even than the gloomiest analysts had predicted. It is one of the biggest assaults on a liberal society since the second world war.Chinese officials argue that they are doing nothing wrong: national-security laws are common around the world, even in democracies. But that is disingenuous. This one allows China’s Communist Party to rip up its promise of one country, two systems and send its secret agents into Hong Kong to impose order as it pleases. Its spooks will not be subject to local law. Most national-security cases, supposedly, will be tried in Hong Kong’s own courts. But the judges will be government-appointed. They will be allowed to dispense with juries and try cases in secret. Most worrying is that “complex” or “serious” crimes may be tried on the mainland. The past year of unrest in Hong Kong was sparked by fears of just such a possibility—that a now-shelved extradition law might let dissidents be whisked away to face the mainland’s brutal justice. That is what the new law allows. Officials do not rule out that those convicted by mainland courts could be executed. (font: The Economist)

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China is battling a new Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 29 giugno 2020

The new MERICS study “Tracing. Testing. Tweaking. Approaches to data-driven Covid-19 management in China” analyzes the various digital solutions China has used. MERICS experts Kai von Carnap, Katja Drinhausen and Kristin Shi-Kupfer, show how the Chinese state and companies deployed apps and data infrastructure, explore China’s protection framework for personal data, and assess the benefits and risks of China’s data-driven approach to crisis management.Their key finding is that the speed and scope of adoption and adaptation of technology shows Beijing’s ability to promote such solutions to meet urgent political – and to some extent public – needs. The government’s digital measures have contributed to an enhanced perception of public security among China’s citizens. But this has come at the expense of data protection. It has also exposed weaknesses in technical functionality – and the limitations of central and local authorities to secure full public support without greatly improving the safeguards on personal data.Kristin Shi-Kupfer, Director Research Politics and Society at MERICS: “China’s data-driven management of Covid-19 offers valuable lessons for Europe – the most important one being that digital technologies can only serve society and improve human wellbeing if their design is transparent and keenly protects personal data.”
MERICS’ research for this publication was supported by the Vodafone Institute. Inger Paus, Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, argues: “The study shows that Europe needs to be very thoughtful when implementing digital innovation in sensitive domains such as public health and should put a special focus on privacy, data security and accuracy. Furthermore, it underscores that digital solutions can just realize their full potential when implemented as part of a holistic, citizen-centric strategy.”Only a week after WHO announced the official name of novel coronavirus in February, a Chinese big-data working group started coordinating with the National Health Commission and other institutions across the country. This kick started the deployment of a wide range of AI and Big Data application to fight the virus: movement tracing tools, recognition and identification technologies, and digital health-sector applications were used in crisis management. China’s Information Platform on Epidemic Prevention and Control lists more than 540 applications.China’s data-driven solutions included upgrading and expanding components of the existing digital technology ecosystem, most notably facial recognition and “super apps” like WeChat. To identify potential cases of infection, authorities used refined facial recognition technology with added temperature sensors and infrared identification. Hospitals and doctors used digital platforms for disease monitoring, and diagnostics and resource-management systems based on big data and AI. They also offered free online health consultations. Entrenched links between government and business enabled Beijing to draw on large amounts of user data, often in real-time.China’s data-driven approach rests on digitalization and informatization policies going back more than a decade – they include the comprehensive monitoring and tracking system, the so-called Social Credit System. These regulations focus on enabling stakeholders to aggregate and share data, rather than individuals’ right to privacy. Despite the integration of protecting personal data into the new Civil Code of May 2020, legislation is still fragmented and focused on the private sector. Government departments have much greater legal scope to collect and share data than in Europe.China’s data-driven management of Covid-19 has brought benefits – it has, for example, revived social activity under strict controls that rely on rapidly deployed applications to monitor people’s movements, contacts, and health. Digital platforms have improved health-sector research, treatment, and resource management. But the swift roll-out of data-driven solutions to manage public health also highlighted a number of risks: QR health codes proved only partly functional or serviceable; personal data was misused by companies collecting data for commercial uses; local Communist Party cadres misused access to personal data in a drive to detect infected people and reduce new cases; and data leaks led to some social groups – for example, people from severely affected areas – being discriminated or stigmatized. Problems led to concerns about data protection being voiced publicly.In looking to learn from China’s experiences, the authors warn that only some of China’s data-driven solutions for managing Covid-19 are appropriate for Europe. Solutions for digital diagnostics and treatment should usefully be studied in more detail and could be implemented relatively easily in Europe. But contact tracing based on generous data collection and opaque algorithms and other Chinese-tested digital tools are incompatible with European data-protection values and norms.

