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  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In what has been described as its most important vote this year, the U.S. Congress will soon decide whether to provide permanent normal trade relations to China. A vote is required because, after 14 years of negotiations, China is poised to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). Assuming China concludes its bilateral negotiations with the European Union by June or July, entry is likely before the end of the year. The cornerstone principle of the World Trade Organization is that members provide each other unconditional Most Favored Nation trade status, now called Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) in U.S. trade law. Current U.S. law precludes granting PNTR to China; as a result President Clinton has asked Congress to amend the law. A negative vote would have no bearing on China's entry into the World Trade Organization, but it would mean that U.S. companies would not benefit from the most important commitments China has made to become a member. Gaining the full range of benefits is particularly important in light of the large and growing deficit the United States faces in its trade with China (Figure 1). A positive vote would give U.S. companies the same advantages that would accrue to companies from Europe, Japan, and all other WTO member states when China enters the World Trade Organization. It would also provide an important boost to China's leadership, that is taking significant economic and political risks in order to meet the demands of the international community for substantial additional economic reforms as a condition for its WTO membership. A positive vote would strengthen bilateral economic relations more generally. That may help place a floor on the broader bilateral relationship, which continues to face critical challenges on security issues, stemming largely from tensions between China and Taiwan, and on human rights issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jonathan G. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The foreign policy record of the Clinton-Gore administration deserves a less than stellar grade. At the end of the Cold War, there was an extraordinary opportunity to build a new relationship with a democratic Russia; restructure U.S. security policy in both Europe and East Asia to reduce America's burdens and risk exposure; and revisit intractable Cold War–era problems, such as the frosty relations with Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. The administration's performance must be judged within the context of such an unprecedented opportunity for constructive change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia, North Korea, Vietnam
  • Author: Mark A. Groombridge
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. Congress is in the historic position of being able to help pro-reform leaders in China move their country in a market-oriented direction. A vote to grant China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status will bolster the position of those leaders in Beijing who are attempting to deepen and broaden the scope of China's two-decade experiment with economic reform. Granting PNTR and China's subsequent accession to the World Trade Organization will benefit, not only the United States and the world trading community, but most directly the citizens of China, millions of whom are still mired in abject poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Richard L. Lawson, Donald L. Guertin, Shinji Fukukawa, Kazuo Shimoda
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Given the dramatic increases in economic growth, energy use and attendant environmental problems in Asia, it is timely for Japan and the United States to increase their bilateral cooperation and cooperation with other Asian countries in the energy field as an integral part of their efforts to help Asia achieve sustainable development. The magnitude of growth in Asia in energy use is well illustrated, for example, by a projected doubling in China from 1990 to 2020. Projections indicate energy demand in China could triple by 2050, relative to 1990. These increases are not only of great significance to individual Asian economies, but also globally, as projections indicate that most of the growth in energy demand in the next century will occur in Asia (and principally in China and India). Achievement of such growth in energy demand, to improve the living standards of the 3.3 billion Asians that now represent about half of the world's population, is essential from the viewpoint of equity, social development and the economic well-being of people throughout Asia.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Chen Yixin
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen increasing liberalization of trade in financial services associated with the GATT / WTO negotiations. The Agreement concluded on 13 December 1997 by 70 WTO members will result in a significant impact on the financial services sector for these members. Although China has not yet been admitted to membership of the WTO, it has come under pressure to open its financial services market. Market access in this sector has been not only one of the major issues in its WTO accession talks, but also intrinsically linked to China's ongoing domestic financial system reforms, consistent with the gradualist scheme for its overall economic reform. China has been liberalizing its financial services sector, but only gradually. This paper outlines the reforms in its financial sector since 1979, and then offers an explanation for the slow speed of reform .
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Shanghai
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A leaked Shanghai Stock Exchange report has detailed the extent of trading irregularities within China's domestic equity markets. In the primary market, a series of companies have falsified records on profits, assets and even entire businesses in order to publicly issue and list shares. In the secondary markets, insider trading, the spreading of false information, coordinated stock purchases, price ramping and sales of stocks by large institutional investors are common practice. The extent of trading irregularities reflects the government's preference for market growth over regulatory standardisation. This approach is undermining the CSRC's credibility. Unless regulatory practices are tightened, institutional investors will not have the maturing effect on markets and stabilising impact on prices the government seeks.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky and China's Prime Minister Zhu Rongji this month held talks in Beijing to discuss China's accession to the WTO. Beyond opening up commercial opportunities to US firms, the award of permanent normal trade relations status to China, and its prospective accession to the WTO, should in theory add predictability to the bilateral trade relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: With the presidential primary season having ended this week, the race for the White House now heads for the party conventions. Since effectively securing the Republican nomination, Texas Governor George Bush has regained his poll lead over the de facto Democratic nominee, Vice-President Al Gore. If Bush retains a clear poll lead by the convention season, the current signs of apprehension amongst Democratic leaders will become more apparent. If Gore can more closely identify himself with the economy's exceptionally strong performance, he is perfectly capable of staging a full recovery and securing victory in November.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A recent meeting of Asian countries on how to combat increasingly violent pirates in the region follows landmark prosecutions of those involve, but years of half-hearted action by coastal states. The International Chamber of Commerce has already called on ASEAN trade bloc nations to join China and Japan in signing the 1988 UN Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (the Rome convention). It would allow pirates caught in seas beyond national maritime jurisdictions to be prosecuted as international criminals. However, 14 of the 16 countries at the Japanese-sponsored talks in Singapore last March have yet to sign. Findings will be presented to a high-level international conference between regional maritime security agencies and government shipping bodies in Tokyo this month.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, Singapore
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: China's relatively rapid growth cannot mask the fundamental problems the economy faces. The government will be forced to continue to apply stimulus to the economy, but the sustainability of this approach is limited. The positive impact of eventual WTO membership will take time to be felt, while accession–related reforms and increased foreign competition will prove disruptive. The country has a limited time in which to prepare.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China