US-China Trade Update 4-4-2012: Working Together

President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama recently met in Seoul to discuss their views and work on further promoting the China-US cooperative partnership, as well as discuss regional and international issues of common concern. Meanwhile, China and U.S. are working together, holding the third China-U.S. Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD). Some experts, however, feel that the China-US relationship is still suffering from a strategic distrust.  Analyst Wang Jisi claims "China views the United States as a declining power, but at the same time believes that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China’s becoming the world’s most powerful country." All this and much more in this week's U.S. China update. 

Contents
Economy
Global Relations

Economy

In the News –Sorting Out Conflicting Data on China’s Industrial Economy
New York Times, April 02, 2012
“The gap between the official China factory index and the one produced by HSBC reached its widest point in two years in March, raising an important question: Which has a better handle on the country’s economic growth? … The encouraging news for those who believe that the Chinese economy will have a soft landing is that the more bullish official purchasing managers’ index appears to be more closely correlated with economic conditions and a better predictor of things to come.” Read more  

In the News –Two Sides to Labor in China
New York Times, March 30, 2012
“The shorter workweeks and higher pay that Apple’s biggest contract manufacturer, Foxconn, has promised would mean fundamental changes to factory work in China — assuming enough workers can be found in the first place…No worker is likely to oppose higher hourly pay, of course. But one reason that workweeks of 60 hours or more have been possible at factories run by Foxconn and others is that at least some laborers already on the payroll have wanted the extra hours.” Read more  

Commentary –John Garnaut: The Revenge of Wen Jiabao
Foreign Policy, March 29, 2012
“If Premier Wen Jiabao is ‘China's best actor,’ as his critics allege, he saved his finest performance for last. After three hours of eloquent and emotional answers in his final news conference at the National People's Congress annual meeting this month, Wen uttered his public political masterstroke, reopening debate on one of the most tumultuous events in the Chinese Communist Party's history and hammering the final nail in the coffin of his great rival, the now-deposed Chongqing Communist Party boss Bo Xilai. And in striking down Bo, Wen got his revenge on a family that had opposed him and his mentor countless times in the past.” Read more  

In the News –BRICS Leaders Fail to Create Rival to World Bank
New York Times, March 29, 2012
“Leaders of five emerging world economic powers convened on Thursday for a one-day diplomatic meeting, pledging to expand mutual trade while urging faster reforms of the Western-dominated global financial system. They also called for dialogue, not military intervention, in addressing the violence in Syria and Iran’s disputed nuclear ambitions.” Read more  

Analysis – Knowledge@Wharton China: China’s Gravity-defying Economy, How Hard Will It Fall?
Knowledge@Wharton China, March 28, 2012
“As China’s high-octane economy shifts into lower gear, virtually everyone agrees that the double-digit, super-charged boom years are drawing to a close. Speculation over the possibility of a so-called “hard landing” for the country flourishes with each boom and bust cycle, only to die down as China’s growth revs up again. This time, however, both external and internal factors -- including global conditions, domestic politics and financial trends -- are reinforcing the downturn. Many experts warn that without some painful reforms, there will be worse trouble to come.” Read more

What They’re Saying –Knowledge@Wharton China: Market Update: A Real Recovery, or a False Start?
Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel and Scott Richard, March 28, 2012
“The Dow has hit its highest level in years, loan rates are at record lows and the U.S. economy appears to be gaining momentum. Even the housing market is starting to look inviting. But is this a real recovery -- or a false start like last year's? Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegeland Scott Richard, a Wharton practice professor of finance, think the economy is showing signs of a true rebound and predict that stocks should do well in the next 12 months. But bonds, they warn, are in dangerous waters, and economic growth will be in jeopardy if oil prices keep rising and the European credit crisis worsens.” Read more

What They’re Saying –Knowledge@Wharton China: The Growth of a Rural Entrepreneur
HA Group's Xu Lianjie, March 28, 2012
“Before he started HengAn International Group (HA Group) in 1985, Xu Lianjie was a farmer in the eastern coastal province of Fujian in southern China. HA Group is now the leading Chinese maker of personal and household paper products, including feminine care products, diapers and tissues.” Read more

Commentary –Yu Yongding: China’s Struggle to Slow
Project Syndicate, March 28, 2012
“At the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), Premier Wen Jiabao announced that the government’s target for annual economic growth in 2012 was 7.5%. With the global economy still struggling to recover, Wen’s announcement of such a significant dip in China’s growth rate naturally sparked widespread concern around the world.” Read more

In the News –Chinese State Councilor meets Cisco chairman             
Xinhua, March 28, 2012
“State Councilor Liu Yandong met with John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco Systems Inc., in Beijing on Tuesday…Liu said she appreciated Cisco's efforts to promote the use of the Internet in the educational field and thanked Chambers for the company's support in the reconstruction of China's quake-hit Sichuan province.” Read more
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Global Relations

