Hello and welcome to the 33rd issues of Beijing Review.
Photo by Cui Xiaodong
The Power of five: Building a Stronger Partnership is about the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen. The five countries that make up BRICS have growth rates higher than the global average of 3.1 percent. In addition to adding to their trade and economy, membership also enhances their international status. But the group is facing challenges, such as slower economies for Russia, Brazil and South Africa and is looking for ways to deal with the widening growth gap that separates China and India from the other three. One likely growth point for the member countries with lagging economies is China’s rapidly growing e-commerce industry, with increasing amounts of products being traded via China’s online shopping platforms. BRICS is maturing from an economic concept to a platform for coordination and exchanges to counter global power imbalances.
Why China Can’t Back Down in the Donglang Standoff is about the border conflict between China and India in China’s Donglang area of the Tibet Autonomous Region that borders Bhutan. It began in June, when Chinese workers were building a road on China’s side of the border and Indian border troops crossed the boundary with weapons and bulldozers to obstruct construction. The dispute can be traced back to 1890, when China and Britain (who then governed India) agreed on the boundary, setting the Donglang area as Chinese territory. China and Bhutan have conducted talks since the 1980s about the area and have reached basic consensus. Since India is a third party, China feels it has no right to interfere with boundary talks between China and Bhutan, and India is violating Chinese sovereign territory was well as challenging Bhutan’s sovereignty.
FTZs Go International is about the relaxing of some market access restrictions on foreign investors in China’s free trade zones. A shortened list, known as the 2017 negative list, specifies the sectors that are off limits or restricted to foreign investors. Compared to the 2015 list, it cuts 10 categories and 27 measures in fields such as aviation manufacturing, education and banking services. These actions show China’s role in global trade is changing significantly from a participant in global trade to a hub and center for it. Although the approach increases the risks, if China can maintain its sound economic growth, more of its industries will be able to weather international competition and more sectors will open up. Do you know how many foreign trade zones there are in China?
Copyedited by Pamela Tobey
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