Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here:

Further selections and editorial and geopolitical commentary by Amarynth.

Geopolitical moves:

Most of the geopolitical space was taken up by the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Soon Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, moved in, boots ‘n all, with SCO.

A geopolitical story of note is the confirmed friendship between Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un pledging to strengthen their friendly relations as they exchanged messages on the 60th anniversary of a bilateral landmark defense treaty. Under the 1961 agreement, China and North Korea must automatically defend each other when one of them is attacked. Xi said he is ready to work with Kim to “take bilateral friendly cooperation to a new level and deliver more benefits to the two countries and two peoples.” Read full article $→

Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case suffered a major blow. A Canadian judge ruled that HSBC documents showing that US authorities had made selective, misleading and “outright false” claims about the Huawei CFO could play no part in the case. [Ed: Under Hong Kong’s controversial extradition law one had to commit a crime. Under Canadian law one can be extradited if they “may” have committed a crime].  Read full article $→

On Taiwan, the Chinese have put down their red lines and a warning:  “We advise the US and the island of Taiwan not to misjudge the situation and not to underestimate our determination and will to punish their provocation. They must be prepared to face a sudden blow.”

Two good-feel-good stories:

Wild Giant pandas are no longer endangered, but they are still vulnerable with a population outside captivity of 1,800. Authorities have expanded their habitats and replanted bamboo forests to feed them. The number of Siberian tigers, Amur leopards, Asian elephants, and crested ibis has also “visibly increased” as a result of conservation efforts. Read full article  →

And those wandering elephants are still wandering.  Excepting western reporting considers this story as: “Cuddly elephants are the latest propaganda weapon in President Xi Jinping’s propaganda offensive to present a more ‘lovable’ global image of China. The elephants are just one manifestation of Beijing’s decade-long obsession with boosting what it calls its ‘discourse power.’”  Sydney Morning Herald. Read full article →

I’ve seen western reporting say things like:  Marauding and destructive elephant herd in China demolishes the countryside.  So, now we know, even good-feel-good stories out of China are weaponized.  (Could we imminently expect a headline saying .. marauding Chinese elephants EAT pandas in JinJiang?  Xi Jingping personally responsible for giving the order.  For those who find themselves temporarily without a sense of humor, this is meant as humor although it illustrates the media from the west that will use anything and everything to continue the media war). 


It is hard to choose what to put first from this growing Chinese juggernaut.  Let’s start with banks:

The world’s top banks are Chinese: ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China hold the top four positions for the fourth year in a row. ICBC has been at the top of the table for nine consecutive years. Its Tier 1 capital has grown to $439.9bn, the highest individual bank total on record and a $59.7bn increase YoY. Capital levels continue to grow significantly, up 18.6% YoY compared to the global average of 12.7%. They now account for 30% of global aggregate Tier 1 capital in the Top 1000 compared with 11% in 2011 and 5% in 2001. Read full article →

GDP grew 18.3% in Q1 and 12.7% in H1 YoY. Urban unemployment is 5%, and 6.98 million new urban jobs, 63.5 percent of the annual target, were created in the first half. Per capita disposable income increased 12.6% YoY. Read full article $→

Exports up 32.2% in June, from 27.9% in May, YoY. Imports increased by 36.7% y/y last month, down from 51.1% y/y growth in May. The trade surplus was $51.5 billion in June, and to $45.5 billion in May. Read full article $→

January – May, Chinese trade with Germany, $92.8 billion, grew 36% YoY and France $32.9 billion rose 44%. China has proposed cooperating with Germany and France for Africa’s development and aims to reopen investment deal with EU. Read full article →

Six new projects broke ground at Gwadar Port, a flagship of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): a fertilizer factory, an animal vaccine factory, a lubricant factory and an exhibition center.  A 300MW imported coal power plant has been in construction since 2019 and the Power Purchase Agreement was signed earlier this year.  Read full article  →

Beijing’s investigation of Didi jolted global markets and tech startups canceled overseas IPOs. Keep, backed by SoftBank, Alibaba-backed medical data solutions provider, and Ximalaya, the podcast app, all canceled IPOs, admitting that regulators had discouraged them from listing overseas. The Financial Times says the “debacle signals [the] end of [a] steady stream of New York listings for Chinese companies.” Read full article $→

China’s Tech Crackdown Hits Wall Street’s Wallet. U.S. listings of Chinese companies have accounted for nearly 8 percent of Goldman Sachs’s underwriting fees so far this year, and over 12% of underwriting revenue over the previous five years. Didi Chuxing is just the tip of the iceberg. Read full article  →

A Global Times op-ed explains that Chinese tech companies are moving from an era of “barbaric growth” to an “era of compliance,” in which internet companies learn to observe domestic laws and regulations. China has long held restrictions on foreign investment but a loophole, called a VIE, allowed companies to bypass those rules. Chinese internet companies “should now step out of the gray area and move toward normalized corporate governance. Read full article  →

China seems intent on decoupling its companies from Western markets. The Economist. Nearly $2 trillion in shareholder wealth is on the line. Read full article  $→

How Chinese clampdown targets offshore listings: China’s securities regulator is setting up a team to review plans by Chinese companies for initial public offerings (IPOs) abroad, including those using a corporate structure that Beijing says has led to abuse. Read full article  →

In a separate act of decoupling, the U.S. Commerce Department today added 14 Chinese entities to its growing economic blacklist over their participation in “China’s campaign of repression, mass detention, and high technology surveillance” in Xinjiang. The companies include AI and other tech firms based in Xinjiang, Beijing, and Chengdu. Read full article $→

Couriers delivered 49 billion pieces in H1, up 46% YoY, and added an average of 2 billion pieces of express delivery per month, with business volume approaching 10 billion in a single month, constantly hitting new record highs. Read full article $→ 

TikTok will stop requiring employees to work an extra day every two weeks, following a similar move by its local rival Kuaishou. Under the arrangement, workers were paid double their regular daily rate when working on weekends and triple during legal holidays, a bonus that some young professionals preferred to better work-life balance.  Read full article $→

Two of China’s three best-selling electric vehicles in June were Shanghai-built Tesla models, shining a light on the U.S. automaker’s popularity in the world’s largest auto market despite recent setbacks there like a regulatory probe into the safety of its autopilot system.”  Read full article $→

China is embarking on a building spree for battery swapping centers, as the nation’s network of swapping centers numbered 716 at the end of June, nearly three times the amount at the end of last year.  Read full article $→

Shanghai Microelectronics sells its 600/20 flagship lithography machine for 90 nm chips. By Q4, it will offer machines for 28 nm, replacements for ASML’s 1980Di machine and next year will offer 14 nm. machines. “China has world-class EDA(Electronic design automation) startups–companies with worldwide customers.” Read full article $→

For the SpaceONauts – China’s space sector is getting too big and too busy to report on in this Sitrep and magazine format and I’m sure there are media focused on the sector.  Just a little while ago, we have this reusable suborbital spacecraft with its successful first launch.  It leaves earth horizontally, and returns vertically, like an airplane.

Until a little while ago, at the time of writing, this was a rumor.  Now it is fact.

Chinese FM arrives in Syria, meets officials and signs agreements,-meets-officials-signs-agreements

There is another similar type of rumor, very small in the press as yet, that China is now active in the Ukraine in terms of rebuilding and perhaps farming contracts.  This is very small currently but keep your eyes open.

On these two items, one has to remember the ‘double helix’ of China and Russia.

This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  Godfree has some delicious longer reads in his newsletter:

The Essential Saker IV: Messianic Narcissism's Agony by a Thousand Cuts
The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA