This episode contains segments on the accelerating decline of China’s foreign trade; on the phone call between High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with the former invited to visit Beijing this autumn; on the 26 new measures announced by China’s Ministry of Public Security to improve the work of China’s public security organs, as well as on the 28 measures jointly released by the NDRC and several ministries to support the private sector. From the Chamber’s side: join the European Chamber’s event on 17th August in Shanghai to find out what industry experts think about China’s prospects in renewable energy.
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China July foreign trade data
Wang Yi-Josep Borrell phone call
26 measures released by China’s Ministry of Public Security
28 measures to promote the development of the private economy
European Chamber event: China’s Climate Policy¾An Outlook of Renewable Energy Trends for the Year Ahead 2023
XINHE: Hello and welcome to China Shortcuts,
XINHE: China’s foreign trade tumbled in July, with exports and imports both falling at a faster pace than expected compared to the same period last year.
MARIANN: In dollar denominated terms the total value of exports dropped 14.5 per cent year-on-year, which was the steepest decline recorded since February 2020. China’s exports have been falling for the third consecutive month in July, and at an accelerating pace amid lower prices and weakening global demand. Imports, meanwhile, dropped 12.4 per cent, which was more than double than the rate of decline predicted by analysts. This marked the ninth consecutive month of decline in the value of China’s imports.
XINHE: On 7th August, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell spoke on the phone with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who invited him to visit Beijing this autumn.
MARIANN: The invitation is for the strategic bilateral dialogue which takes place each year as a precursor to the EU-China summit. During the phone call, Wang stressed the need for more institutional dialogues between the two sides to make up for the lost opportunities for exchange during the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a Twitter post following the phone conversation, Borrell said he a had a good call with his Chinese counterpart and added that they both want to strengthen EU-China relations.
XINHE: On 3rd August, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced 26 new measures aimed at facilitating and supporting high-quality development through improvements to the work of the country’s public security organs.
MARIANN: The measures include some that streamline visa applications for business purposes and allow foreign nationals to retain their passports while applying for a residence permit. These changes are welcomed by the foreign business community, as they make the relevant processes easier than before. However, in themselves, these measures will not be enough to restore business travel to pre-pandemic levels.
XINHE: On 1st August, China’s top planner, along with several ministries, announced 28 measures to support the development of the private sector.
MARIANN: The National Development and Reform Commission said in its notice that the measures are intended to promote solutions for problems hindering the development of the private economy and boost confidence in the sector. Some of these measures were already listed in a notice issued a week before, with the responsibility to supervise and implement them now delegated to specific ministries. The measures also include the abolishment of any regulations that contradict the principle of equality between enterprises regardless of their ownership type.
XINHE: As outlined by the 14th Five Year Plan for the years between 2021 and 2025, China has devoted significant resources to the construction of renewable energy capacity. As part of its carbon neutrality goals, the country aimed for renewable energy capacity to exceed fossil fuel capacity by 2025. According to China’s definition of renewable energy sources, this target has been reached two years ahead of schedule, now making up over half of the country’s power capacity.
MARIANN: Meanwhile, China’s renewable exports are also booming, with the country controlling more than 80 per cent of the global market for key manufacturing stages of solar panels. China is also on track to double its wind and solar energy capacity and hit its 2030 energy targets five years early if all prospective plants are built and commissioned. However, inconsistent use of resources, particularly due to climate-change induced power shortages, means that China’s energy consumption mix remains weighted towards fossil fuels, with China’s coal usage exceeding the rest of the world combined in 2022.
XINHE: Join the European Chamber’s event on 17th August in Shanghai to find out what industry experts think about China’s prospects of shifting away from coal as the dominant power source, the advances needed in energy storage to ensure energy security in the future and what they recommend for optimising energy efficiency ahead of potential energy shortages.
MARIANN: Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week.
XINHE: In the meantime, please find useful links in the episode notes.