3 UCLA basketball players return to US after being detained in China for allegedly shoplifting – Trending Stuff

Three UCLA basketball players who were arrested in China for allegedly shoplifting while their team was in the country for a tournament last week returned to the U.S. Tuesday.

UCLA Men’s Basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were arrested after being accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou. They arrived at Los Angeles International Airport late Tuesday afternoon following a 12-hour flight from Shanghai. The rest of the team flew back last Saturday.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”

UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball is surrounded by reporters and photographers as he leaves Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles.  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

President Trump personally asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help resolve the case during his visit to Beijing last week, Fox News confirmed. Scott thanked Trump, the White House and the State Department for their efforts in resolving what he called “the incident with authorities in Hangzhou, China.” He indicated UCLA made “significant efforts” on behalf of its three players.

The team was playing their season-opening game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday. They won the game 63-60.

It’s unclear if the players would be punished by UCLA or allowed to play in Wednesday night’s home opener against Central Arkansas.

UCLA basketball players Cody Riley (left), LiAngelo Ball (right), and Jalen Hill (background center), are surrounded by the media as they leave the Los Angeles International Airport.  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said the school is weighing its options.

“I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law,” he said in a statement. “In this particular case, both Athletics and the Office of Student Conduct will review this incident and guide any action with respect to the involved students. Such proceedings are confidential, which limits the specific information that can be shared.”

The players, along with coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero, will make their first comments about the matter at a campus news conference Wednesday, but won’t take questions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

World’s Largest Water Diversion Plan Won’t Quench China’s Thirst – Trending Stuff

Autumn rains came too late to save the stunted stalks of Shu Xinguo’s corn crop, withered by a dry July growing season.

“We rely on the weather for our living,” said Shu, weary and resigned, his tanned hands hoisting bundles of his remaining crop — green and yellow tobacco leaves — onto a three-wheeled tractor. “There’s no water for irrigation, and the well in the village has no water either.”

Sixty kilometers away, China’s largest aqueduct transports as much as 18.3 million cubic meters of fresh water a day through Shu’s province to quench the growing thirst of Beijing in the north. None of it comes to Shu’s village or any of thousands of farms in the region.

It’s China’s age-old dilemma: a tug of war between the farms that help feed the nation, and the soaring demands of industry and city-dwellers in the parched northern plains.

With an excess of rain in the south and not enough in the north, China’s solution is as simple as it was expensive: Build three massive aqueducts to divert the water for an estimated cost of more than 500 billion yuan ($76 billion).

The result is the world’s most ambitious water transfer program, the South-to-North Water Diversion project. Its middle channel — from the Danjiangkou reservoir to Beijing and Tianjin — was finished in 2014. Proposed in the time of Chairman Mao Zedong, it is a stunning engineering feat. Some 11 billion cubic meters of water has traversed the 1,432-km-long waterway, supplying factories, businesses and 53 million residents.

It isn’t enough.

“As the country’s economy develops, industries are using more water,” said Huanguang Qiu, a professor with the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University. “And the competition will become even more fierce.”

Beijing, which gets about 70 percent of its water from the South-North diversion project, is expected to add another 2 million people before the government caps the city’s population at 23 million.

President Xi Jinping announced plans in April to build a new city, Xiongan, about 100 kilometers southwest of the capital. With an estimated 5.4 million people, it would also be fed by the aqueduct.

Even when the waterway reaches maximum capacity in 2019, China’s demand is growing so quickly that other solutions will be needed. Rivers and aquifers poisoned by years of poor control over fertilizer use and factory effluent need to be cleaned up, waste reined in and offenders punished.

The result is a revolution in the ways China uses, monitors and allots its most precious resource. Farms are changing crops and embracing technology to conserve irrigation, industries are being forced to clean up effluent, citizens are taking to social media to report offenders and the government is adapting a long-held food security policy to rely more on imports of water-hungry crops.

Part of the problem is that China doesn’t just need to find enough water to supply its rising demand, it also needs to replenish aquifers that have been depleted for years.

“Industries and cities had been drawing down underground water as deep as possible, which took away water from farming,” said Yu Hequn, director-general, Construction and Administration Bureau of the South-to-North Water Diversion Central Route Project. “Now we are returning water to agriculture and the ecosystem.”

By 2015, 230,000 square kilometers were being affected by over-extraction of groundwater, mostly in the north, leading to land subsidence, sea water intrusion and other problems, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said.

