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EXTRACTS FROM THE MEDIA RE CHINA #465

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NIKKEI ASIA 25 AUGUST 2023
CHINA AND INDIA

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of this week’s BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, amid tense relations between their governments.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the two leaders agreed that China and India should work together to maintain peace along their disputed border. They had a “candid and in-depth exchange of views” on Wednesday regarding current relations and other questions of shared interest, according to the spokesperson.

Xi stressed that improving China-India relations serves the common interest of the two countries and their people, and is also conducive to peace, stability and development of the world and the region, the spokesperson added.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday that Modi highlighted to Xi “India’s concerns on the unresolved issues” in the border areas. “The prime minister underlined that the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalization of the India-China relationship,” he said, referring to the Line of Actual Control, the de facto boundary.

“In this regard, the two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts at expeditious disengagement and de-escalation,” Kwatra said.

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THE ECONOMIST – RE BRICS
ALEC RUSSELL – FOREIGN EDITOR

This week, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) took a big leap forward and asked six countries to join them in a first phase of expansion next year. It is quite a roster; Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia and Iran. The expansion does at least justify my decision to commission some of my brainy colleagues to help with a series on the “middle powers” and what I call the á la carte world. It also underlines how a swath of the world that might once have stayed closely in America’s shadow is now realising it has more freedom of movement.

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NEW YORK TIMES 25 AUGUST 2023
RE BRICS

Six Countries Will Join The BRICS Club
Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were invited to join the BRICS club of emerging nations, strengthening its role as a geo-political alternative to Western-led forums.

The inclusion of the staunchly anti-Western Iran tilts the bloc — which currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — more in opposition to the U.S. The move was also seen as a victory for China, which had pushed back against the reservations expressed by India and Brazil, which wanted to maintain friendly ties with the West.

When the six new countries join the bloc in January, it will have six democracies, two authoritarian states, two autocratic monarchies and a theocracy.

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THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
CHINA’S ECONOMY – ANDY XIE

Yet China remains competitive. A big part of its manufacturing has upgraded to 5G and artificial intelligence-assisted systems (though this, of course, exacerbates overcapacity). Its electric vehicle (EV) industry is rising rapidly. Its solar power is becoming cheaper than fossil fuel. And its nuclear power industry is about to take off.

China’s green transition is ahead of schedule and making a strong economic case for itself too. No other country can say that.
Unlike China 1.0, which made products cheaply for global companies to sell for high profit, China 2.0 has cutting-edge technologies and markets its own brands. This threatens the rich in the Global North and looms large in its negative interpretation of today’s China.

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THE FINANCIAL TIMES 26 AUGUST 2023
CHINA IMPORTS SEMI-CONDUCTOR EQUIPMENT

China’s imports of semiconductor equipment have surged to record highs ahead of the implementation of export curbs by US allies. Chinese customs data shows the country’s chip production tool imports in June and July totalled nearly $5bn, up 70 per cent from $2.9bn in the same period last year.

Most of the imports came from the Netherlands and Japan, two countries that have imposed export restrictions on chipmaking equipment as they work with the US to slow China’s technological advancement.

The restrictions mean buyers of some tools will have to apply for licences from the Dutch and Japanese governments, raising concern among Chinese chipmakers. Japan started enforcing its restrictions on July 23, while the Dutch curbs will come into effect on September 1.
While it is not clear how much of the increase in imports relates to tools that will be covered by restrictions, the purchases suggest China wants to avoid any disruption to its plans to expand chip production. With the imported equipment, Chinese companies are trying to build up output of less cutting-edge chips that are not covered by western restrictions.

“This is one of China’s responses to the . . . export restrictions in the Netherlands and Japan,” said Lucy Chen, vice-president of Taiwan-based research firm Isaiah Research. “China increased its inventory of semiconductor equipment through advance stockpiling to alleviate potential supply chain bottlenecks.”

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