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Eight+ Things to Read About China and Other Things, Part 13

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This is the thirteenth episode in our ongoing Saturday series on eight+ things to read about China and a lot more. We constantly get emails from readers asking what to read on China and all sorts of things related and even barely related to China and this series is intended to constantly and consistently answer these questions.

As we said in our initial post on this, our plan is to list out eight (or so) articles we benefitted from reading and think you our readers would also benefit from reading, along with a very brief explanation as to why the particular article was included. More specifically:

The articles will likely include many on China and on Asia and a few on international trade, international politics, Spain and Latin America, economics and really just anything else we believe might benefit our readers or even that we just want people to read. We do not plan to choose articles that push our or any other political agenda or any other agenda for that matter, but having said that, we are not objective and our views may creep through. Our goal though is to focus on articles that are important or helpful or — most importantly — that make you think. Our posting of an article will NOT mean we agree with all of it or even any of it. Most of the articles will be from the week preceding the post but we will also sometimes throw in older articles (classics if you will) as well.

Please do not hesitate to comment at the end of this or any other post. We cannot tell you how much we appreciate your comments, good, bad and indifferent.

Here we go, in absolutely no particular order.

1.  The big reason China won’t let the yuan go into free fall against the dollar has to do with Japan and Europe. MarketWatch. Because there is this big unfounded fear of the RMB plunging but this article is correct in that China is not going to let the Yuan fall too far and one of the reasons is because of Europe and Japan. But this also highlights why economists and investment advisors have gotten the trade war wrong since its inception by consistently saying it would end soon. They got it wrong because they don’t know China and the main reason China is not going to let its Yuan fall too far is because if it did China’s wealthy would be heading for the exits with their money and themselves. Because I am hearing that if China goes “too far” with its devaluation, the US will just keep increasing tariff percentages to match it. See US will take strong action against China if it devalues yuan to “neutralize tariffs.” Because Sinocism puts it best:The impact of the recent RMB depreciation may be significant psychologically but fairly minimal financially, and Beijing knows that it can not let the RMB drop much more without triggering increasing stress over external debt repayment and raising pressure even more for capital outflows.

2. How Chinese students overseas became a subject of scorn. South China Morning Post. I had to reduce the actual title (something to do with fire+walls). Because it is sad how China wants to control its people and the world outside China and sadder still how that is impacting Chinese students and their relations with their fellow students. This is a true MUST read. See also China bans Cathay Pacific staff involved in HK protests.

3. Here’s a better reason to unsubscribe from the New York Times. New Republic. Because newspapers are dying and the thesis of this article is that the New York Times is written to make money from its wealthy readers and in the process it is harming all other (local) newspapers. I have to not so reluctantly admit both to loving the New York Times and viewing my local newspaper (the Seattle Times) as worthy of no more than 5 minutes or less of reading a day on an iPhone, if at all.

4. What Ails the Right Isn’t (Just) Racism. Because this article says that racism is most often found in those who do not like difference or change and I think there is truth to that. Based on this, we need leaders who emphasize our similarities, not our differences. The analysis is a lot more complicated than explained here, but this article is important.

5.  American With No Medical Training Ran Center For Malnourished Ugandan Kids. 105 Died. Because I cannot tell you how many times I have had an American or a European or Australian doctor, dentist or architect seek my law firm’s help in setting up a business in China and get irritated when one of our China lawyers asks them if they are licensed to practice medicine or dentistry or architecture in China. They usually huffily respond with something like, “is that really necessary?” To which we all love responding by saying, “yes, do you think doctors or dentists or architects can practice in the United States or the EU or Australia with just their Chinese license?” Come on people, get real, all countries have their own laws.

6. Donald Trump’s ‘real threat’ of Vietnam tariffs sends ripples of anxiety through Southeast Asian nation. Because President Trump does not like Communist countries and because so much of the manufacturing that is leaving China is going to Vietnam and because there is a lot of illegal transshipping of Chinese goods through Vietnam. See How To Get Rich From Your Competitor’s Illegal Transshipping: Moiety and the False Claims Act.  Because our international manufacturing lawyers and international manufacturing advisors are currently favoring Thailand and Malaysia and the Phillipines and Mexico and Poland and Central America, when possible, for manufacturing outside China. As much as we have always liked Vietnam, we see it as too full and too risky for most companies right now. See Doing Business Outside China: It’s Thailand’s Time, The China-US Trade War and the Winner is….MEXICO, Nike Likes Manufacturing Outside China and You Should Too, How to Stop Manufacturing in China: Try Harder, Moving Your Manufacturing Out of China: The Initial Decisions.

7. Street photography reveals China in the 1980s. BBC. Because these are some super-cool pics.

8. Checking a bag vs. carrying on is the great debate of airline travel. Washington Post. Because we really ought to be able to all just get along.

9. Globalisation as we know it will not survive Trump. And that’s a good thing. The Guardian.  Because it’s almost certainly right about globalization not surviving Trump, but will that be a good thing?

10. Tariff Fears Caused a U.S. Import Surge. Now Warehouses Are Full. Bloomberg. Because this portends a big reduction in future China product orders. See On the Impact of China Tariffs: Is This a Dead Cat Bounce? where we talked about this way back in September.

11. Big Bang theory wrong? Star older than Universe discovered – threat of “scientific crisis.” Express. Because this is pretty seminal.

12. Washington woman who posed with octopus on face hospitalized. New York Post. Because if a star makes us question the Big Bang theory this person should make us question evolution.

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Your thoughts?

We will be discussing the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts business there. We will be telling you what works and what does not and what you as a businessperson can do to use the law to your advantage. Our aim is to assist businesses already in China or planning to go into China, not to break new ground in legal theory or policy.




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