The depletion is worst in northern provinces like Hebei, which surrounds Beijing, and neighboring Henan. At least seven giant sinkholes have been reported in Hebei, where farmers have drilled ever-deeper boreholes. The government has promised to divert billions of cubic meters of water from the Yellow River to farms to ease the shortage. Even so, Hebei could still face a water shortage of 1 billion cubic meters by 2030, Zhang Tielong, deputy head of the provincial water resources department, said when the South-North waterway opened in late 2014.

One way to stem the reduction in groundwater is taxes. Last month, the government expanded a water resource tax trial to cover nine municipalities and provinces, with duties ramping up if quotas are exceeded. Regular water tax rates were highest in Beijing and Tianjin, according to China’s finance ministry, and water from underground will be taxed at twice the rate or more than for surface water.

Another option is to import food that requires a lot of moisture to grow — nearly half of China’s farmland has no irrigation system. That’s not straightforward, as China also has a long-standing food-security policy that aims to be largely self-sufficient in staple grains.

“We should make full use of international markets to increase supplies and should not worry too much over rising imports,” said Fang Yan, a researcher with China Institute for Rural Studies at Tsinghua University. She said the government has asked some wheat farmers to shift to water-saving crops.

Each ton of imported wheat saves China about 500 cubic meters of water and 0.4 acres of farmland, Fang said. The country is already the world’s largest importer of soybeans, but could buy more, as well as meat and dairy products, she said.

But an increase in grain imports would put a further strain on global food markets. China’s soybean demand has prompted farmers in Brazil to turn over some 13 million hectares of farmland and forest to growing the crop in the past 10 years, an area about the size of Germany.

In China, urbanization has reduced the amount of farmland in the water-rich south while provinces in the north, which get only 20 percent of the country’s rain, grow more than half the nation’s grain thanks to increasing use of irrigation, she said.

Scientists are breeding wheat seeds for the north that need 20 percent less water, said He Zhonghu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

With urbanization sucking up most of the supply from the water transfer project, China is turning its focus to better use of the water it has. Some of its biggest technology companies are leading the way.

Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is working with local governments including Shenzhen to encourage the spread of so-called sponge cities — underground reserves and pools on the tops of buildings that catch and store rainwater.

The idea was raised in 2015 by the State Council, China’s cabinet, and was mentioned in Tencent Chairman Pony Ma Huateng’s National People’s Congress proposal in March. Tencent is using its three new skyscrapers in Beijing, Shenzhen and Wuhan as pilot projects.

Another solution is better irrigation. More water goes to irrigation than any other purpose in China — about 55 percent of the total. Irrigated land produces 75 percent of China’s grain and over 90 percent of cash crops such as cotton and vegetables.

Bigger farms are trying new techniques, like Xinjiang Tianye Group’s system that can reduce water usage by as much as 50 percent, according to Chen Lin, the company chairman. Its machines dig rows, lay pipes for drip-irrigation, cover the soil with plastic film to reduce evaporation and punch holes to plant the seeds, all in one sweep.

While the technology helps farmers grow everything from cotton to rice, it comes with a hitch: the plastic sheets don’t break down in the soil, leading to widespread pollution.

Not far from Shu’s farm in Henan province, Muyuan Foodstuffs Corp. and the local government are building a pilot farm to demonstrate a drip technology from Israel.

“Normally, we flood fields with water during irrigation,” said Pang Bo, a manager with Muyuan, as he walked through a white plastic greenhouse that will be used to grow tomatoes. “The drip technology can save water by more than 60 percent.” The facilities cost about 3.3 million yuan for one 0.33-hectare greenhouse with a ventilation and cooling system.

Still, in many cases there’s little incentive for farmers to save water. Agriculture uses 62 percent of China’s water, but crops have a relatively low marginal value. So the government bans the sale of agricultural water to industry, which pays 10 times the price, to ensure food supply.

With that barrier, Chen asks, “What are the incentives for saving water?”

To address this, the State Council in January 2016 began to reform the country’s agricultural water tariffs to encourage more efficient use. A national China Water Rights Exchange was set up in June 2016 and a water-rights trading system will follow. The government has set a cap for irrigation of 372 billion cubic meters by 2020.

It also has plans for a third canal, supplementing the Danjiangkou-to-Beijing route and the first channel, which largely uses the old imperial Grand Canal system to move water along the eastern seaboard. The western one would divert water from three tributaries of the Yangtze River to help replenish the Yellow River. It is the most controversial and difficult of the three, channeling water across the vast Qinghai-Tibet plateau that could diminish supplies for rivers that flow through neighboring countries to the south.

