China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,623,020 (+0.08%)       Melbourne $974,710 (-0.81%)       Brisbane $992,583 (-1.37%)       Adelaide $896,270 (+0.26%)       Perth $892,481 (+0.31%)       Hobart $726,595 (-0.35%)       Darwin $664,958 (+1.76%)       Canberra $1,012,150 (+0.04%)       National $1,048,965 (-0.14%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $751,258 (-0.23%)       Melbourne $495,378 (+0.24%)       Brisbane $583,696 (-1.32%)       Adelaide $453,443 (-0.76%)       Perth $458,999 (+2.21%)       Hobart $509,191 (+0.99%)       Darwin $362,436 (+1.68%)       Canberra $497,643 (+0.69%)       National $536,245 (+0.06%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,903 (-109)       Melbourne 14,181 (+71)       Brisbane 8,075 (-54)       Adelaide 2,184 (+36)       Perth 5,723 (+16)       Hobart 1,216 (+3)       Darwin 275 (+14)       Canberra 888 (+5)       National 42,445 (-18)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,719 (+28)       Melbourne 8,357 (+7)       Brisbane 1,747 (+49)       Adelaide 405 (+23)       Perth 1,442 (+5)       Hobart 211 (-1)       Darwin 399 (-7)       Canberra 1,018 (+16)       National 22,298 (+120)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $800 (-$20)       Melbourne $620 ($0)       Brisbane $635 (-$5)       Adelaide $610 (-$10)       Perth $675 (-$20)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 (-$30)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $666 (-$12)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $595 ($0)       Brisbane $625 (-$5)       Adelaide $510 (+$10)       Perth $630 (+$5)       Hobart $470 (+$5)       Darwin $560 (+$30)       Canberra $550 ($0)       National $597 (+$4)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,884 (-132)       Melbourne 6,585 (+256)       Brisbane 4,488 (+137)       Adelaide 1,589 (+2)       Perth 2,880 (+283)       Hobart 411 (+13)       Darwin 93 (-4)       Canberra 632 (+17)       National 22,562 (+572)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,906 (+381)       Melbourne 6,312 (+294)       Brisbane 2,339 (+54)       Adelaide 371 (+21)       Perth 797 (+18)       Hobart 143 (+3)       Darwin 126 (+3)       Canberra 816 (+23)       National 21,810 (+797)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.56% (↓)     Melbourne 3.31% (↑)      Brisbane 3.33% (↑)        Adelaide 3.54% (↓)       Perth 3.93% (↓)     Hobart 3.94% (↑)        Darwin 5.47% (↓)       Canberra 3.49% (↓)       National 3.30% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.19% (↑)        Melbourne 6.25% (↓)     Brisbane 5.57% (↑)      Adelaide 5.85% (↑)        Perth 7.14% (↓)     Hobart 4.80% (↑)      Darwin 8.03% (↑)        Canberra 5.75% (↓)     National 5.79% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 29.8 (↑)        Melbourne 31.6 (↓)     Brisbane 30.4 (↑)        Adelaide 25.3 (↓)       Perth 35.7 (↓)     Hobart 33.0 (↑)      Darwin 43.9 (↑)      Canberra 31.9 (↑)      National 32.7 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 30.2 (↑)      Melbourne 31.7 (↑)        Brisbane 27.1 (↓)       Adelaide 25.5 (↓)     Perth 37.5 (↑)        Hobart 38.0 (↓)       Darwin 37.9 (↓)     Canberra 41.2 (↑)        National 33.6 (↓)           
Share Button

China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now

President Xi is confronting the Biden administration with a new world view.

By LINGLING WEI
Thu, Apr 15, 2021 10:27amGrey Clock 7 min

It quickly became obvious in Anchorage, Alaska, last month that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s diplomatic envoys hadn’t come carrying olive branches. Instead they brought a new world view.

