Though China’s population has not changed in decades, the mass of its economy, thirty percent bigger than ours, multiplied by its velocity, gives it momentum unseen anywhere in peacetime: it will add the equivalent of Italy’s GDP this year.
I edit a newsletter for the 22,000 US companies doing business in China, covering the economy, trade, society, governance, geopolitics, health, BRI, defense, and current events. Opinion pieces provide perspectives usually absent from our media. In the process of assembling each issue, it dawned on me that the Chinese accomplish more in an average week than do we in a year. Let me show you what I mean:
News items look like this:
Last year, China put 5,000 km of new rail lines into operation and completed \$119 billion of fixed asset investment. The railway handled 2.16 billion passenger trips and will hit 3.11 billion in 2021, a spike of 44% YoY, and will transport 3.7 billion tonnes of freight, an increase of 3.4%. [Above: The new Xiong’an Railway Station] Read full article →
For brevity, I’ll trim each to a single line. Here’s a typical, recent week:
- China Stock Index hit a 13-Year High,
- There were 423 million online education users in March.
- Share of global manufacturing hit 57.5%, compared with 53.3% in 2019.
- Box office for 2020 was \$3.06 billion; North American sales were \$2.3 billion.
- Animal feed production rose 9.5% YoY, to a record high.
- The EU became China’s biggest trading partner.
- Shanghai Port handled 40 million TEU (LA-Long Beach was 10 million teu).
- Toyota sold 1.8 million vehicles in China last year, up 11% year-on-year.
- Bentley sold a record 11,206 cars in 2020 as demand in China soared by 50%.
- A medieval Chinese coin found in England suggests a vast medieval trade route.
- China bought 140,500 of the 381,000 industrial robots manufactured globally.
- A 3,300 mile quantum communication network is ready for use after a two-year trial.
- China Telecom subscribers now make quantum encrypted calls using a special SIM card
- Beijing is trialling use of the digital renminbi with wearable devices like watches.
- Scientists have developed an integrated quantum memory with on-demand retrieval.
- AI Content producers “collect, process and manage news resources faster and better.”
- The Gordon Bell Prize went to four US-China teams, all of whose members are Chinese.
- Beijing will complete COVID-19 inoculation for all key groups before Feb. 12.
- Bilingual nucleic acid test reports are available at all Shanghai medical facilities
- A biological sensor now detects Covid in 10 minutes from a throat swab.
- A dozen countries have signed up for Sinopharm vaccines.
- Stents costs fell from 13,000 yuan to 700 yuan, thanks to national purchasing
- Harvard doctors explain: How did Wuhan Get Back to Normal? [Video]
- Shanghai is the world’s tenth most liveable city.
- China’s household saving deposit balances increased by 8% in 2020.
- Tablets supported by AI provide individualized learning, educational materials, and encouragement to increase students’ understanding and motivation.
- Chairman of Huarong Asset Management sentenced to death for taking bribes.
- Regulators Make Bond Rating Firm Pay for Debt Defaults.
- Revised regulations on safeguarding Party members’s rights.
- Drive to Overturn Wrongful Convictions Gains Momentum
- The 13th NPCSC overhauls the criminal code.
- The PBoC publishes its 2021 fiscal goals.
- The National Emissions Trading Scheme, the world’s largest, opens for business.
- Ghana opens sub-Saharan Africa’s first liquefied natural gas-to-power plant with a floating regasification unit from China.
- Midwifed by China, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), now connects 1.3 billion people in 55 countries with a combined GDP of US\$3.4 trillion.
- The first AfCFTA member, Mauritius, signs a Free Trade Agreement with China.
- Exports of the 135 BRI member countries rose 30% between 2016-2020
- China built 24 agricultural technology centres in Burundi, Zambia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Mozambique.
- China Merchants Group signed the US\$350 million investment with the Port of Djibouti
- Infrastructure transactions in Latin America were US\$7.7 billion–more than the EU and US combined.
- Members of the CPCC proposed a digital currency consisting of the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won, and Hong Kong dollar.
- The Vientiane-Boten Railway, connecting Laos to China, Thailand, and ASEAN, is making good progress.
- Huawei offers to develop 6G in Australia “so that it has access to the best technology”
- Thailand awards China Railway a \$415m contract for the Bangkok-Nong Khai high-speed line.
- The New York Stock Exchange said it will delist China’s three biggest state-owned telecommunications companies.
- The Trump administration has banned transactions with eight Chinese apps, including digital payments giants Alipay and WeChat Pay.
- The U.S. withdrew \$480 million in infrastructure aid from Sri Lanka, rebuking the island’s growing economic ties with China.
- The US told Cambodia to resist China’s influence or risk losing millions of dollars in aid.
- The PLAN received the most project 056 corvettes to date for a single year. Pentagon: “The PRC has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of 350 ships and submarines including 130 major surface combatants”.
- China will replace the Russian AL-31F engine in its J-20 fighters with its home-grown WS-10C, as they are now as good as Russia’s engines.
- China started constructing an advanced, automated shipyard in Shanghai to boost ship-building efficiency.
- Cambodia has demolished the second US-built facility at Ream Naval Base, confirming satellite images released early this week.
That was a typical week in China. There will be fifty-two like that this year.
Godfree publishes Here Comes China, a weekly business newsletter.