Tag Archives: China

The Great Decoupling From China Has Finally Begun

Before a complete fracturing of the US and Chinese economies, there have already been numerous signs of decoupling that are currently taking place behind the scenes.

But before we tell you about the decoupling and the latest evidence we’ve found. You must be asking: Where are we in the trade war? Beginning innings? Imminent trade deal?

The flurry of trade headlines from the US and China over the last 15 or so months have certainly been confusing. The fact is, there’s so much fake trade news that it’s hard to tell exactly the progress between both countries.

But what’s certain is that the trade war is in the beginning innings and nowhere near being resolved. Yes, there’s a Phase 1 deal being floated around, but that’s only for President Trump to save Midwest farmers and to create positive sentiment ahead of the 2020 election to pump the stock market. 

In reality, the trade war is a winner take all game, it’s really about empire, and how Washington is attempting to prevent China from becoming the next global superpower. Hence the reason for tariffs, which is an attempt by President Trump, the Pentagon, and US corporate elites to limit China’s ascension. 

The decoupling will be slow at first, then rapid. We’re already seeing small to medium-sized Chinese companies being denied IPOs on Nasdaq. President Trump has already banned Haweui access to key US markets. And now, the next evidence that the decoupling is gaining momentum comes from the US Department Of The Interior. 

The Department has grounded its entire fleet of 800 drones for fear that Chinese hackers could spy on critical infrastructure, reported The Wall Street Journal.

“Secretary Bernhardt is reviewing the Department of the Interior’s drone program. Until this review is completed, the Secretary has directed that drones manufactured in China or made from Chinese components be grounded unless they are currently being utilized for emergency purposes, such as fighting wildfires, search and rescue, and dealing with natural disasters that may threaten life or property,” the Department told The Verge via an email statement. 

US officials worry that the Department is relying too heavily on Chinese drones and has put critical infrastructure at risk of being spied on by the Chinese. 

Last month a bipartisan bill was introduced that would limit federal agencies from purchasing Chinese drones. 

Several years ago, the Department of Homeland Security warned federal agencies from purchasing Chinese drones, specifically ones made by Shenzhen-based SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd.

A DJI spokesperson told The Verge in a statement that the latest grounding of their drones by the Department Of The Interior is rather “disappointing.” 

“We are aware the Department of Interior has decided to ground its entire drone program and are disappointed to learn of this development…As the leader in commercial drone technology, we have worked with the Department of Interior to create a safe and secure drone solution that meets their rigorous requirements, which was developed over the course of 15 months with DOI officials, independent cybersecurity professionals, and experts at NASA. We will continue to support the Department of Interior and provide assistance as it reviews its drone fleet so the agency can quickly resume the use of drones to help federal workers conduct vital operations,” the DJI spokesperson said.

The Department’s decision to ground Chinese drones is a clear trend of what’s to come in the year ahead: more groundings across a wide array of agencies. 

Just wait until the groundings start hitting state and local municipalities and lower-level agencies. It’s going to be a nightmare. 

Nevertheless, when the government starts banning certain Chinese products from consumers, you’ll know the great decoupling between the US and China is imminent. 

For this to all happen, the Trump administration will need to ramp up Sinophobia propaganda to convince the American people that decoupling is the right move. 

Source: ZeroHedge

Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

A darkening outlook for China’s economy continues to materialize week by week.

New data from commercial property group CBRE warns the country’s office vacancy rate has just surged to the highest since the financial crisis of 2007–2008, first reported by Bloomberg.

CBRE said the vacancy rate for commercial office space in 17 major cities rose to 21.5% in 3Q19, a level not seen since the global economy was melting down in 2008.

Sam Xie, CBRE’s head of research in China, said the recent “spike” in vacancies is one of the worst since the last financial crisis.

Catherine Chen, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of research for Greater China, told Financial Times that soaring commercial office vacancies in China was mainly due to dwindling demand, but not oversupplied conditions.

“Contributing factors included slower expansion of co-working operators and financial services companies, and a general cost-saving strategy adopted by most tenants given ongoing trade tensions and economic growth slowdown,” she added.

Henry Chin, head of research for Asia Pacific at CBRE, told Financial Times that macroeconomic headwinds relating to the trade war between the US and China were also a significant factor in rising office vacancies.

As shown in the Bloomberg chart below, using CBRE data, Shanghai and Shenzhen had the highest office vacancies than any other city, and both had around 20% of office spaces dormant.

And with the global economy in a synchronized slowdown, global growth estimates are now printing at 3%, the slowest pace since the financial crisis. The Chinese economy will likely continue to slow, and could see domestic growth under 6% this year. This suggests that China’s office space vacancies will continue to rise through year-end.Office Vacancies In China Hit Decade High Amid Economic Turmoil

Source: ZeroHedge

Stunning Clip Shows Billions In Gold, Cash Hidden In Chinese City Mayor’s Basement

Chinese police searched the house of Zhang Qi, 57, the former mayor of Danzhou, and found a large amount of cash, as well as 13.5 tons of gold in ingots in a secret basement of his home, according to local media.