As Biden administration officials expected in their first meeting with Chinese counterparts, Yang Jiechi, Mr. Xi’s top foreign-policy aide, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi asked them to roll back Trump-era policies targeting China. Beijing wanted to restore the kind of recurring “dialogue” Washington sees as a waste of time, say U.S. and Chinese officials briefed on the Alaska meeting.

Mr. Yang also delivered a surprise: a 16-minute lecture about America’s racial problems and democratic failings. The objective, say Chinese officials, was to make clear that Beijing sees itself as an equal of the U.S. He also warned Washington against challenging China over a mission Beijing views as sacred—the eventual reunification with Taiwan.

That is a big shift for Chinese leaders, who for decades took care not to challenge the U.S. as the world’s leader and followed the dictum Deng Xiaoping set decades ago: “Keep a low profile and bide your time.” Some senior Chinese officials privately—often sarcastically—called the U.S. Lao Da, or Big Boss.

Now Mr. Xi is reshaping the relationship. As far as he is concerned, China’s time has arrived.

“China can already look at the world on an equal level,” he told the annual legislative sessions in Beijing in early March, a remark widely interpreted in Chinese media as a declaration that China no longer looks up to the U.S.

The U.S. routinely describes China as a strategic rival, but Beijing has rarely if ever used such terms, emphasizing terms like “win-win” and cooperation.

“One of the more obvious changes in China’s attitude is that China now recognizes the existence of competition, which was never expressed in the past,” says Wang Huiyao, an adviser to China’s State Council and president of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing think tank.

The increasingly contentious relationship has created competition for allies, with American diplomats jetting to Japan, South Korea and Western Europe, while Chinese equivalents sew up deals in Southeast Asia, Russia and Iran.

Competitive relationship

Mr. Yang’s warning in Alaska on Taiwan reunification is an ominous inkling of how a competitive relationship between the world powers could lead to conflict.

The U.S. is committed to helping Taiwan preserve its autonomy under pledges including the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, and the Biden team trumpets its plans to strengthen economic and political links to Taipei. Mr. Xi has made reunification with Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province, a big part of his “China Dream” of national revival.

China’s Foreign Ministry says of Mr. Yang’s Anchorage warning: “The Chinese side pointed out that the Taiwan issue is related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and China’s core interests.” It adds that “There is no room for compromise.”

There is little sign of imminent Chinese actions to take back the island, though there have been plenty of symbolic gestures. Soon after the Alaska meetings, Mr. Xi inspected Fujian province, across the strait from Taiwan. Chinese aeroplanes in recent weeks have stepped up incursions into Taiwan’s air-defense zone.

Days after the Alaska encounter, the White House’s China coordinator, Kurt Campbell, told a private conference hosted by the University of California at San Diego that Beijing had become “impatient” at the pace of reunification, according to participants.

Adm. Phil Davidson, who heads the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier in March that China could try to take control of Taiwan by decade’s end, perhaps in as little as six years. China might act rashly, says a senior U.S. official, because of an exaggerated belief that the U.S. is a declining power.

Relations between the countries plummeted during the Trump administration. After both sides fought a two-year trade war to a wary truce, the U.S. president blamed Beijing for unleashing the coronavirus. China rejected the charges and labelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “doomsday clown.”

After Mr. Biden’s election, academics and officials in Beijing reached out to American contacts to try to figure out whether the new administration would change course. They were quickly discouraged.

Even before Mr. Biden took office, Chinese diplomats sought to schedule a high-level meeting between the two sides, people close to the matter say. Biden officials never approved the request and instead repeatedly talked about working with allies to confront China.

China’s concerns were reinforced in January, when Mr. Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, used his confirmation hearing to declare that China had committed genocide against Uyghur Muslims in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. China has called the charge “the lie of the century.”

The Biden team shares its predecessor’s view of China as America’s greatest military, technological and economic challenger. From the new administration’s perspective, Chinese provocations never ceased. Beijing cut off imports from Australia over its call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, skirmished with India over the countries’ Himalayan border and sought to intimidate Philippines and Vietnam ships in the South China Sea.

