China In Touch, 14 March 2018, Issue 223

Singing along with old songs provides a nostalgic background for the commute to work. Singing old songs as an excuse for national policy is not such a benign activity. One old song about China goes something like this: China is stealing our intellectual property . And in the spirit of old song subtitles, the refrain goes: because they cannot develop it themselves. It’s a comfort song that lulls some policy makers to sleep and blinds them to the changing reality of Chinese research and innovation.

China In Touch, 28 February 2018, Issue 222

The Cultural Revolution is infamous for is attack on the four olds – customs, culture, habits, ideas. Despite extensive destruction of people and artifacts the Red Guard rampage only forced long standing traditions underground. Many of these traditions never disappeared and we still see them in operation.

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is a hardy survivor of the Cultural Revolution purges.  Starting   the new year on the right foot is crucial because it sets the potential for the next 12 months. Luck, health, and prosperity need to know that they are   welcome to hang around in the upcoming year. Columns of Chinese calligraphy, chunlian, adorn each side of the main entrance. Red packets, or hong bao, are prepared for distribution.


China In Touch, 14 Feburary 2018, Issue 221

Winning the Chinese game of Wei-chi, sometimes known as Go,  depends on the control of empty space – a truly daoist challenge. The principles can be applied to the State of the Union address by President Trump where what was not said was as important as what was said. It said exactly what America's major trading partners had been dreading, although surprisingly and left largely unsaid, China was not front and center as a trading target.


China In Touch, 31 January 2018, Issue 220

Following the 2008 market collapse the United States, intentionally or not, unleashed a currency war. China survived, thrived, and arguably emerged stronger with a revamped financial system that moves inexorably towards full internationalization of the RMB.

Now President Trump is threatening a trade war with China. If such a war erupts then there will be substantial collateral damage. In this war my humble Haier washing machine is potentially an early casualty, with the US already imposing higher tariffs on this and other selected items.

But surprisingly some of the major causalities may be on the US front and this has an impact for investors who favor US markets.


China In Touch, 18 January 2018, Issue 219

Australia’s relationship with China is often a matter of two steps forward and one, or more, steps back. Sometimes its complex trade and foreign policy strategy, and sometimes its much much simpler. And it’s the simple bit that can quickly destroy credibility. A simple mistake cast into doubt the veracity of previous statements and insights.