It is a happy Friday, at least for markets, as President Trump and General Secretary are making nice again about trade talks.
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Photo: Xinhua/Li Tao via Getty Images
Trump and Xi had a phone call Thursday and look to have confirmed a meeting at the end of the month.
By the numbers:
Between the lines: It sounds like the two sides are still far apart on a deal.
The big picture: The trade dispute is just one dimension of the fundamental resetting of the U.S.-China relationship, and even if there is a trade deal some time in the future, the other issues, including but not limited to Taiwan, South China Sea, and interference/influence have little prospect of resolution any time soon.
“Trade frictions with the U.S., and particularly the near-collapse of ZTE, has reinforced Chinese leaders’ instinct for technological autarky,” said Yanmei Xie of Gavekal Dragonomics, an economic research firm.
China's economy is slowing, concerning both government and private businesses.
The bottom line: Xi and the leadership understand the concerns of the entrepreneurs, but whether or not the flurry of recent statements and meetings will improve confidence and business conditions for them remains unclear.
But private entrepreneurs need to remember their place in overall system:
The Justice Department is creating a "China Initiative" to better identify and counter high-priority Chinese trade theft incidents, Axios' Shannon Vavra reports.
What's next: "Picking flowers, making honey", a new report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute examines the Chinese military’s collaboration with foreign universities:
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is expanding its research collaboration with universities outside of China. Since 2007, the PLA has sponsored more than 2,500 military scientists and engineers to study abroad and has developed relationships with researchers and institutions across the globe.
This collaboration is highest in the Five Eyes countries, Germany and Singapore, and is often unintentionally supported by taxpayer funds. Australia has been engaged in the highest level of PLA collaboration among Five Eyes countries per capita, at six times the level in the US. Nearly all PLA scientists sent abroad are Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members who return to China on time.
The bottom line: No matter what happens with the Trump-Xi trade talks, these issues are not going away in the U.S.-China relationship and in fact will likely become much more contentious as the US and allies start pushing back harder.
The U.S. revealed two high-profile moves to crack down on Chinese intellectual property theft this week, Axios' Joe Uchill reports.
The big picture: "U.S. experts charge that China has hacked into U.S. companies to steal anything and everything that could build up its tech industry without having to spend money on research and development."
A picture of novelist Jin Yong (aka Louis Cha Jing-yong) is seen at a memorial section of a bookstore in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images
Louis Cha, who wrote martial arts novels under the pen name Jin Yong, died this week in Hong Kong at the age of 94.
Per the South China Morning Post:
Cha was a respected journalist, community leader, and, above all, a celebrated author whose novels in the wuxia genre – featuring chivalrous tales of kung fu masters in ancient China – made him a household name both at home and among the global Chinese diaspora.
His work transcended political, geographical and ideological barriers, with well over 100 million copies sold worldwide and countless adaptations into media ranging from films to video games.
The New Yorker profiled Cha earlier this year in The Gripping Stories, and Political Allegories, of China’s Best-Selling Author:
Louis Cha, who is ninety-four years old and lives in luxurious seclusion atop the jungled peak of Hong Kong Island, is one of the best-selling authors alive. Widely known by his pen name, Jin Yong, his work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” combined. Cha began publishing wuxia epics—swashbuckling kung-fu fantasias—as newspaper serials, in the nineteen-fifties. Ever since, his fiction has kept children, and their parents, up past their bedtimes, reading about knights who test their martial-arts mettle with sparring matches in roadside ale-houses and princesses with dark secrets who moonlight as assassins. These characters travel through the jianghu, which literally translates as “rivers and lakes,” but metaphorically refers to an alluvial underworld of hucksters and heroes beyond the reach of the imperial government. Cha weaves the jianghu into Chinese history...
“Of course, there were other wuxia writers, and there was kung-fu fiction before Jin Yong,” the publisher and novelist Chan Koonchung said. “Just as there was folk music before Bob Dylan.”
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