Beijing, as Chinese officials put it, sought to “duo hui hua yu quan,” or take back the narrative. China’s diplomats and state-media outlets aggressively denounced Western meddling in its domestic affairs and heralded China’s rise.

Before the Alaska meeting on March 18 and 19, the U.S. signaled a muscular approach. President Biden met online with the leaders of India, Australia and Japan. Mr. Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the national-security adviser, flew to Tokyo and Seoul to confer with security counterparts and insisted that Messrs. Yang and Wang fly to Alaska for the U.S.-China session rather than meeting in Asia. A day before the Anchorage meeting, the U.S. expanded sanctions against two dozen Chinese officials over the repression of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.

Some U.S. foreign-policy experts thought the Americans went overboard, including Jeffrey Bader, a senior China official in the Clinton and Obama administrations, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The more you assert you’re not a declining power,” he says, “the less convincing you are.”

With cameras rolling in Anchorage, Mr. Blinken briefly criticized China’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and threats against Taiwan. Mr. Yang, a member of the Communist Party’s ruling Politburo, gave his blistering 16-minute rejoinder, which the Chinese officials say was meant to show China’s new world view.

After rattling off his country’s achievements under Mr. Xi, he said China wouldn’t follow “what is advocated by a small number of countries as the so-called rule-based international order.” He criticized the U.S. as having “deep-seated” human-rights problems and declared that “the U.S. itself doesn’t represent international public opinion.”

After the doors closed, say the officials briefed on the meeting, the Chinese laid out the differences between the nations in three categories. The first category was what could be dealt with fairly easily.

The second would require more negotiations. Issues involving both sides relaxing restrictions on diplomats and journalists belong to the first two groups.

The third category, largely concerning China’s sovereignty, was off limits.

On the second day, the diplomats addressed Taiwan. Control of the island has been a Communist Party goal since Mao Zedong’s forces drove Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government there in 1949.

As he turned to the West after Mao’s death, Deng made clear that reunification could wait while China focused on developing its economy. For Mr. Xi, the wait is wearing thin. As Mr. Xi heads for an unprecedented third term as China’s leader late next year, his talk of national revival has broad support. There is little that would cement his legacy more forcefully than bringing the island back into Beijing’s fold, China watchers say.

In Anchorage, the U.S. reaffirmed its adherence to the “One China” policy, under which Washington agrees not to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, but also reiterated pledges to help Taiwan economically and militarily.

“The Chinese are concerned about a slippery slope of Biden doing more and more on Taiwan,” says Bonnie Glaser, a China analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They are using their ever-expanding tool kit to put pressure on Taiwan and signal the U.S. it better be careful.”

Sharp departure

Beamed back to China, Mr. Yang’s lecturing made him a national hero. It also represented a sharp departure from the policy of cooperation with the U.S. that Deng had adopted shortly after the two countries established diplomatic ties. “As we look back, we find that all of those countries that are with the U.S. have become rich,” Deng told aides in 1979, according to official accounts, “while all of those against the U.S. have remained poor. We should be with the U.S.”

That principle guided his successors. Jiang Zemin pushed through Beijing’s negotiations with Washington to get China into the global trading system in 2001. He wooed American and other CEOs to showcase the country’s greater opening to the world. The next leader, Hu Jintao, went further in following the U.S. lead. During the 2008 financial crisis, Mr. Hu signed up to a plan laid out by President George W. Bush to stimulate the Chinese economy to help lift the world from recession.

Mr. Xi started his reign on a similar path. His “China Dream” slogan nodded to the appeal of the American Dream. In late 2017, he entertained President Donald Trump at a private dinner in the Forbidden City, despite Mr. Trump’s threats to punish China.

“We have a thousand reasons to get the China-U.S. relationship right,” he regularly told Chinese underlings and foreign visitors, “and not one reason to spoil it.”