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MEPs call on EU to consider lawsuit against China over Hong Kong

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 20 giugno 2020

Parliament recommends that EU and members states file a case before the International Court of Justice, if the new national security law for Hong Kong is applied.In a resolution adopted on Friday by 565 votes to 34, with 62 abstentions, the European Parliament voted in favour of bringing China before the International Court of Justice over its decision to adopt a new national security law for semi-autonomous Hong-Kong.In the text, MEPs “call on the EU and its Member States to consider, in the event the new security law is applied, filing a case before the International Court of Justice alleging that China’s decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).”
They also strongly condemn the new law as an assault on the city’s autonomy, as well as China’s constant and increasing interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs. MEPs call for the jailed pro-democracy activists and peaceful demonstrators to be released and for charges against them to be dropped. They want to see a UN Special Envoy appointed to deal specifically with the situation in Hong Kong.The European Parliament is greatly concerned by the steady deterioration of civil and political rights, and press freedom in Hong Kong and calls for an independent and impartial investigation into the police’s use of force against pro-democracy protesters.It finally strongly urges EU member states in the Council and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell to address the issue of the national security law for Hong Kong as a top priority at the upcoming EU-China Summit on Monday, 22 June, (via video conference) and at the planned EU-China Leaders meeting, as well as other human rights issues, such as the situation of the Uyghurs.

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India and China have their first deadly clashes in 45 years

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 giugno 2020

THE TWO armies each had guns, artillery and tanks to the rear. But they wielded only sticks and stones at the front, as night fell on June 15th. That was deadly enough. When the brawl ended, and the final rocks had been thrown, at least 20 Indian troops lay dead in the picturesque Galwan valley, high in the mountains of Ladakh. Chinese casualties are unknown. They were the first combat fatalities on the mountainous border between India and China in 45 years, drawing to a close an era in which Asia’s two largest powers had managed their differences without bloodshed. The Indian and Chinese armies had been locked in a stand-off at three sites in Ladakh, an Indian territory at the northernmost tip of the country, for over a month. In April the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) broke off from exercises and occupied a series of remote border posts along the disputed frontier, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Both sides quickly moved troops and heavy weapons towards the LAC. As troops squared off, punch-ups erupted twice in May, at Pangong lake, in Ladakh, and at Naku La in Sikkim, 1,200km to the east, resulting in serious injuries on both sides. In total, the PLA grabbed around 40 to 60 square kilometres of territory that India considers to be its own, estimates Lieutenant-General H.S. Panag, a former head of the Indian army’s northern command. (font: The Economist)

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Transport System Bögl on its way to China