Even as China contemplates such a technological and political challenge, another specter is looming. Recent measurements suggest China’s water distribution may be made even worse by climate change.

The flow of the Han River, which fills the reservoir at the start of the giant aqueduct, shrank by 7.18 billion cubic meters in the decade to 2010, according to Liu Changming, a water scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In the nation’s Third National Assessment Report on Climate Change in 2015, the government said rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns were putting greater stress on agriculture, especially staple crops like rice, wheat and corn.

That’s one more problem for Cheng Mingzhen, 66, who grows corn on a small farm in Henan province. She said she can virtually smell the water from the Beijing aqueduct, which passes through her village of Dazhuang.

“There is no outlet from the canal,” she said, looking toward the high wire fence that keeps trespassers out. “We can hardly get close to it, let alone get water for the crops.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

Trump says he believes Putin’s election meddling denials – Trending Stuff

Da Nang, Vietnam (CNN)President Donald Trump suggested on Saturday he’s done confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin over his country’s election meddling since it’s insulting to the Russian leader.

Trump said he took Putin at his word that Russia did not seek to interfere in the US presidential election last year, despite a finding from US intelligence agencies that it did. The fraught relations between the two leaders was underscored anew when Putin’s spokesman initially said election meddling did not come up when they spoke, even though Trump said it did.

And he stressed that bigger issues persist between the United States and Russia that require the two leaders to move on.

“He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from Da Nang to Hanoi in Vietnam. Trump spoke to Putin three times on the sidelines of summit here, where the Russia meddling issue arose.

“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ ” Trump said. “And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”

“I think he is very insulted by it,” Trump added.

On Sunday, Trump was asked to clarify his Air Force One comments about Putin and the election meddling.

“I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election. As to whether I believe it or not, I am with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with the leadership,” Trump said during a joint press briefing in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“I believe that our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies, I work with them very strongly … As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies,” Trump said.

As Trump has traveled abroad, the special counsel investigation looking into possible collusion between his campaign aides and Russia has crept closer to Trump’s inner circle.

‘There was no collusion’

Jetting from Tokyo to Seoul to Beijing, Trump has largely remained quiet about the Russia investigation back home. But on his flight, which departed Da Nang in the early evening Saturday, Trump’s simmering anger over the Russia matter burst forth.

“There was no collusion. Everybody knows there was no collusion,” Trump insisted. “I think it’s a shame that something like that could destroy a very important potential relationship between two countries that are really important countries.”

He added he thought that Putin and he could “have the potential to have a very, very good relationship.”

Trump’s acceptance of Putin’s denial that Russia sought to sway the election in his favor seemingly runs counter to assessments by US intelligence agencies. While describing his relationship with Putin and the ongoing investigations into 2016 meddling, Trump seemed to indicate on Saturday that he trusts Putin’s denials more than the comments of former intelligence officials, like former high-ranking intelligence officials James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper.

“I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks,” Trump said. “So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker. So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them.”

When asked for comment about the President’s comments, the CIA said in a statement that the man Trump picked to lead the agency, Mike Pompeo, reiterated his support for US intelligence findings and that the “assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed.”

The agency declined to comment further.

Trump said Sunday: “As currently led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”

The discrepancies between Putin and American officials weren’t worth debating when other security issues require the two men’s attention, Trump said Saturday.

“You are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine,” he said.

“I can’t stand there and argue with him,” he added. “I’d rather have him get out of Syria, to be honest with you. I’d rather have him, you know, work with him on the Ukraine than standing and arguing.”

In a tweet Sunday morning local time, Trump said he had a “good discussion” with Putin on Syria and North Korea, making no mention of the election meddling. He added: “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics – bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!”

Conspiracy invented by Democrats

Trump repeated his claims that Russian interference in the US election is a conspiracy invented by Democrats to distract from their electoral losses. And he implied that investigators looking into his campaign aides’ ties to Moscow were better off probing elsewhere.

“That whole thing was set up by the Democrats,” Trump declared Saturday.

Trump’s comments, which came after a two-day stay at this seaside resort, reflected ongoing frustration at his inability to warm ties with Moscow, which he pledged to do on the campaign trail.

While attending meetings for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the question loomed whether he would meet with Putin, either formally or in a casual pull-aside chat.

Ahead of Trump’s arrival, his aides indicated that a meeting was possible. The Kremlin indicated the same. But as the summit wore on, US and Russian officials diverged in their public statements, with American officials saying a meeting wasn’t happening and Russian officials indicating it still might.

