For the first time since it came into existence in 1995, the World Trade Organization last month finally achieved a breakthrough, reaching a series of agreements to streamline trade that are expected to boost the world economy by up to a trillion U.S. dollars a year.
Checkbook diplomacy as an instrument of policy between Taiwan and mainland China hasn't been used in at least five years, but a somewhat similar type of diplomacy is now emerging as China and Japan both seek to win the support of the countries of Southeast Asia.
The world's trade structure has changed dramatically over the last decade, with China having replaced the United States last year as the biggest trading nation.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was feted by China's leaders during his three-day trip to the country but much of his diet consisted of humble pie, which he manfully swallowed, pointing to "a visit that has delivered almost 6 billion pounds worth of deals" (about US$9 billion), including one to export pig semen to raise the quality of Chinese pork.
2013/12/11, 1 Comment
China's announcement of an East China Sea air defense identification zone (ADIZ) has effectively taken the world's multibillion-dollar airline industry hostage.
More than three decades ago, Deng Xiaoping, who later became known as the chief architect of China's reforms, decided to focus on economic development through pragmatic experimentation, with the country moving forward cautiously by "crossing the river by feeling the stones."
China is dramatically increasing its imports of crude oil from Russia and the two countries seem to be on the verge of huge deals involving natural gas, of which Russia holds the world's largest reserves.
The United States and China are negotiating a bilateral investment treaty. Economic issues come up regularly in the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. However, while car tires and chicken meat get the attention of American trade officials, certain Chinese actions with dire consequences for a particular sector in the United States somehow don't seem to get discussed as economic issues.
China and Japan have lodged protests with each other over the holding of naval exercises in the East China Sea as their dispute over tiny islands shows no sign of a resolution.
2013/11/6, 1 Comment
After years of troubled relations with the countries of Southeast Asia, China has launched a campaign to enhance its relationship with ASEAN through a dramatic increase in trade, all the while not retreating on its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.