But as the Trump administration piled tariffs on Chinese imports and blacklisted major Chinese companies, which it argued were stealing U.S. intellectual property and helping to build up the Chinese military, Mr. Xi soured. From his perspective, the U.S. had become an unreliable partner, and he worked to make China less reliant on America, especially on technology.

In Beijing’s corridors of power, Mr. Trump was derisively known as “a great unifier”—America’s aggressive actions were unifying support in China for the party and Mr. Xi.

America’s chaotic pandemic response, followed by a summer of racial upheaval and the Jan. 6 Capitol storming, solidified his faith in the Chinese system’s superiority, Chinese officials say. In internal meetings, they say, he compares American democracy to “a sheet of loose sand” and declares that the one-party system allows him to get things done.

With Mr. Biden in the White House, China has continued a hard-line approach, signalling that companies not following Beijing’s rules will lose access to the Chinese market. Swedish clothing brand Hennes & Mauritz AB recently met with a strong social-media rage and consumer boycott in China over its stance against sourcing cotton from Xinjiang. Chinese authorities have restricted military personnel and employees of certain state-owned companies from using electric vehicles made by America’s Tesla Inc., citing national-security risks including concerns about the cars’ cameras. H&M declined to comment. Tesla, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, said last week that its cameras aren’t activated outside North America.

“Nobody has forced them to stay in China,” Mr. Yang said in Anchorage, regarding U.S. companies doing business in China.

Search for allies

Since the Alaska meeting, the competition has played out in a search for allies. Within a week, Mr. Blinken organized joint condemnation of China’s Xinjiang policy with Canada, the European Union and the U.K., which included the first EU human-rights sanctions on China since the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters.

Even Japan, typically wary of angering China, its largest trading partner, appears to be tying itself more tightly to the U.S. Last week ahead of a trip by Prime Minister Yoshide Suga to Washington for an April 16 summit with Mr. Biden, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi called on Beijing to improve human rights conditions for Uyghurs and stop the Hong Kong crackdown.

Mr. Wang, the foreign minister, met his Russian peer in late March, prompting the nationalist Chinese newspaper Global Times to headline, “China, Russia to break US hold on ‘world order.’ ” Then he travelled to the Middle East and signed a wide-ranging economic and security agreement with Iran.

Countries like India are trying to avoid getting caught between the two sides. Mr. Biden’s plan to hold a Summit for Democracy will sharpen the divide.

China retaliated against the EU sanctions by blacklisting European lawmakers and think tanks, although that might make the EU parliament’s ratification of a pending investment treaty with China more difficult.

“It’s a high-stakes gamble for the Chinese,” says Daniel Russel, a former Obama China official, now a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute, a think tank. “But it’s not a gamble they are certain to lose.”

 

 

 



MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Money
Is the Stock Market Near Its Top?
By ANDY KESSLER 15/07/2024
Money
Stock Futures Trade Slightly Higher as Investors Weigh Trump Shooting
By JANET H. CHO 15/07/2024
Money
After Pandemic Slowdown, Global Wealth Is Growing Once Again, Led by the U.S.
By GEOFF NUDELMAN 14/07/2024
Is the Stock Market Near Its Top?

Don’t let the hum of the bull tune out signs warning that a bear may be lurking.

By ANDY KESSLER
Mon, Jul 15, 2024 3 min

The third season of the terrific show “The Bear” blends family dysfunction with the ups and downs of high-end restaurants. With markets chasing new highs—get out those Dow 40000 hats—this column is about a different kind of dysfunctional beast. Is the market bear dead, or is it about to sneak up on us?

A U.S. equity strategist told me the story of a Japanese portfolio manager who sat in his office in July 1987 asking for stock ideas. The strategist’s model was based on a proprietary survey of investor sentiment, though it never really worked. Nonetheless, he read off a list of dozens of stocks. The portfolio manager then asked if he would kindly put in an order for 20,000 shares of each. The Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked at 2722 in late August and crashed 22.6% on Oct. 19.