Trump and Putin did speak at various occasions throughout the summit, and agreed to release a joint statement on Syria. But they did not sit for formal talks. Trump has met his Russian counterpart only one for such a face-to-face bilateral session, at the G20 summit in Germany in July.

Following those talks, Trump’s aides insisted he raised the election meddling issue with Putin and expressed concerns about the issue. But Putin, speaking to reporters in Hamburg, said Trump had accepted his denials.

After Trump departed Da Nang on Saturday, Putin similarly spoke during an on-camera press briefing. He said US-Russia ties remained in a precarious condition.

“The relations between Russia and the US have not come out of the crisis state yet,” he said. “As you know, and I often talk about it, we are prepared to turn the page and go forward to look into the future to solve the problems that are of interest to people of the United States and people of the Russian Federation.”

Peskov told CNN’s Matthew Chance earlier Saturday that, as far as he knew, Putin and Trump did not discuss meddling in the elections, though he later said it was discussed between the two leaders.

“Putin told Trump these reports have no ground and categorically rejected even the hypothetical possibility that Russia could somehow interfere in the election process,” Peskov said, according to state news agency RIA.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

Categories CNN

Empty seats greet Ivanka Trump at women’s empowerment speech in Tokyo – Trending Stuff

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech as Ivanka Trump, the daughter and assistant to US President Donald Trump listens. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AFP/Getty Images

As a professional with three young children, and despite the help I was able to have at home, I too have experienced the struggles of balancing competing demands of work and family.

Acknowledging her fortunate upbringing, she added: Because of the opportunities Ive had my whole life, I felt an obligation to seize this moment and join the administration.

Earlier, Japans prime minister, Shinzo Abe, lauded his own record on getting more women into the workplace and improving childcare provision, as part of the growth-oriented womenomics initiative he unveiled early in his premiership.

Noting that the number of Japanese women in managerial positions had doubled over the past five years albeit from a very low base Abe said his countrys male-dominated corporate culture was becoming more inclusive.

Weve put our full strength into creating an environment where its easy for women to work, he said. I really feel that Japan has come a long way.

Abe, though, was speaking a day after the Economic Forums global gender equality rankings showed Japan had slipped four places to 114th out of 144 countries, mainly due to the poor representation of women in parliament.

Japan fell three places overall from last year and remains at the bottom of the G7 nations. In the political category, it plunged 20 places from last year to 123rd. Last months election increased female representation in the lower house by only two seats compared with the last election in 2014.

Now, just 47 or just over 10% of the 465 MPs in Japans lower house are women. The upper house fares better, with women occupying about a fifth of the seats.

Men also dominate the upper echelons of Japans business world. Only 3.7% of executives at listed companies are women, according to government figures.

Ivanka Trump singled out the poor representation of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and maths, saying the male-dominated sectors were still moving in the wrong direction.

Donald Trump arrives in Japan on Sunday at the start of a 12-day visit that includes stops in South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. His daughter had been expected to accompany him to Seoul and Beijing, but recently pulled out, saying she would return to the US to promoted the administrations tax reforms.

How Traders With Perfect Timing Can Make 360% Returns

To have a shot at the global stock markets closest thing to a guaranteed windfall, youre going to need a really accurate clock.

Because with this trade, success has nothing to do with corporate fundamentals or technical patterns. Its all about timing, and fractions of a second can mean the difference between a 360 percent return or nothing at all.

They call the strategy hit stock in China. And its there, on the countrys most-active exchange in Shenzhen, that a unique mix of market rules and government intervention has turned newly-listed shares into huge winners for investors who place their bids at just the right moment.

In an otherwise lackluster year for Chinas equity market, the gains have helped fuel a technological arms race among local brokers eager to give their clients an advantage. Even after Shenzhens bourse tweaked its order system to level the playing field in June, enthusiasm for the hit stock trade shows little sign of letting up.

Its one of the few strategies thats consistently profitable, said Hao Hong, a strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. Traders will try to find a way around the Shenzhen exchanges new settings.

To understand the strategy, it helps to start with how Chinese IPOs are priced before they begin trading. Unlike in the U.S. and Europe, where market forces play the deciding role, new offerings in China are subject to a regulatory ceiling on valuations. The cap was designed to protect individual investors, but has resulted in dramatically under-priced IPOs that surge once they hit the secondary market.

All of this years initial share sales in China have been valued at 23 times earnings or less, versus the median ratio of 68 for stocks in the Shenzhen Composite Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and China Finance Information Network. And every one of the 99 new listings in Shenzhen has climbed by the daily maximum on its trading debut.