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 14 giugno 2020

The Max Bögl group is sending the first two-section vehicle of the Transport System Bögl (TSB) with one of the world’s largest transport aircraft to its place of operation in China. This is the next milestone for the finalisation of the demonstration track in Chengdu. The new type of local passenger transport system will start operation on the 3.5-kilometre track in the summer, thus practically demonstrating the numerous advantages of the transport system in local transport.After the first series-production vehicle had been precommissioned in Sengenthal in the past few months and tested for its use in China, it spectacularly made its way to our Chinese partner in early June. On the way to its destination, the novel traffic system was first loaded onto trucks at the Max Bögl group’s headquarters in Sengenthal and transported to Munich Airport. From there, the new series-production vehicle was transported by the Antonov 124-100, one of the largest transport aircraft worldwide, to Chengdu, over 7,500 km away. The TSB team will commission the vehicle together with the Chinese partner company Xinzhu. In summer this year it will be able to drive the 3.5 km track.The optimization of local public transport using the latest technologies is highly valued by the Chinese government. The demonstration track in Chengdu illustrates the possibilities of the innovative Transport System Bögl for local public transport. The track of the Transport System Bögl is very low and light with a girder of 1.2 metres in height and 23.5 metres in length. Compared to conventional systems, the Transport System Bögl avoids the high loads at the wheel-rail contact point, which are the main cause of vibrations and noise. Instead, the transport system guides the loads evenly distributed into the track without contact and is therefore very quiet and manages with considerably smaller substructures for the track. This not only saves on raw materials and costs, but is also aesthetically pleasing.
With the Transport System Bögl, Max Bögl has developed a future-oriented local transport system. Based on magnetic levitation or maglev technology, this system is quiet and flexible while also saving space and lowering emissions. The Transport System Bögl works with a linear drive, and thanks to flexible routing, can be integrated into existing transport infrastructure. As a turnkey supplier, Max Bögl is responsible for planning, industrial manufacturing of the track and vehicle, and construction measures. This is resource and cost-efficient, which makes it possible for the infrastructure project to be completed quickly. With over 6,500 highly qualified employees at more than 35 locations worldwide and an annual turnover of around 1.7 billion euros, Max Bögl is one of the largest building, technology and service companies in the German construction industry. Ever since its founding in 1929, the company has been known for its innovative strength in research and technology – from tailor-made custom solutions to complete construction engineering solutions that are ecologically sustainable.

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A special edition on the new coronavirus

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 marzo 2020

By Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-In-Chief The Economist. Welcome to a special edition of our weekly newsletter on the new disease, covid-19. In 12 short weeks the virus has spread from a wet market in Wuhan, across China and out into the world.
So far 58 countries have reported over 83,000 cases—though the true figure is almost certainly a lot larger. At least 2,800 people have died. This week, for the first time, the daily toll of new cases outside China began to outstrip the spread of the infection inside. The first cases have turned up in countries as distant from each other as Brazil and Pakistan. In our cover leader in this week’s issue, we set out the threat from the disease and warn that, now that the virus is overwhelming attempts to contain it, it is past time for governments to prepare. But a huge amount remains misunderstood about the virus and its effects. Here we present seven articles that tell the story of the birth of a pandemic. We look at the biology of the disease and the dynamics of its spread; how public-health systems are gearing up to deal with the inevitable surge in infections; and how scientists are working on vaccines and new antiviral medicines. We also look at how the virus is affecting China—from the lives of migrant workers stuck in their villages to the political calculations of President Xi Jinping. And lastly we look at how covid-19 is harming global business and the world economy.A pandemic is more than a disease. It tests a society’s health systems, its government and politicians, and its economy. We hope that our coverage prepares you for what to expect.

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“China will be a different country after the coronavirus crisis”

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 febbraio 2020

China has been battling the spread of the coronavirus for weeks. Some regions have begun to relax transport and travel restrictions in response to a call from state and party leader Xi Jinping. He on Sunday called on companies to get back to work and safeguard jobs as far as they could: provinces with low infection risks should revive business, while those still at risk should remain focused on containing the epidemic. No, the crisis is entering a crucial phase. There is still huge uncertainty about what will happen. State and party leader Xi Jinping said at a Politburo meeting on Friday that the “turning point” hasn’t been reached and the situation in affected areas remains very serious and complicated. China’s leadership is doing everything it can to restart the economic engine. It cannot afford the country’s economy to remain paralyzed – and neither can the global economy, for that matter. There is a huge tension between the imperatives of “getting back to work” and of maintaining the strictest measures to avoid new contagion at all costs. Party officials and company executives once again have to contend with an immense dilemma and are under huge pressure. Xi personally pledged to ensure preferential treatment for companies critically important to global supply chains – but this is not so much comforting as more a sign of the scale of the problem.
Everyone involved wishes China’s leaders every success in fighting the crisis. Despite justified criticism from inside and outside China about the initial cover-up of the outbreak, any efforts by Beijing to ensure international cooperation and transparency are much appreciated. However, the biggest question remains what “lessons” Beijing will learn from the crisis. Some of these will be welcome – we can expect investments in health-system reform and disease control. But there are concerns that China’s leadership will react to likely pressure and economic disruption by shelving its already limited reform agenda for some time. And that it will make crisis-fighting measures like extensive information control and digital surveillance part of its everyday policy.

