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China Economic Watch

This blog monitors ongoing developments in China's economy, analyzes the impact of policy changes, and informs readers about new PIIE research on China.

Recent Posts

PIIE Chart: Who will hold the power in AIIB?

by | October 1st, 2015 | 03:20 pm

China holds 30 percent of the shares in the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), which translates to about 26.1 percent of the votes.  According to the Articles of Agreement published by the Chinese Ministry of Finance, 16 European countries will join China’s new addition to the global financial system, meaning just over one-quarter of […]

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PIIE Chart: Is the Size of China’s Government Growing?

by | September 30th, 2015 | 03:01 pm

The size of government in China, when measured by general government revenue, is actually smaller than in the United States. However, the supporters of smaller government in China have been in retreat since China’s last large fiscal reform implemented by Premier Zhu Rongji in 1993-94, which has seen the size of China’s general government rise […]

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What Obama did and did not accomplish in cyber-espionage talks with Xi

by Euijin Jung | September 29th, 2015 | 10:54 am

On September 25, 2015, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed not to engage in commercial cyber-espionage. In our previous blog post, we asked what might be expected. This blogpost surveys what Obama did and did not accomplish at the US-China Summit. According to the White House factsheet, the leaders agreed on four […]

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PIIE Chart: China Importing Less from the United States

by | September 23rd, 2015 | 05:51 pm

President Obama and President Xi are expected to discuss strengthening economic ties at their upcoming summit.  This chart shows the year-over-year growth of the monthly exports, imports, and trade balance of merchandise goods since the onset of the global financial crisis;  service trade is not included here, which the United States had a bilateral surplus […]

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Cyber Threats and China: US Policy Conundrums

by Euijin Jung | September 22nd, 2015 | 12:23 pm

In August 2015, on the eve of President Xi Jinping’s visit, White House leaks suggested that the United States would sanction commercial cyber espionage originating in China.[1]  But the warning was withdrawn two weeks later.[2]  The two presidents will surely discuss cyber threats, including commercial cyber espionage, when they meet this week, and the United […]

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The PBoC Cautiously Embraces Transparency: Mea Culpa

by | September 21st, 2015 | 12:15 pm

On August 31, 2015 without a press release, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) took an important step toward increased transparency.  On that date, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), the agency of the PBoC that manages China’s foreign exchange assets, posted on its website data on China’s international reserves as of the end […]

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PIIE Chart: China’s Contribution to Reducing Global Income Inequality

by Tomáš Hellebrandt | September 21st, 2015 | 11:04 am

Global inequality has fallen since the beginning of the new millennium. The global Gini coefficient declined from 69 in 2003 to 65 in 2013. Rapid growth in emerging economies, notably China, has played a key role in fostering this trend.  During the same period, China’s median individual income grew from US$730 to US$2,200, compared with […]

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Is China Running Out of Reserves and Does It Matter?

by | September 14th, 2015 | 02:15 pm

After building the largest stockpile of foreign exchange reserves in global history, China is now spending them at a rapid pace to keep its currency from depreciating.  Is it plausible that China could be forced to devalue the renminbi because it runs out (or fears it may run out) of reserves?  And what other use […]

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China’s Faustian Bargain

by | September 10th, 2015 | 03:11 pm

China’s impressive record of economic reform over the past four decades has been implemented slowly and deliberately.  Key to the Chinese strategy also has been to absorb lessons from the experience of other countries.  It is widely agreed that reform of the financial system has lagged behind reforms in the rest of the economy.  The […]

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New PIIE Briefing: China’s Economic Transformation: Lessons, Impact, and the Path Forward

by | September 9th, 2015 | 02:54 pm

China is undergoing a welcome if rocky transition from an economy driven by investment and exports to one in which private consumption and services are the major factor in economic expansion. Several roadblocks stand in the way of achieving this objective, however. Among them are a potentially slowing economy stemming from rising debt levels, a languishing real estate […]

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