A friend was a portfolio manager of a massive growth-stock fund in 1999. He told me he bought shares of Yahoo, Cisco, F5 Networks, Infosys and others every day because money flowed into his fund every day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index peaked on March 10, 2000. As money began to flow out, he had to sell every day. By year’s end, Nasdaq had fallen by more than half.

I met Cathie Wood as she was filing papers for her “disruptive innovation” funds—to “change the way the world works.” Her ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund, ARKK, launched in October 2014 and charges 0.75% management fees. In 2020 it was up 153% as stimulus money flew in, driving more buying. ARKK peaked in February 2021 with $28 billion in assets. Since then, its net asset value is down 70%, even amid a roaring bull market, especially in tech. Morningstar recently calculated that Ms. Wood’s Ark Invest funds have destroyed more than $14 billion in wealth. One of my favorite Wall Street sayings is, “Don’t mistake a bull market for brains.”

In almost every bull run, stock momentum lures in investors at the worst moment, I call them momos, ensuring they get burned when the buying stops. Since 2009, excepting a few brief sell-offs, cash has been trash. That made some sense during the era of zero interest rates. But now with higher inflation and short rates above 5%? Confusing. Maybe investors are already anticipating another Donald Trump antiregulation pro-growth presidency, forgetting that he is married to a growth-killing pro-tariff agenda. Is the bear dead, or does it have a long fuse?

Predicting stock markets is a fool’s errand. My Series 7 test for General Securities Representative Qualification lapsed long ago, so you won’t get investment advice from me. But there are warning signs.

Have we run out of buyers? Sometimes there are triggers that scare them away: oil shocks, viruses, bank failures. But sometimes they simply collapse from exhaustion. More than 40% of households reportedly own stocks—a higher percentage than in 2000. It was 20% in 2010. Some market indicators also point to asset managers being fully invested. Who’s left to buy?

Market breadth is concerning. The 1973 market peak was driven by stretched valuations of the Nifty Fifty, which included IBM , Coca-Cola and GE but also Polaroid and Xerox . Fifty? Now it’s the Magnificent Seven: Alphabet , Amazon , Apple , Meta , Microsoft , Nvidia and Tesla . Seven? Artificial-intelligence hype, way ahead of even the rosiest of realities, drove Nvidia to make up almost a third of the S&P 500’s first half gains. Another quarter came from Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Eli Lilly . Maybe fat bulls need Mounjaro.

Stock values feel divorced from reality. The so-called Warren Buffett indicator—the ratio between total stock-market value and gross domestic product—was 138% in March 2000. It’s now 196%. Certainly not a buy signal. And Bitcoin, my go-to bubblicious bat signal, is down about 20% since March. A dead canary?

“Don’t worry, be happy,” the bulls sing. Inflation is slain, and the Fed will cut rates. But investors won’t like the reason for those cuts. We’re already seeing earnings disasters—Nike, Walgreens , Lululemon , Delta and Wells Fargo . If the economy slows, earnings glitches and stock implosions become contagious. Plus, banks’ exposure to commercial real estate is scary, with buildings being dumped at huge haircuts almost weekly. This is now infecting rental buildings, and there are signs of a private housing glut. Inventory in Denver is up nearly 37%. Sure, markets climb a “wall of worry,” and bull markets tend to last longer than people expect, but sometimes the nightmares are real. Recessions are like honey to bears.

Even writing about the bear is bullish. Bull runs end when everyone is a believer. Still, another favorite saying of mine is, “No one’s ever lost money taking a profit.” Someday, cash will be king again. I prefer to buy stocks when everyone hates them.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Money
Alcohol consumption is dropping in Australia but there’s one market that’s booming nationwide
By Robyn Willis 26/06/2024
Money
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a ‘Personality Hire’?
By CALLUM BORCHERS 22/06/2024
Money
Taking on Fast Fashion With Leather Bags Made From Luxury Brand Scraps
By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore 29/06/2024
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop