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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Stirring Dragon, Nervous Neighbors

    Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific by Robert D. Kaplan (Random House, 2014)

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q3 2014 - Beijing Eyes The Bay Of Bengal

    China wants to build road and rail links from Yunnan all the way to Kolkata, thus securing a virtual western seacoast. Myanmar and India want the investment but are wary of the strategic implications.

    0
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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...

    0
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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...

    0
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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 Dragonomics

    CEQ Q2 2014 - China's Expanding Empire In Laos

    China’s economic influence in Southeast Asia is rising, and smaller countries in the region must figure out how to extract maximum benefit without becoming vassal states.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q2 2014 - More Deals, More Players

    The face of China’s outward investment is changing: state-owned firms still pour plenty of money into big-ticket resource deals, but private firms are rapidly catching up, investing in consumer goods, technology and services. And developed countries, not emerging markets, are the big beneficiaries.

    0
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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.

    0
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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...

    0
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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...

    0
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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.

    0
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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.

    0
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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...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    5C China: Factory Workers' Fairytale

    Once upon a time, Chinese bosses lived in a fairytale world populated by an endless supply of cheap migrant labor. For two decades, nominal GDP growth outpaced migrant wage growth, as employers squeezed their migrant workforce dry. But around five years ago, the labor supply/demand dynamic flipped and migrant wages started to rise. As any reader of fairy tales knows, wicked bosses always meet their comeuppance in the end.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    CEQ Q1 2014 - Cleaning Up Coketown: Can Air Pollution Be Controlled

    After years of lip service, China’s leaders are finally getting serious about cleaning up the country’s dreadful air. An all-out assault on filthy and unprofitable steel mills in Hebei is a good start, but much more will be needed.

    1
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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.

    4
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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.

    0
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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...

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    The Hangover From China's Urbanization Boom

    As China’s leaders in recent weeks have laid out an ambitious agenda for market-driven economic reforms, one element has been strangely lacking: urbanization. Premier Li Keqiang made this his signature issue during his years as deputy to the former premier, and has frequently talked up the potential for urbanization to drive China’s future growth. Yet a coherent urbanization policy has been nowhere to be found, as Li’s desire for a healthier,...

    1
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