Read more: A QuickTake on Chinas managed markets

The biggest returns go to those who invest at the initial offering stage. But in Chinas IPO lottery system, intense competition means the odds of actually winning an allocation are minuscule. Just 0.05 percent of orders were filled for the average Chinese IPO in 2016, according to CFIN.

For traders who come away empty-handed, the hit stock strategy offers a second chance.

The challenge is to buy before the mispricing disappears. In markets like the U.S. and Hong Kong, IPO discounts vanish quickly because theres no limit to how much shares can climb on the first trading day. Shake Shack Inc., for example, opened with a 124 percent gain in its New York debut last year, leaving little short-term upside for investors who bought in the secondary market.

In China, a 44 percent limit on first-day gains and a 10 percent cap thereafter ensures IPO discounts narrow over several sessions. That increases the chance of a seller unloading their position too soon, either because theyre uninformed or have urgent liquidity needs, according to Ken Chen, a Shanghai-based analyst at KGI Securities.

The key to buying those shares is getting your order to the bourse before anyone else.

Each morning during its opening auction, Shenzhen accepts bids that arrive at 9:15 a.m. or later. Under the old system, traders with computer systems located closest to the exchange had the advantage because it took less time for their orders to travel through fiber-optic cables to the bourses servers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Brokerage Leaders

Under the system started in June, the Shenzhen exchange allows brokers to gauge their transmission time (or latency in the industry jargon) and place orders slightly before the opening auction begins, accepting those that arrive at 9:15 a.m. or later. That means a buyer from Beijing, 1,200 miles from Shenzhen, could theoretically beat a rival located right next to the exchange, the person said.

While its unclear whether the new system has substantially affected the chances of success on hit stock trades, exchange figures compiled by Bloomberg News show a changing mix of winners.

Before the system upgrade took effect, this years most active first-day buyer was a branch of Chinalin Securities in Shenzhen. Of the 29 IPOs that had begun trading through June 6, the broker was a top-five purchaser of six during their debut trading sessions.

Small Positions

After the change, the Chinalin branch ranked as a top-five buyer in just two of 70 IPOs. The new leaders are a Donghai Securities branch in Changzhou, about 730 miles from Shenzhen, and a Zheshang Securities branch in Shanghai. They both secured a top-five ranking in seven new listings, versus none under the old system.

Calls to the Chinalin and Donghai branches went unanswered. An employee at the Zheshang Shanghai branch, who declined to identify himself, said the office didnt notice a difference between the earlier and current systems, based on feedback from clients.

Some broker branches with technological edges used to appear quite frequently on the top buyer lists of new shares, but we are seeing more diversified lists now, said Paul Yang, a 33-year-old private investor in Shanghai who traded shares at an investment firm for eight years before quitting to manage his own money.

This suggests less distinct advantages for some after the adoption of the new trading system, as well as a more fair and random ordering process, he said. But its unlikely to make the game entirely fair.

Representatives from the Shenzhen exchange and its counterpart in Shanghai declined to comment. Odds of success for hit stock trades in Shanghai have always been lower than those in Shenzhen, according to senior managers at Chinese brokerages who asked not to be named because the information isnt public.

The trades biggest drawback is that its difficult to execute in bulk. A dearth of sellers keeps volumes low, with the average first-day turnover for new offerings in Shenzhen this year totaling just 280,000 yuan ($40,500). Daily turnover averaged 37 million yuan over the first 10 days, versus 176 million yuan for the Shenzhen Composites median stock by market value.

But even small holdings are better than nothing in a year when the citys benchmark index is down 7.9 percent. For Shenzhen IPOs with at least a month of trading history, the average return to investors who purchased at the first limit-up price was 366 percent through Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of course, getting in that early is easier said than done.

I tried to buy new shares after the system upgrade but failed, Yang said. One day, I might be able to succeed.

With assistance by Amanda Wang, and Gary Gao

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2016-11-27/world-s-most-reliable-stock-trade-sparks-race-for-360-returns

China Cites The Art of War as Trump Signals Trade Battle

Theres a Chinese saying that comes from your doctrine in Sun Tzus historical text The Art of War: 1,000 enemies, but can be killed by You you’d also drop 800 troopers.

Centuries after, the adage is unexpectedly appropriate again, being mentioned often in conversations around Beijing. Now, it emphasizes the possible damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to begin a trade war with China, the worlds second-largest market.