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As its covid-19 epidemic slows, China tries to get back to work

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 27 febbraio 2020

IF CHINA IS the world’s factory, Yiwu International Trade City is the factory’s showroom. It is the world’s biggest wholesale market, spacious enough to fit 770 football pitches, with stalls selling everything from leather purses to motorcycle mufflers. On February 24th, as is customary for its reopening after the lunar new year, performers held long fabric dragons aloft on poles and danced to the beat of drums, hoping to bring good fortune to the 200,000 merchants and buyers who normally throng the market each day. But these are not normal times. The reopening was delayed by two weeks because of the covid-19 virus, the crowd was sparse and the dragon dancers, like everyone else, donned white face-masks for protection. The ceremony complete, business began. All those entering the market had to pass health checks and were told to be silent during meal breaks, lest they spread germs by talking.
The muted restart of the Yiwu market resembles that of the broader Chinese economy. The government has decided that the epidemic is under control to the point that much of the country can go back to work. That is far from simple. More than 100m migrant workers, the people who make the economy tick, are still in their hometowns, and officials are trying hard to transport them to the factories and shops that need them. Yiwu has chartered dozens of trains and buses to bring in workers from around the country. It also wants to lure in buyers from around the world: it has offered to cover the full cost of their flights and accommodation if they arrive before February 29th. (font: The Economist)

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Munich Security Conference: Will China be a driver of “Westlessness”?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 febbraio 2020