In addition to the mayoral post, Qi held others including Secretary of the Communist Party.

According to unofficial reports, in addition to the $625 million worth of gold, cash worth 268 billion yuan ($37 billion) was discovered [ZH: seems highs to us].

The video prompted some witty social media responses…

Luxurious real estate with a total area of ​​several thousand square meters, which the former city manager had been reportedly hiding, was the icing on the cake in this massive haul for the Chinese Anti-Corruption Committee.

Qi was investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the party’s internal disciplinary body, and the National Supervisory Commission, the highest anti-corruption agency of China, in September 2019.

According to China’s anti-corruption laws, Qi will be executed.

Source: ZeroHedge

Chief Investment Officer of Largest US Public Pension Fund Has Deep Ties to Chinese Regime

(Nathan Su) Newly discovered deep ties between the chief investment officer (CIO) of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Chinese government, along with CalPERS’s China investment holdings, have provoked controversy about the operations of the largest public retirement fund in the United States.

CalPERS manages more than $350 billion for public employees either retired from or currently working for most of the state and local public agencies in California.

The fund holds tens of millions of shares in equities of Chinese companies. Among other things, these companies develop advanced weapons for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and, according to one expert, are involved in unethical business practices and human rights abuses, including the concentration camps holding Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

According to a 2017 report by People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), CalPERS’s current CIO, Yu “Ben” Meng, as of 2015 was a participant in the Chinese government’s prestigious headhunting program called the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP).

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The World Acquires More Gold While China Is Dumping Treasuries

We are told China’s economy is hurting, the “trade wars” are working and bringing China to it’s knees. From where I sit nothing could be further from the truth.

Currently China holds well north of $1 TRILLION in U.S. Treasuries – debt – that you and I, the tax payers of this country, send interest payments to month after month for them to continue holding our debt. It’s like the mortgage on your house, student loan or car note you have but instead of you getting anything for the debt payment you get to know the warmongers are going to purchase more bombs, weapons of all kinds and create more destruction. China, on the other hand, takes the payment and is building out the Belt and Road Initiative around the world. So, while we are working like slaves to pay our taxes, China is using our labor (taxes) paid to them to build a better global economic and financial system that does not include you and I. Pretty cool, aye?

While this is happening on one side of China’s national ledger sheet, on the other side something completely different is happening.

China reentered the gold market seven months ago, in December 2018 and has added a little less than 74 tons to their official gold holdings of approximately 1,935+ tons of gold. Please keep in mind this does not count the known 80-100 tons per annum that is flowing in from Russia. While this is not a large volume of gold in the grand scheme, this has been going on since 2016 so we are now talking about upwards of 240 – 300 additional tons. This changes their “official” gold holdings from approximately 1,935 tons to somewhere north of 2,175+. It could be as high as 2,235 or more tons of gold.

With more and more central banks continuing to add to their gold hoards did China see the pipeline tightening? China made their exit from the market in October 2016, the same month the yuan / renminbi was added to the IMF basket of currencies accounting for the SDR global trade note. Then fourteen months later decided to jump back in and have been adding to their horde ever since.

Last year, central banks bought 651.5 tons, 74% up on the previous year, the World Gold Council said in January. Official sector purchases could reach 700 tons this year, assuming the China trend continues and Russia at least matches 2018 volumes of about 275 tons, Citigroup Inc. said in April. Buying from central banks in the first five months of this year is 73% higher than a year earlier, with Turkey and Kazakhstan joining China and Russia as the four biggest buyers, according to data released on Monday by the WGC. Source

If 2018 saw national / central banks acquiring more than they have since 1968 and this they are outpacing last year by 73% will this be the biggest year for gold national / central bank acquisitions in history? If not history it would have to be much earlier than 1968 since that record has already been breached.

With the global economic changes that are occurring we have been calling for some type of gold trade settlement for a number of years. We believe that Russia and China are on the cusp on making this change. We have no proof this going to happen this year or next, but all the signs are pointing in that direction. We believe, especially if China continues acquiring more “official” gold on the open market, there will be a gold trade settlement note announced before 2025. Possibly much sooner if the warmongers in Washington DC continue with the war drums over Iran. If President Trump listens to the war-pigs in the Pentagon this will not fare well for the U.S. economy and gold will be much in demand at all levels – from retail to government and everything in between.

