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E.g., 25-03-2019
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    Gavekal Research

    The Perils Of Leadership

    Around 50 countries have signed up to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. A year ago, when Beijing began to draw up plans for a new multilateral lender, no one could have guessed that it would cause such a global stir. We first wrote about China’s attempt to provide an alternative to the US-dominated system of global development finance last June (see [China] A Chinese Bretton Woods?). But it is too early to conclude that the...

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    Gavekal Research

    Investing Along The New Silk Road

    In China, political slogans matter. They help to set the agenda, acting as political weather vanes. In recent months, “One Belt, One Road” has become a signature slogan of Xi Jinping’s administration. A contraction of “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” “One Belt, One Road” describes Beijing’s policy of financing and building transport infrastructure across Eurasia, the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean—aka the...

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    Still Aiming For The Top

    China has long criticized the dominant role of the US, arguing instead for a “multipolar” world. But a recent and surprisingly dovish speech by Vice Premier Wang Yang has stirred up a debate about whether Beijing’s foreign policy is becoming more accommodative. So is China really willing to accept a US-led international order? Don’t believe it for a moment.

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    Gavekal Research

    Our Holiday Reading List

    For the third year we are publishing a year-end books round-up. The topics covered by the 17 books in our compendium include hardy Gavekal perennials such as economics, politics and the effect of technological transformation on modern life. In addition Charles considers ancient Rome’s decline due to its apparent embrace of socialism over liberalism. Louis kicks us off with a look at the roots of our most basic human urges.

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    Gavekal Research

    Travels Along The New Silk Road: The Economics Of Power

    China’s economic expansion overseas is one of the defining geopolitical shifts of our time. Chinese firms have already invested in excess of US$500bn abroad, and the annual flow of overseas investment is set to overtake the flow of foreign direct investment this year (see More Deals, More Players). The push into Africa has captured most attention, but China’s economic tentacles are spreading across developing Asia, too—not least in Central Asia...

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    Gavekal Research

    Blood And Bazaars On The New Silk Road

    After more than three decades of passive foreign policy, China has a strong leader unafraid of articulating a vision of expansionism. Like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping wants to re-establish his country’s historical sphere of influence—but Xi’s vision is based on economic logic rather than political machismo. Across Asia, China is using its enormous domestic market, financial power and prowess in building infrastructure to suck its neighbors into...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Beijing Eyes The Bay Of Bengal

    Under President Xi Jinping, Beijing is pursuing a foreign policy with one grand aim: to restore China’s historical status as the dominant power in Asia. In the South China Sea, this shift towards a muscular, “proactive” diplomacy has intimidated and angered its neighbors (see Perilous Seas). Yet Beijing knows that it cannot simply bully its way to Asian domination: it must offer carrots as well as sticks. So along its southern and western...

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    Perilous Seas

    Across Asia, Xi Jinping’s much-vaunted “Chinese Dream” looks more and more like a Chinese nightmare. Last week, China unveiled an official map showing the South China Sea as an integral part of the country. The new map, which is designed to enhance awareness of China’s territorial claims stretching down the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, deepens concern that the China Seas are beginning to resemble central Europe in the early...

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    Gavekal Research

    Perilous Seas

    Across Asia, Xi Jinping’s much-vaunted “Chinese Dream” looks more and more like a Chinese nightmare. Last week, China unveiled an official map showing the South China Sea as an integral part of the country. The new map, which is designed to enhance awareness of China’s territorial claims stretching down the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, deepens concern that the China Seas are beginning to resemble central Europe in the early...

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    A Chinese Bretton Woods?

    Even as it plants offshore oil rigs and rams foreign vessels in disputed waters, China is wooing its neighbors with infrastructure investment. Its next step is to create new multilateral banks whose twin goals are to allay fears about Chinese expansionism and to provide an alternative to the US-dominated system of development finance.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    How To Lose The Eastern Front

    Russia, it appears, has emerged victorious in Ukraine. After the unofficial referendums organized by pro-Russian groups in Ukraine’s eastern regions, Kiev knows it must negotiate with the separatists to avoid national disintegration. A deal on autonomy for parts of Donetsk and Luhansk will have to be made on terms acceptable to Vladimir Putin.

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    Gavekal Research

    In Laos, All Roads Lead To China

    Two thousand years ago, in the days of the Roman Empire, it was said that “All roads lead to Rome.” Rome’s might was built on the back of metaled roads constructed by an army of 180,000 legionnaires, who pushed the expansion of the empire to its geographic limits. China’s expansion over its modern-day borders is primarily economic, not military. But as China’s massive domestic road-building program extends over its borders into Southeast and...

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    Gavekal Research

    No Bridgehead Too Far In China’s Expanding Empire

    For centuries, China’s borders expanded and contracted as dynasties rose and fell. With its star in the ascendant, the Chinese empire is expanding once more. This expansion is based on economic power—trade and investment—not military conquest. But it will nevertheless reshape the geopolitics of Asia.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Urbanization 2.0

    China’s cities are a mess. The urbanization policies of the past decade encouraged rapid urban sprawl and wasteful investment, funded by large debts and pushing farmers off their land. Simultaneously, millions of rural migrants have been blocked from settling permanently. Pressure has been building for a comprehensive approach to these interlinked problems of debt, planning, land policy and social inequity. After internal wrangling and repeated...

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    Gavekal Research

    After Ukraine, Russia Risks Losing The New Great Game

    Russian president Vladimir Putin sat stony-faced through yesterday’s closing ceremony in Sochi. The Winter Olympics were supposed to convince the world that a confident and modern Russia is once again rising as a great power. But after a stunning reversal of fortune in the burning streets of Kiev, Ukraine appears to be slipping from Putin’s grasp.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Better Governance Through Kung-Fu

    Aside from its fine Cantonese cuisine, the district of Shunde in the southern city of Foshan is famous for one thing: it is the ancestral home of Bruce Lee, China’s revered kung-fu master. Lee’s personal philosophy of martial arts, known in English as “The Way of the Intercepting Fist,” teaches an economy of motion defined by efficiency, directness and simplicity.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Cleaning Up Coketown

    One year ago, as Beijing was smothered by an apocalyptic smog, a new word entered the English lexicon. At the height of its “airpocalypse,” readings of the most harmful types of pollutant in China’s capital hit 40 times the level recommended by the World Health Organization. With studies showing that noxious clouds are to blame for millions of premature deaths, the central government is finally taking action to clear the skies. It has ordered a...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Ghostbusting China's Cities

    For the past few years, worries about China’s over-built, under-populated “ghost cities” were mainly the province of journalists and hedge funds. Now the central government is getting into the act, and while it has not yet hired Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd to cleanse the nation of paranormal construction, it does seem increasingly serious about urban ghost-busting.

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    What Happens When The Land Runs Out?

    For three decades China’s cities have grown by gobbling up fields and chopping down trees. But in a country that must feed one-fifth of humanity with just 8% of the world’s farmland, land is a scarce commodity. The government believes that it must maintain a minimum 120m hectares of cultivated land to ensure basic food self sufficiency. And since the current area is already very close to this so-called “red line,” cities must somehow grow...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Why China Ain't Cheap

    Many consumer goods in China, from luxury items to ordinary high-street brands, cost more than they do in rich countries like the US. Why? As Tom Miller explains in this piece, the equation is quite straightforward: huge demand plus limited supply equals silly prices.

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