Interview with Helena Legarda, analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin.
Even though the Coronavirus crisis will probably hinder some high-ranking Chinese officials from attending the MSC, China will be very present in most discussions about the international security landscape. In a declaration issued at the end of its December summit, NATO recognized the challenges posed by the rise of China – a first for the western defence alliance. Why did it do that? ­
The statement by NATO leaders was the culmination of a process of assessing China’s growing international role and its rise as a global security actor. Asia is normally outside the alliance’s area of operations. But issues like Huawei and 5G, China-Russia relations, China’s rapid military modernization and NATO more frequently encountering the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) overseas have brought China into focus. Although the language of the statement is careful – it notes China presents “both opportunities and challenges” – its mere existence is hugely significant as it shows that China has become a point of concern for the alliance. ­
Many European governments are currently struggling to deal with China’s determination to participate in Europe’s 5G infrastructure. They view the possibility of Chinese infiltration as a serious threat to their national security. Do you expect the Chinese delegation to address this issue in Munich? ­
The issue of Europe’s 5G networks and Huawei’s role in supplying them is very likely to come up at the Munich Security Conference. There are delegates from China, the US and Europe, so the war of words over the security implications of using Huawei equipment in 5G networks will most likely continue, especially as most European countries, including Germany, have not finally decided the issue (as we highlight in our contribution to the Munich Security Report, page 31f.). We can expect the US delegation to continue making the case for a Huawei ban, while the Chinese delegation will push for Europe not to exclude Huawei, possibly threatening consequences if countries choose to ban the Chinese telecommunications giant. ­
New research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests China is the world’s second-largest arms producer, behind the USA but ahead of Russia. Does China want to dominate the market? ­
The arms-sales figures of China’s defence companies aren’t very transparent, so it is difficult to exactly determine their position in the market. But it is quite clear that China overall is currently a net global arms exporter, having left behind its traditional position as a net importer. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reckons China exported about EUR 14.4 billion worth of conventional weapons between 2008 and 2018, making it the fifth largest arms supplier in the world. But China is working to increase its global arms sales by moving beyond its traditional buyers in Asia, in particular Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. China is increasingly intent on strengthening its foothold in new markets in Africa and the Middle East, where Russia and the US have traditionally been much bigger players. China’s advantage is that Chinese weaponry – although sometimes less advanced – tends to be cheaper than the Russian and especially the American alternatives.
How do you expect China’s participation in arms-control regimes to develop?
The collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) has lent a new sense of urgency to the issue of arms control. Developing a new arms-control regime that includes China and other global powers like the US and Russia has become a priority for many governments. Both Washington and Berlin have repeatedly invited Beijing to help negotiate a new treaty, be it trilateral or multilateral. But China has rejected these calls and argued that Moscow and Washington must take steps to reduce their nuclear arsenals before they ask other countries to do the same. Beijing is reluctant to embrace full transparency when it comes to its arsenal and assigns its missiles an important role in its military strategy and global ambitions, so including China in a new regime that is similar to the INF Treaty will be an uphill battle. But incremental steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of an arms race. ­
At the next National People’s Congress (NPC), China is expected to announce new military-spending plans. Do you expect a big increase in expenditure? ­
This year’s National People’s Congress was supposed to meet on March 5, but it is likely to be delayed by the coronavirus outbreak, so it may be some time before China’s defense budget for 2020 is published. But it does seem likely that this year’s budget will grow by about 7-8 percent, as it has over the last few years. This would continue the upward trend of China’s military expenditure, which has almost doubled since 2010. The growing military budget and other national policies like Made in China 2025 and the Civil-Military Integration strategy have clearly contributed to the PLA’s modernization. Beijing has rapidly developed increasingly advanced platforms – the first domestically made aircraft carrier, stealth UAVs, fifth-generation fighter jets like the J-20. China’s ultimate goal is to have by 2049 a military that can fight and win wars – even if the PLA still has a number of big hurdles to clear to get there. ­
This year’s MSC report defines the concept of “Westlesness” as a trend by which not only the world is becoming less Western, but the West itself may become less Western too. When looked at it like that, China could definitely be seen as a driver of “Westlessness”. China’s rise and its growing influence in global economic, political and security matters is having a clear impact on the Western-led liberal world order. China is using its growing influence in international organizations, its economic clout and its expanding global military footprint to present itself as an alternative to the West for many non-Western countries – and as an alternative to the United States for European states. This has created fault lines in the transatlantic relationship, as some countries try to balance close economic ties to China with political ties to Washington.
Helena Legarda together with Meia Nouwens (IISS) will discuss at the MSC side-event “The future of China’s participation in arms-control regimes”, followed by a policy comment by Sebastian Groth (Director of Policy Planning Department of the German Federal Foreign Office). The event will take place at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof on February 15. Relevant Sources:MERICS China Global Security TrackerMunich Security Report 2020: Westlessness

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China’s attempts to curb Hong Kong protests threaten the city’s status as a financial center