In the News –China Sees U.S. as Competitor and Declining Power, Insider Says
New York Times, April 02, 2012
“The senior leadership of the Chinese government increasingly views the competition between the United States and China as a zero-sum game, with China the likely long-range winner if the American economy and domestic political system continue to stumble, according to an influential Chinese policy analyst…China views the United States as a declining power, but at the same time believes that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China’s becoming the world’s most powerful country, according to the analyst, Wang Jisi, the co-author of “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust,” a monograph published this week by the Brookings Institution in Washington and the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University.” Read more

In the News –China, U.S. hold third women's leadership dialogue              
Xinhua, March 30, 2012
“All China Women's Federation (ACWF) president Chen Zhili and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have lauded the progress in ties between the people of the two countries at a women's leadership forum here…The third China-U.S. Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD) was held Wednesday as part of efforts to boost people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. ” Read more

In the News –China, U.S. hold third women's leadership dialogue
Xinhua, March 30, 2012
“All China Women's Federation (ACWF) president Chen Zhili and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have lauded the progress in ties between the people of the two countries at a women's leadership forum here…The third China-U.S. Women's Leadership Exchange and Dialogue (Women-LEAD) was held Wednesday as part of efforts to boost people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.” Read more  

In the News –U.S. and China Press for Influence in Myanmar
New York Times, March 30, 2012
“As Chinese workers in hard hats and red overalls bulldoze deep trenches into the orange soil across northern Myanmar for gas and oil pipelines to China, China’s largest energy conglomerate is paying cash for land and trees in the pipelines’ path, and building schools and health clinics for some of the poorest people on earth…The compensation offered by the China National Petroleum Corporation reflects a bitter lesson China learned about doing business in the new, more democratic Myanmar when construction on a major Chinese hydroelectric dam there was suspended last year after a groundswell of outrage erupted over what was seen as China’s imperious attitude toward Myanmar’s people and its environment.” Read more

In the News –China slams US Tibet resolution
Global Times, March 29, 2012
“The foreign ministry Wednesday slammed a resolution approved Tuesday by a US Senate committee on Beijing's policy in the Tibet Autonomous Region, accusing some lawmakers in Washington of interfering in China's internal affairs…‘The Chinese government is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups, and the protection of citizens' religious freedom," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.’” Read more

In the News –China calls for caution after U.S. discloses anti-missile push
Xinhua, March 28, 2012
“China on Tuesday called for caution after the United States disclosed its plan to build regional shields against ballistic missiles in both Asia and the Middle East…Media reports, quoting a senior Pentagon official, say that the U.S. is looking to build the shields against ballistic missiles akin to an European defense system to protect against states like Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).” Read more

In the News –Chinese, U.S. presidents meet on ties, major issues
Xinhua, March 27, 2012
“Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama met Monday in Seoul to discuss bilateral ties and major world and regional issues of common concern…The meeting, which came on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, was the two leaders' first this year.” Read more

In the News –China hopes U.S., DPRK keep contacts, dialogue: Chinese president
Xinhua, March 27, 2012
“Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Monday that China hoped the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would keep contacts and dialogue and honor the consensus reached between them, so as to improve their relations…Hu made the remarks during a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.” Read more  

In the News –Chinese, U.S. presidents meet on ties, major issues             
Xinhua, March 26, 2012
“Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama met Monday to discuss bilateral ties and major regional and global issues of common concern…During the talks on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, Hu said the world situation is continuing to witness profound and complex changes and that the world economy is still facing many unstable and uncertain factors.” Read more

In the News –Hu Jintao Meets with US President Obama             
Xinhua, March 26, 2012
“President Hu Jintao held talks with US President Barack Obama in Seoul. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth views and reached important consensus on further promoting the China-US cooperative partnership and regional and international issues of common concern. The meeting was very constructive.” Read more

In the News –Obama Urges China to Restrain North Korea as He Praises South’s Successes
New York Times, March 26, 2012
“President Obama took North Korea’s untested new leader, Kim Jong-un, to task on Monday, demanding that China curb his belligerent behavior and declaring that South Korea’s economic and democratic achievements would inevitably triumph over the failure and isolation of the North…In a blunt, 90-minute meeting with China’s president, Hu Jintao, before a nuclear security summit meeting here, Mr. Obama pressed the Chinese leader to use his influence over North Korea to stop it from proceeding with a satellite launching next month, a White House official said. ” Read more  

Commentary –Isaac Stone Fish: The Great Rumor Mill of China
Foreign Policy, March 22, 2012
“The public hasn't seen or heard from high-ranking Communist Party leader Bo Xilai since he was sacked last week in Beijing, and the Chinese Internet has been awash with debate over what's actually going on behind palace walls. ‘People are nervous, there's not much information available,’ Bo Zhiyue, an expert on Chinese elite politics at the National University of Singapore, told AFP. ‘They are hungry for new information, and if there's nothing new, they will make up new information.’ ” Read more
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