Source: Authored by Rory Hall via The Daily Coin, | ZeroHedge

As China’s Banking System Freezes, SHIBOR Tumbles To Lowest In A Decade

One trading day after we reported that China was “Hit By “Significant Banking Stress” as SHIBOR (Shanghi Interbank Offered Rate) tumbled to recession levels, and less than a week after we warned that China’s interbank market was freezing up in the aftermath of the Baoshang Bank collapse and subsequent seizure, which led to a surge in interbank repo rates and a spike in Negotiable Certificates of Deposit (NCD) rates…

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/china%20repo%20rates.jpg?itok=IUQDoORO

… China’s banking stress has taken a turn for the worse, and on Monday, China’s overnight repurchase rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly 10 years, after the central bank’s repeated liquidity injections to ease credit concerns in small-to-medium banks: The rate fell as much as 11 basis points to 0.9861% on Monday, before being fixed at exactly 1.000%.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/shibor%20on%206.24.jpg?itok=i2icegOc

Seeking to ease funding strains after the Baoshang collapse and to unfreeze the financial channels in the banking sector, the PBOC has been injecting cash into the financial system to soothe credit risk concerns in smaller banks following the seizure of Baoshang Bank, which sent shockwaves through China’s markets.

Also helping drive the rate lower is China’s move to allow brokerages to issue more debt, said ANZ Bank’s Zhaopeng Xing, quoted by Bloomberg. As a result, at least five brokerages had their short-term debt quotas increased by the People’s Bank of China in recent days, according to filings.

The improved access to shorter-term debt will cut costs for brokerages compared with alternative funding sources such as bond issuance. The flipside, of course, is that the lower overnight funding rates drop, the greater the investor skepticism that China’s massive, $40 trillion financial system is doing ok, especially since the last time overnight funding rates were this low, the near-collapse of the global financial system was still fresh and the S&P was trading in the triple-digits.

Commenting on the ongoing collapse in SHIBOR, Commodore Research wrote overnight that “low SHIBOR lending rates are supposed to be supportive and accommodative in nature — but rates are now at the lowest level seen this decade and  are very likely an indication that China is facing significant banking stress at the moment. It is extremely rare for the overnight SHIBOR lending rate to be set as low as 1.00%. This previously had not all been seen this decade, and the last time it occurred was during the financial crisis in 2008 – 2009.”

Meanwhile, as the world’s biggest financial time bomb ticks ever louder, traders and analysts are blissfully oblivious, focusing instead on central banks admitting that the recession is imminent and trying to spin how a world war with Iran would be bullish for stocks.

Source: ZeroHedge

Falling Diesel Demand In China Paints Bleak Picture

  • Diesel demand in China fell 14% and 19% in March and April respectively, reaching levels not seen in a decade, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo.
  • “We believe the accelerating decline is most likely tied to economic factors and the effects of the tariff ‘war’ with the U.S.,” Wells Fargo energy analyst Roger Read said in a note Monday. “If one wants to worry, that is where to focus most closely in our view.”
  • China said in April its economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019. However, global investors and economists have been skeptical of China’s official economic figures for years as they believe they overstate how much China’s economy is growing.

China’s true pace of economic growth is always hard to decipher, but the country’s lagging diesel demand could be a sign that the world’s second-largest economy is in a much more dire state than official numbers indicate.

Diesel demand in China fell 14% and 19% in March and April, respectively, reaching levels not seen in a decade, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo. Monthly demand has also been falling every month since December 2017, the data shows.

Source: Wells Fargo Securities, Bloomberg

“We believe the accelerating decline is most likely tied to economic factors and the effects of the tariff ‘war’ with the U.S. (lifted demand earlier in 2019 to ‘beat’ the tariffs, but now falling),” Wells Fargo energy analyst Roger Read said in a note Monday. “If one wants to worry, that is where to focus most closely in our view.”

China said in April its economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter of 2019. However, global investors and economists have been skeptical of China’s official economic figures for years as they believe they are overstated.

This skepticism has led analysts to use other ways to measure economic growth in China, including demand for diesel fuel and electricity. Diesel is largely used to fuel trucks that transport goods. Declining diesel demand is seen as signal of slowing economic growth as it could indicate fewer trucks are being used, hence fewer goods are being bought and sold.

China’s massive drop in diesel demand comes as it wages a trade war against the U.S.

Both countries have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods. Earlier this month, both countries hiked tariffs across their goods, leading to a ripple effect throughout financial markets.

Crude prices, for example, posted their worst weekly performance of 2019 last week and are down more than 7% this month. The S&P 500 is down more than 4% in May while the Shanghai Composite has lost 5.5%.

Neither side is showing signs of backing down, either. President Donald Trump said Monday the U.S. was not ready to make a deal with China. Meanwhile, a commentary in Chinese state-run newspaper Xinhua indicated China would not give into U.S. demands to change its state-run economy.

These tensions could shave off between 0.3% and 0.4% from China’s economic growth, according to UBS analyst Anna Ho. The analyst also said in a note: “Open economies, like Singapore, Korea and Malaysia are more sensitive to global trade and higher export exposure, and could see a reduced chance of growth recovery in 2H19.”

In another sign of tension between the two countries and perhaps declining economic activity, Chinese tourism to the U.S. fell for the first time in 15 years last year, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office.

Source: by Fred Imbert | CNBC