Having backed off another campaign assurances, its uncertain if Trump will finish up smacking punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has indicated some confidence he’ll be more realistic in office. However, the concept from China is that any shift to tax Chinese imports would provide retaliation: The United States economy would simply take popular and America would harm its long-standing ties with Asia.

China wouldnt like to see that occur, Fu Ying, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the legislature and was a vice foreign minister until 2013, stated of the US inflicting punitive tariffs. But if so occurs, it wont be one way traffic, she mentioned the other day in Beijing.

While China has warned the US against picking a struggle, the possibility of a more protectionist America produces an opportunity for President Xi Jinping in Asia, where trade-dependent countries are anxious about the possible side effect. Xi has raced to describe his country as a champion of free-trade, and he could be given an avenue to develop his punch by Trumps activities. Xi has spoken of his wish to have the same great power position have by the United States, pushing back against American hegemony since World War II.

Carrot, Stick

The US has been utilizing the tactic of carrot and stick, and that’s on the stone, stated Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University in Beijing. Chinas commerce first or economical first foreign-affairs coverage in Asia is more complex compared to the US, he stated. A peaceful surroundings is needed by Asian nations.

Any dimming of American influence in Asia additionally presents China with all the challenge of handling a regional buy that has created dramatic economic increases below the U.S.s view. Does it enforce its goal not only through financial strength but by shaping geo-politics beyond its edges? Or does it adhere to its preferred position of noninterference, focused like commerce and climatechange on problems in its selfinterest?

China nevertheless lacks the expertise in participating global affairs, and nevertheless h-AS a good deal to discover in the worldwide arena, mentioned Yan Xuetong, an associate of the Consultation Committee of Chinas Ministry of Commerce. There is going to be challenges as time goes on as well as its expanding impact for China, and there may be sensitive international problems that drive selections to be made by China, he explained.

Bottom Line

China retains an obvious bottom line in managing international disagreements it disapproves of the usage of force, stated Yan, who’s also manager of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. China should function quite difficult to take an alternative strategy in the United States in global affairs.

For the present time, China h-AS a 2-pronged reaction to to Trumps raising: Warn him of the effects of unilateral actions and hasten efforts to procure an Asia-broad trade pact that will not contain the United States of America

Beijing needs to secure the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — A16-country trade pact with Southeast Asian states plus states including Japan and Australia — when you possibly can, allowing to the Ministry of Commerce. Its one method to pointedly distinguish China from a mo Re inward-seeking America. Another round of negotiations is planned in Indonesia from Dec. 2.

Read mo Re: A QuickTake explainer of the planned China-led Asia trade pact

Globalisation continues to be the tendency on the planet, Fu mentioned. The US began it, you gained from it and now you dont enjoy it. So whats next? Have you got a replacement? Are you experiencing an improved alternative? The tendency just isn’t planning to wait, she mentioned. Perhaps it can be better managed by us.

When it comes to an immediate answer, China — the U.S.s largest lender and trading companion — might increase taxes on American imports and change to alternative states, she stated. Really, she couched risks that were Trumps as a chance in area.

There are individuals in China who’d be content to make use of that minute if the U.S. introduced tariffs, Fu said. Therere rather several places where some in China believe our interest got damage like soy, in trading — soybean plantation has been totally lost by us . We’ve got a lot more than a decade of great crops, but we have been continuing to import triticum that is American. Should we?

China is the biggest importer of U.S. soybeans and purchased $20.3 billion of U.S. agricultural items last yr, allowing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sticking it to Foreigners

China h-AS every economical and political motivator to indicate early that it is going to retaliate proportionally, mentioned David Loevinger, a former China professional in the U.S. Department of the Treasury and now an analyst at fund supervisor TCW Group. President Xi Jinping cant be viewed as poor. Sticking it to noncitizens will likely be in the same way appealing politically in China as it’s in the US

More widely, if Trump retains his guarantee to get in the 12-state Trans-Pacific Partnership, China could better cement its placement in Asia through its advocacy of RCEP, according to Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis SA in Hong Kong.

A U.S. disengagement from commerce with Asia would assist, somewhat than damage, China, while a mo Re competitive strategy to the bi-lateral connection with China would risk sabotaging U.S. passions, she mentioned in a notice. The trade and creation constructions of China and Southeast Asian countries are becoming more and more interchangeable, she stated.

United States remains a state that was robust but no longer h AS world-wide hegemony, mentioned also manager of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Yan. The Chinese leaders will not wish to challenge the U.S. dominance, but the US has to discover a method to cope with China, which is a major-power and wants co-operation but perhaps not confrontation.”

