Monday, 21 May, 2018

China showcases naval might with largest display in South China Sea

Illustration of Zhuge Liang by Sng Chen Chen  Epoch Times Illustration of Zhuge Liang by Sng Chen Chen Epoch Times
Sammy Stanley | 14 April, 2018, 21:58

The live-fire drill, scheduled for 18 April, is both "a message to Taipei and a show of geopolitical support for Russian Federation during its time of friction with the United States", says The South China Morning Post.

During the first quarter, the levels of PM2.5 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which has been under heavy political pressure to tackle pollution, dropped 22.1% to 74 micrograms per cubic metre, down from near-record highs in the same period of past year.

New vehicle sales in China returned to growth in March, with deliveries to dealers rising by 4.7% to 2.66m units from 2.54m units a year earlier, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

China's exports to the USA rose 14.8 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while imports rose 8.9 per cent.

Imports rose 14.4 percent to US$179.1 billion, although that was down from 21.7 percent growth in January and February.

With the threat of tariffs hanging over almost a third of China's exports to the United States, economists at Nomura say its companies may have front-loaded shipments early this year before any measures kick in. The main reason is a shift to natural gas.

Each side has slapped tariffs of $3 billion in goods so far, but the USA has threatened to impose duties on more products and China has vowed to retaliate.

Golden Knights players celebrate win, prepare for Game 2
The Los Angeles Kings had nothing offensively in their game one loss and have now had some struggles on the road recently. The most-surprising storyline of the 2017-18 season was the success of the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Meanwhile, China's trade surplus with the 28-nation European Union, its biggest trading partner, shrank by half from the previous year to US$3.6 billion.

Xi "said he's going to open up China".

Analysts have cautioned that any Chinese concessions on autos, while welcome, would be a relatively easy win for China to offer the United States, as plans for opening that sector had been under way well before Trump took office.

For Jan-March, imports rose a strong 18.9 percent on-year.

China's armed forces, the world's largest, are in the midst of an ambitious modernisation program, which includes investment in technology and new equipment such as stealth fighters and aircraft carriers, as well as cuts to troop numbers.

Washington says China's $375 billion trade surplus with the United States is unacceptable, and has demanded Beijing reduce it by $100 billion immediately. Both countries have the world's fastest growing economies and it is pragmatic to use that as leverage on the global strategic chessboard. China exported US$137.8 billion worth of high-tech products in the first quarter, up 20.5 per cent on-year.

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