The chief economist of China’s Essence Securities, Gao Shanwen, delivered a speech at an internal annual strategy meeting on Wednesday (November 27). Gao predicted that China’s economic slowdown will last several years and that the average annual economic growth between 2020 and 2030 will stay below five percent. Gao was even concerned about whether GDP (gross domestic product) would grow above four percent. He expressed the belief that there are two contributing factors. The first is the impact of the trade war. The second is the stagnation of China’s economic reform as featured by the phenomenon of the “advancement of the state enterprises and the retreat of the private sector.”
Gao added that the government has used strong counter-cyclical measures to prevent the economic downturn. These have barely supported the growth rate at about six percent. However, the stimulus policies are less and less effective. With a weak domestic market, the economy of 2020 doesn’t look good. Although his speech was widely circulated on the Internet, within one day, the content had been completely deleted.
Gao is a well-known economist in China, whose remarks attracted the attention of the Chinese institutional investors and the financial media. In 2016, Gao attended the Economic Situation and Entrepreneurs Forum that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hosted. Earlier this year, Li Keqiang stated that the target for GDP growth this year was set at 6 percent to 6.5 percent.
Source: Radio Free Asia, December 4, 2019
Global Times reported on an intention that the Director of Rostec (the Russian State Corporation for Assistance to Development, Production and Export of Advanced Technology Industrial Products, formally known as Russian Technologies) recently announced. Russia is ready to “provide technical help at any time” to Turkey to develop its own fifth-generation fighter jets. Russia obtained rich experience during its development of the Russian Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets. Russia has been delivering its S-400 air-defense missile systems to Turkey since July, which caused a relationship crisis between Turkey and the United States. Turkey plans to deploy the S-400 systems in April, 2020. Washington has delayed its delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey and threatened to cancel the F-35 contract with Turkey altogether. The United States asked Turkey to give up the use of the S-400 systems, but Turkey so far has resisted.
Source: Global Times, November 18, 2019
Global Times recently published a commentary as part of the wave of Chinese media attacking the new U.S. law, The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, that President Trump just signed. Global Times asserted that the U.S politicians are simply turning Hong Kong into a jump point to deter the rise of Mainland China. The commentary indicated that China has now become so powerful that Hong Kong can no longer be used as a “strategic Western chess piece.” The U.S. move may be able to create a little bit of trouble for China right now, but in doing so, it may destroy the United States’ interest in Hong Kong. The commentary described the “One Country Two Systems” arrangement as a reasonable setup that is good for both Mainland China and Hong Kong. It is a system which was working well until the U.S. came up with this new law that threatens to take away Hong Kong’s favorable trade partner status. The author claimed that Hong Kong can continue to sustain its prosperity with or without the U.S. The commentary concluded that Hong Kong’s global status was not something that the United States granted; therefore, the U.S. cannot simply cut the ties that Hong Kong has established with the world, .
Source: Global Times, November 30, 2019
Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that Josef Bednarski, Member of the Supervisory Board and Employee Representative of Deutsche Telekom, spoke up for the first time after the hot topic of using Huawei equipment was brought to the public. Bednarski, as the Chairman of the Group Works Council, told the press that Deutsche Telekom must give up using Huawei equipment in the mid-and-long term in order to prevent economic and political data loss. He expressed the belief that the Chinese government has too much power over Huawei to the point that, at any time, Huawei has to surrender any of its data. He also added that, not just Huawei, but any other Chinese technology company, may be ordered to deploy government-mandated back-doors. However, Bednarski also aired his concern that an immediate stop to using Huawei equipment may affect the construction schedule of the German 5G network. He called for the European Union to take the lead in encouraging the growth of the EU’s own telecommunications industry and providing necessary support to European manufacturers.
Source: DW Chinese, November 24, 2019
Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that, based on the data that the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics just released, China’s large-scale (officially classified as “Above Designated Size”) industrial companies’ total profits declined by 9.9 percent, year-over-year. The scale of the decline expanded by 4.6 percent from September’s total. The same number for the period of January to October declined by 2.9 percent, year-over-year. For the first ten month of the year, the profit of the private sector companies and the small-sized companies maintained a stable growth. However, experts expressed the belief that international demand may pick up in the near future.
Source: Lianhe Zaobao, November 27, 2019
The Hong Kong people sent a major message to Beijing in the district council election on November 24, 2019. The election saw an unprecedented turnout (71 pecent of eligible voters showed up). The number of people voting has tripled the number of pro-democrats from 124 seats to 388 seats while the number of those who are pro-Beijing parties and independents shrank to only 62 seats, a drop of 242 seats.
A Taiwanese cartoonist, whose Facebook account is SXTbit, posted a cartoon about the vote. The cartoon has moved many people into tears. The following is the cartoon and the translation:
A Hong Kong mother knocked on the door of her daughter’s room: “Sweetheart, mommy’s coming in now!”
Holding a wipe in her hand, mother said, “Mommy went out to vote yesterday!”
While cleaning the desk, mother continued, “You always asked us to go out to vote. This time I also dragged your dad to go along!” “The line was really long!”
Sitting on her daughter’s bed, mother kept talking, “I voted for the young candidate whom you asked me to vote for!” “You know what? This time in our Wong Tai Sin District, the pro-Beijing camp didn’t win any seat at all!”
The scene zoomed out. In an empty room, the mother sat on her daughter’s bed and said with great mourning in her heart, “If you could hear this, would that give you a bit more comfort…”
Note: A poster on the wall said, “Five key demands, not one less!” Another one said “Support Hong Kong!”
Source: Facebook, November 24, 2019