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News from China
China seeks WTO dispute settlement over US safeguard measures, subsidies
15th August 2018

 China on Tuesday launched the World Trade Organization dispute settlement procedure over US safeguard measures on imported photovoltaic products and subsidies for its renewable energy products, the Ministry of Commerce said.

 
"As the US measures severely damaged Chinese trade interests, China's choice to resort to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is a necessary move to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and multilateral trade rules," a spokesperson with the ministry said.
 
Previously, the United States took safeguard measures on imports of some photovoltaic products with additional tariffs of up to 30 percent.
 
The US measures are suspected of violating WTO Agreement on Safeguards. "This kind of abuse of safeguard measures not only hurts the legitimate rights and interests of China, but also affects the seriousness and authority of WTO rules," the spokesperson said.
 
"Besides the safeguard measures, the United States granted additional subsidies to domestic renewable energy products, including photovoltaic products, which are suspected of being import substitution subsidies and violating its national treatment obligations.
 
"The US subsidies provided its domestic renewable energy industry with an unfair competitive advantage, and damaged the rights and interests of Chinese renewable energy companies.
 
"The above-mentioned US wrongful measures seriously distorted the international market for photovoltaic and other products and severely damaged China's trade interests. We urge the US side to take practical action, respect WTO rules and abandon its wrong practices, to bring the trade of related products back to normal."
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 15, 2018
China's retail sales up 8.8% in July
14th August 2018

 China's retail sales of consumer goods grew 8.8 percent year on year in July, official data showed on Tuesday.

 
The growth slightly narrowed from the 9-percent rise seen in June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
 
In the first seven months of this year, retail sales expanded 9.3 percent year on year to reach 21 trillion yuan (US$3 trillion), compared with 9.4-percent growth in the first half.
 
Retail sales in rural areas increased 10.4 percent year on year in the first seven months, continuing to outpace growth in urban regions, where sales rose 9.1 percent, according to the NBS.
 
In breakdown, the catering sector reported a 9.8-percent year-on-year rise in revenue, while sales of other consumer products increased by 9.2 percent.
 
Online spending remained robust, with sales surging 29.3 percent to reach 4.8 trillion yuan in the first seven months.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 14, 2018
Heavy casualties as fire engulfs Taiwan hospital
13th August 2018

 A fire in a hospital in Taiwan's New Taipei City has caused heavy casualties, authorities said Monday.

 
According to local fire authorities, 16 people were found with no signs of life when they were rushed to hospital for treatment. So far, three of them have recovered signs of life after medical efforts. The rest remain under intensive care.
 
The fire in Taipei Hospital also left three people in a coma and another nine people injured as of 8am, according to the local fire department, which received a fire alarm at 4:36am Monday.
 
According to the department, the fire started in a patient ward on the seventh floor. There were 32 patients on the floor at the time. Local residents reportedly heard loud bangs.
 
The fire was extinguished at 5:27am, after 76 vehicles and 208 firemen were sent to the rescue.
 
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 13, 2018
Brookings Institution ranks Chengdu 3rd place in Global Metro Monitor 2018
9th August 2018

 With a growth rate of 7.2 percent and 5.9 percent respectively in per capita GDP and employment, Chengdu ranks third in the world and first in all Chinese metropolises on the Global Metro Monitor 2018 List recently released by America’s most influential think tank, Brookings Institution.

 
Based on data from Oxford Economics, Dublin of Ireland and San Jose of the United States took the first and second places in the report. This report employs two indicators including per capita GDP and employment growth rate to assess the comprehensive economic performance of 300 global largest metropolises in the past few years.
 
Judging from the data, Chinese metropolitan economies, especially Chengdu, have stood out by virtue of strong growth momentum.
 
Apart from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou that lived up to expectations of ranking high in the list, other emerging metropolises in China, especially Chengdu, also made a bright figure.
 
To research into the changes of these cities, Brookings Institution has classified 103 Chinese cities into five categories according to city size, industrial structure and growth mode. Beijing and Shanghai fall into the category of mega city, 14 cities including Chengdu and eight other capital cities and municipalities as well as five coastal port cities belong to the category of major city.
 
Analysis shows that, since 2000, these five categories of cities have varied from each other in the growth mode of employment and per capita GDP. Despite of the unshakable dominance of Beijing and Shanghai from the perspective of urban size, the 14 cities in the category of major city represented by Chengdu are emerging as new economic growth grounds. Most major cities are ideally located as regional traffic hubs. With well-developed international airports, high-speed rail and seaports, they are able to better keep their industrial development and layout in perspective.
 
Take Chengdu as an example. Its rapid rise is largely attributed to its fast-evolving development in infrastructure and key industrial fields. Apart from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Chengdu Tianfu International Airport currently under construction will be a welcoming addition as Chengdu’s second airport. This new airport is slated to open to traffic in 2020. By then, Chengdu will join Beijing and Shanghai as the third city on the Chinese mainland with two international airports. Moreover, originating at Chengdu, China- Europe Railway Express has now established a transportation network covering 14 domestic cities and 16 foreign cities, serving as a significant traffic hub connecting Asia and Europe. By virtue of great strides in aviation and railway, Chengdu has got a march on its metropolitan competitors across the globe.
 
 As to industrial structure, service and electronic information are coming to the fore as Chengdu’s pillar industries. According to latest data, in the first half of 2018, the added value of Chengdu’s service industry hit 382.76 billion yuan (US$57.13 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 9.5 percent and accounting for 55.7 percent of its GDP. Meanwhile, Chengdu’s electronic information industry is also shaping well as a bellwether in helping this city establish a presence in global economic map.
 
As a host of Fortune Global 500 and industry-leading companies with international fame such as Intel, IBM and Global Foundries  branched into Chengdu, an entire industrial chain covering integrated circuit, manufacturing of complete machines and software service has taken shape.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, August 9, 2018

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