China In Touch, 23 May 2018, Issue 228

A recent research report on Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) features a cover-photo of a pair of workers boots covered in tar and in the background, a large machine laying asphalt on a freeway.

Its a perfect summary of the way Chinas BRI is most often viewed. The report asks if this the worlds largest venture capital project and goes on to provide an answer filled with figures, estimates and projections. But in many ways the report, and others like it, begs several important questions.


China In Touch, 9 May 2018, Issue 227



Chinas One Belt One Road (OBOR) policy is not universally welcomed and this is the root of some friction in relationships with China. The Australian national position could be described as extreme caution. We consider six approaches for dealing with this OBOR policy.

These are:

·         Acknowledge

·         Engage

·         Adjust

·         Draw red lines

·         Carve out a role for Australia

·         Integrate the  BRI into the overall framework of Australia-China relations




China In Touch, 25 April 2018, Issue 226

Big money did not get big by being stupid but big money can be remarkably dumb at times. The collective sigh of relief from markets over President Xi’s comments at the Boao forum reflects a poor understanding of the speech. The narrative in US and much of the Western media is that President Xi has backed-down in the face of the threat of a trade war initiated by the United States. Closer reading of the speech suggests this is not quite correct.


China In Touch, 12 April 2018, Issue 225

Tit for tat then  rat-a-tat-tat. That’s the sound of the beginnings of a trade war. President Trump is renowned for his midnight bellicose tweets, but the serious problem is sorting out the meaningless tweets from the ones of genuine concern. Trump fired the first trade war tweets with tariffs on steel and aluminium and this is of genuine concern.

China hit back with more sensitive and  strategic tariffs that hurt Trumps red-neck heartland base of mid-western farming communities. Unless extreme care is exercised, the only way from here is a downward spiral that undermines the current global rules around trade and the World Trade Organisation that is charged with resolving trade disputes.


China In Touch, 28 March 2018, Issue 224

Its difficult to move past the real or perceived threats of a trade war initiated by the United States. For investors the primary concern is the collateral damage and how widespread it will be. The immediate impacts will be on US companies .

There are also immediate impact on Chinese companies that have become deeply embedded in US markets.

The last time China was in this situation was in the mid-1800s.