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 gennaio 2020

The political crisis that has gripped Hong Kong since March 2019 is far from resolved. The Chinese government’s responses to the protests are undermining the city’s institutional pillars. Hong Kong’s status as a financial gateway is at risk as the city is caught between the differing needs of China’s government and international business, according to MERICS researchers Max J. Zenglein and Maximilian Kärnfelt. The authors of the new MERICS study „Financial hub at risk. How China’s reaction to protests jeopardizes Hong Kong’s status” argue the protest movement and government responses also pose a dilemma for Beijing: China cannot enjoy the benefits of both political control and a liberal economic environment.Hong Kong’s position as a financial hub rests on its high degree of autonomy. The city’s status as a Special Administrative Region has given it the freedom to meet the institutional requirements to remain an international hub for finance and trade. Hong Kong’s freedoms – in particular the rule of law and a lack of capital controls – are thus essential for China as it tries to satisfy its growing appetite for foreign capital.The protests have affected Hong Kong’s economy, causing the city’s first recession since 2009. Hard-hit sectors include retail, restaurants, hospitality, transportation and events – even if the real estate market remains fairly stable for now. The city’s function as an offshore financial center has so far not been affected. There have been no major capital outflows, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) continues to attract major IPOs. With the listing of Anheuser-Busch’s Asian unit and the secondary listing of Alibaba, it even topped the global ranking of IPO locations last year. But the city’s ability to attract new companies and talent has suffered – ever more expatriate executives, for example, are relocating their families elsewhere.The authors argue that China has no credible alternative to Hong Kong in the short to medium term. Hong Kong’s role as China’s gateway to global financial markets is currently unique. The city provides China access to foreign exchange and is helping to integrate the country’s financial system into global markets. Shanghai and Shenzhen are in no position to take over because of their strict capital controls, and the absence of both a freely convertible currency and the rule of law. Alternative offshore centers like Macau, Singapore or London are at best complementary hubs – cities beyond mainland China have considerable political and economic constraints.However, the crisis has the potential to undermine the institutions upon which Hong Kong’s liberal economy relies. The authors look at different reasons why Hong Kong’s status as a popular offshore financial center (OFC) is at risk: escalating economic and financial crisis, Hong Kong’s need for international recognition of its special trading status, political pressure on companies that could erode economic freedom, and Beijing’s hardline measures that could undermine the city’s independent judiciary.
According to a MERICS survey of experts and professionals in Hong Kong, a majority of 71.2 per cent expect the city to remain functional even as protests continue, 22.9 per cent foresee business as usual as protests fade and stability returns, and only six per cent worry that a deterioration in stability could cause significant, lasting damage.Zenglein and Kärnfelt conclude with a warning: Growing distrust in Hong Kong’s institutions jeopardizes its position as an offshore financial center. Beijing’s hardline course threatens to inflict substantial and irreparable damage on the city’s institutions. As a result, Chinese pressure for accelerated convergence with the mainland’s political and legal system has reached a critical point. Given that Beijing has no credible alternative financial gateway, the premature demise of Hong Kong’s global function would be costly for China. In that event, European businesses would face the challenge of losing the institutional convenience Hong Kong provides.You can read the full report „Financial hub at risk. How China’s reaction to protests jeopardizes Hong Kong’s status” here.

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Eros Now Channel Live on Wasu Media In China

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 9 gennaio 2020

Eros Now, the cutting-edge digital over-the-top (OTT) South Asian entertainment platform owned by Eros International Plc (NYSE: EROS) (“Eros” or “the Company”), a Global Indian Entertainment Company, had previously announced in 2019 a partnership with Wasu Media. Eros Now is pleased to announce the service is now live on Wasu Media in China and able to deliver Bollywood and digital original series to Chinese viewers. Wasu Media is a major cable television, broadband network OTT and IPTV service provider in China.Eros Now further cements its position as a pioneer as the only Indian OTT player to have live services for Video on Demand in China including on Wasu Media and Iqiyi.Wasu Media has a strong base in the country and reaches 125 million users via its Cable TV, OTT, IPTV distribution network to 100+ cities in China, providing Eros Now a platform to further expand its subscriber base. The partnership will enable Wasu Media to provide Bollywood content as a SVOD service to Chinese viewers and further enhance the demand that Bollywood content has seen in China over the last few years.There is a massive cultural overlap of viewing behaviour of Chinese audiences with that of South Asian audiences, this has been demonstrated by the success of movies like Dangal, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Andhadhun that have released in China over the last few years with significant success at the Chinese box office. The trend now has escalated to digital platforms with Eros Now at the forefront with this transformation of building viewership of Indian movies with digital viewers in China.

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Global & China Laboratory Digestion Systems Market

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 dicembre 2019

The “Laboratory Digestion Systems Market Insights 2019, Analysis and Forecast Global and Chinese Market to 2024, by Manufacturers, Product Type, Application, Regions and Technology” report has been added to’s offering.
Laboratory Digestion Systems Market Insights 2019, Global and Chinese Scenario is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the global Laboratory Digestion Systems industry with a focus on the Chinese market. The report provides key statistics on the market status of the Laboratory Digestion Systems manufacturers and is a valuable source of guidance and direction for companies and individuals interested in the industry.Overall, the report provides an in-depth insight of 2014-2024 global and Chinese Laboratory Digestion Systems market covering all important parameters.

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