Fu repeated that, describing the connection that was existing as complemental.

We are able to well work to discover alternatives to differences, as opposed to cutting down on each other, she mentioned.

With support by Keith Zhai, and Ken Wills

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2016-11-28/china-turns-to-the-art-of-war-as-trump-signals-battle-on-trade

Zinc Rises to Highest Since 2007 as Metals Rally on China Demand

The rally in metals is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Bloomberg Industrial Metals sub-index posted the biggest five-day gain since 2011, as zinc touched a nine-year high. Prices rallied after Chinas top economic commission approved a $36 billion plan on new rail links around Beijing, boosting demand for industrial raw materials.

  • Zinc for delivery in three months rose 2.9 percent to settle at $2,900 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, after touching $2,985, the highest since October 2007.
  • The metals volatility, measured in price swings in options, is at the highest since 2010.
  • Lead is up 18 percent since Nov. 18, the biggest six-day advance since June 2009.
  • On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, both zinc and lead closed limit up.

Zinc, used as a coating on iron and steel to protect against corrosion, is the best performer among 22 raw materials on the Bloomberg Commodity Index this year, with the metal rallying 80 percent this year, poised for the steepest climb since 2009. The metal will be in deficit through 2018, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Kenneth Hoffman and Zhuo Zhang wrote in a note Monday.

There seems to be no stopping the juggernaut we are seeing in the LME metals, a move that is not being replicated in the commodity space with the exception of coal and the ferrous group, Edward Meir, an analyst for INTL FCStone Inc. in New York, said in a note.

Investors see zinc as the metal with the tightest supply situation given the multitude of closures that have taken place over the past two years, Meir wrote.

Industrial metals rallied almost 30 percent in 2016 as demand stabilized in China, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump pledged to invest in infrastructure and revitalize the U.S. economy, while mine closures curbed supply. Chinese investors have added to the speculative binge.

Were bullish on zinc and lead given the tightness in ore supply and potential production cuts at smelters in coming months, but the speed of the rally exceeds our expectations, Dina Yu, an analyst at CRU Group, said by phone from Beijing. There have been no big changes in fundamentals that can explain such a surge. The market is driven by bullish sentiment in all metals.

Read more: Chinas great ball of money rolls back into commodities

Copper for delivery in three months rose less than 0.1 percent to $5,881, and broke above $6,000 during the Asian trading day on Monday, bringing call contracts at that price into the money.

Copper is moving too fast, said Christoph Eibl, chief executive officer and co-founder of Tiberius Asset Management, which oversees about $700 million. Its not being driven by fundamentals. Its moving on speculative interest and short-covering in the options market.

Money managers extended record bullish bets on the metal, according to data on Monday from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Net-long positions in copper rose 8.2 percent to 76,346 futures and options contracts in the week ended Nov. 22.

Analysts also cited short covering as a reason why the rally in metals has moved so quickly. When prices were flat, many traders made money by selling options and betting the contracts would expire worthless, according to Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex Spectron. As prices rally, theyre faced with the prospect of having to pay out on the contracts and need to cover the position by purchasing futures, he said.

Its like being in a bush fire and trying to buy fire insurance, Wolf said. You have to take any price you can get.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2016-11-28/zinc-explodes-with-lead-in-surge-to-highest-level-in-nine-years

Why South Korean companies, entertainers are getting cold shoulder in China

(CNN)Ever since Seoul agreed last year to host a US missile defense system, South Korean pop stars, musicians and companies have felt a distinct chill in China.

This week, China took aim at Lotte, a South Korean conglomerate that owns the golf course on which the THAAD system will be located. China sees THAAD as a severe threat to its security interests, but South Korea and US see it a key to defending against potential threats from North Korea.
China’s official news agency, Xinhua, in a fiercely worded commentary Monday, said the Lotte board would “hurt the Chinese people” and the “consequences could be severe” if it goes ahead and finalizes a land-swap deal.
    “Lotte stands to lose Chinese customers and the Chinese market. That would be a very large slice out of their business pie,” said the commentary, which did not carry a byline.


    THAAD’s planned deployment puts such trade and cultural relations at risk — Oh says China’s hallyu market is worth just under $1 billion.
    Exporters of Korean dramas, pop music and shows, said Oh, were now trying to “withdraw from China and recommit themselves to old and new markets.”
    However, the popularity of South Korean products on the ground in China doesn’t appear to be diminishing — at least for now.
    “I know THAAD, but I wouldn’t boycott Korean cosmetics for it. I bought the products in China so my consumption should help domestic economy in China,” Freya Fan, who buys Korean “Innisfree” products, told CNN in Beijing.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/asia/south-korea-china-thaad-retaliation/index.html

    Categories CNN

    How to drink baijiu: Beijing’s pros share their tips

    Beijing (CNN)It’s the most widely drunk hard liquor in the world but it’s rarely found on cocktail menus.

    Baijiu, distilled from sorghum and rice, rules every festive occasion in China, where it’s the tipple of choice for everything from wedding receptions to business banquets.
    It’s especially popular during celebrations for the Lunar New Year, which began Saturday, when shot glasses filled with the potent spirit are thrown back and slammed down on the table in endless rounds of toasts.


      Baijiu 101

      Isler’s advice for baijiu newbies is this: “Don’t drink with Chinese people.”
      He suggests people approach the drink “on their own first” instead of being thrown into a Chinese banquet and forced to ganbei — bottom up — round after round.
      “By the time they drink with Chinese they should know what baijiu styles they prefer and how much they can drink,” he says.
      Capital Spirits, for example, offers baijiu flights — four 10 milliliter mini shots of the basic baijiu styles, going from the mildest to strongest.
      Baijius are mainly categorized by these four aroma profiles.


      Rice aroma: Originating in southern Guangxi province, this is probably the lightest among the four types. Unlike other baijiu styles, it’s made from rice, which gives it a sweet, floral tone. A fine example of this type of baijiu is Guilin Sanhua, made using water sourced from the picturesque local Li River.
      Light aroma: This style dominates the north, especially around Beijing. Fermented solely from sorghum, the light aroma isn’t matched by ABVs as high as 56%. The brand Erguotou, with its iconic square-shaped bottled, falls into this category. In terms of the taste, light aroma baijius are usually delicate and dry.
      Strong aroma: China’s most popular baijiu is produced with at least two different grains and fermented in mud pits, giving it a more complex and almost overripe flavor. A fine example is Luzhou Laojiao, a distillery that brews the spirit of the same name and is one of the oldest still in production (from 1573).
      Sauce aroma: Some say this almost savory drink’s flavor resembles soy sauce. The most popular brand, Moutai, produced using labor-intensive methods in Guizhou province, is the most expensive type of baijiu. A batch of Moutai has to go through rounds of subterranean fermentation so it usually takes a year to produce.
      “In terms of depth of flavor, vodka or gin drinkers may tend to the light aroma type, whereas whiskey or rum drinkers may prefer the strong aroma type,” Isler says.
      For non-purists, Isler also offers cocktails, among them are twists on classic cocktails like the Baijiu Sour, Crabs Island Ice Tea and Szechuan Sling.
      There are also original baijiu recipes:
      There’s CS’s house special — mixed with cinnamon schnapps and rice aromatic baijiu.
      Tinache, with sweet and mellow passion fruit and pineapple, perfectly balances out the dryness of Fenjiu (a light aroma baijiu from Shanxi).
      Even the “unmixable” saucy Moutai is tamed by the silky coconut milk in the bar’s best seller — Coco Moutai Cream.

       a bartender in capital spirits prepares the baijiu-based "moutai coco cream."

      Is baijiu poised to take over the world?

      There are signs that appreciation for baijiu is starting to spread.
      Jim Boyce, a Canadian wine expert based in Beijing, is the founder of World Baijiu Day, aimed at promoting the best-selling yet little-known spirit.
      He said 30 Baijiu Day events were held in 20 cities around the world last year.
      Dedicated baijiu bars are now found in Liverpool and New York.
      There are also a growing number of overseas baijiu brands. ByeJoe in the United States, Taizi in New Zealand and Dragon’s Mist in Canada are milder versions of China’s most eye-watering drink.
      In China, people are experimenting with baijiu too.
      Seminars are being held on how to pair it with food and some entrepreneurs have developed baijiu-infused ice cream, pizza and gummy bears. A chef in Beijing even created deep-fried baijiu cake.
      The government is also promoting baijiu tourism, a Chinese version of a Bordeaux tour in Maotai, Guizhou province.
      Boyce suggests first timers “compare and contrast” different baijiu styles side by side.
      “Just as with a flight of wine or whiskey or tequila, a flight of baijiu is bound to make you think more deeply about smells, tastes and, ultimately, preferences,” he says.
      “Lots of people assume all baijiu is pretty much the same. Trying different styles side-by-side reveals a great deal of diversity.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/foodanddrink/how-to-drink-baijiu-china/index.html

      Categories CNN