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China

Canada launches Indo-Pacific strategy that talks tough on China

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U.S. ally Canada has launched its own Indo-Pacific strategy “to advance Canada’s regional peace and security interests” as a Pacific nation, with indications of a tougher stance against China.

Relations between the Canadian and Chinese governments have been strained after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in 2018 at the request of the U.S.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou (C) at British Columbia Supreme Court after her extradition hearing ended in her favor, in Vancouver, Sept. 24, 2021. CREDIT: AFP

The bilateral tensions were exposed recently on the sidelines of the recent Group of 20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, when Chinese leader Xi Jinping appeared to be criticizing his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau over alleged media leaks.

The long-awaited 23-page document said “Canada’s evolving approach to China is a critical part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy,” clearly defining Beijing as “an increasingly disruptive global power.”

China has increasingly disregarded international rules and norms while having had “an enormous impact on the Indo-Pacific” and nurturing “ambitions to become the leading power in the region,” it said.

“Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is informed by its clear-eyed understanding of this global China, and Canada’s approach is aligned with those of our partners in the region and around the world,” the paper said.

The new strategy pledges to push back “against any form of foreign interference on Canadian soil” and strengthen Canada’s cyber security systems, while dedicating more resources to “enhance Canadian competencies on China.”

New investments will be made in order to deepen “our understanding of how China thinks, operates and plans, and how it exerts influence in the region and around the world.”

The document said Ottawa was reviewing all mechanisms and structures, such as Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and Dialogues, across all federal departments “to ensure they advance Canada’s national interests.”  

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with China’s President Xi Jinping at the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 16, 2022. CREDIT: Canada Prime Minister’s Office/Handout via Reuters

Economic interests

Canada began talks on a possible free trade deal with China in 2016 but abandoned plans four years later because Trudeau’s government faced increased domestic criticism for being too lenient and compromising towards Beijing. 

The Indo-Pacific is Canada’s second-largest regional export market, after the United States, with annual two-way trade valued at CA$226 billion (U.S.$168 billion).

Over the next five years, Canada will invest nearly CA$2.3 billion (U.S.$1.7 billion) in different initiatives to boost its economic and strategic role in the region, according to the new strategy.

While protecting Canadian market access in China, the new Indo-Pacific Strategy acknowledged the importance of diversifying “within, and beyond, that market.”

The paper identified a number of “key partners” in the Indo-Pacific, including India, the North Pacific (Japan and South Korea), and the ten-nation Southeast Asian bloc ASEAN. 

“India’s strategic importance and leadership – both across the region and globally – will only increase,” it said, adding that besides economic cooperation, Canada will seek to bolster ties with India in the fields of security, the promotion of democracy, pluralism and human rights.

Initiatives to foster economic ties with the region include establishing the Canadian Trade Gateway in Southeast Asia and Canada’s first agriculture office in the region.

Security ties

A major part of Ottawa’s new strategy in the Indo-Pacific is to promote Canada’s security interests in the region.

“The strategy will bolster our Canadian armed forces’ presence in the region, and will enhance Canada’s defense and security relationships with partners and allies,” said Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand.

Canada will put over CA$720 million (U.S.$535.8 million) into new security projects with more than a half of the investment going to “reinforce Canada’s Indo-Pacific naval presence and increase Canadian armed forces’ participation in regional military exercises.”

A third naval frigate will be deployed to the region, according to Canada’s department of national defense.

A new multi-department initiative will also be created “to help develop cyber security capacity in select regional partners.”

The new strategy also pledges to further promote Canada’s long-standing collaboration with, and contribution to, the Five Eyes – the intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Canadian government said it will continue to work with partners “to push back against any unilateral actions that threaten the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, as well as the East and South China Seas.”

Since 2021, Canadian warships have taken part in some U.S.-led Taiwan Strait transits that China denounced as “provocative.”

Beijing considers Taiwan a Chinese province and the Taiwan issue the “core of China’s core interests” and an “insurmountable” red line that should not be crossed.

China has yet to respond to the newly-launched strategy but Canada’s increased military presence will no doubt provoke criticism from Beijing and risk leading to confrontations, even conflicts. 

Canadian aircraft taking part in U.N. missions in the region have been dangerously intercepted by Chinese warplanes on numerous occasions. 

Since December last year Ottawa has reportedly lodged “multiple” diplomatic complaints with Beijing for what it called the “unsafe and unprofessional conduct” of the Chinese pilots who “buzzed” Canadian airplanes.

“Buzzing” means flying extremely close and fast, risking a mid-air collision.

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China Unveils Plan to Upgrade Industrial Equipment

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China unveiled a comprehensive action plan for upgrading industrial equipment, with a focus on driving technological innovation and economic growth. The plan, released on April 9, 2024, aims to enhance competitiveness and sustainability within the manufacturing sector through extensive investment and regulatory support.


China announced an ambitious action plan for industrial equipment upgrading, which aims to drive technological innovation and economic growth through extensive investment and regulatory support.

On April 9, 2024, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and six other departments jointly released a notice introducing the Implementation Plan for Promoting Equipment Renewal in the Industrial Sector (hereafter referred to as the “action plan”).

Finalized earlier on March 23, 2024, this comprehensive action plan addresses critical issues related to technological innovation and economic development. It reflects China’s proactive stance in enhancing competitiveness and sustainability within its manufacturing sector. The initiative underscores the recognition of industrial equipment upgrading as a top policy priority.

The scope of China’s action plan to upgrade industrial equipment in manufacturing, is extensive, covering various aspects such as:

In line with China’s ambitious goals for industrial modernization and sustainable development, the action plan outlines several key objectives aimed at driving substantial advancements in the industrial sector by 2027.

These objectives encompass a wide range of areas, from increasing investment to enhancing digitalization and promoting innovation, including:

The objectives and key actions proposed in the action plan are summarized below.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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China deepens engagement with new Indonesian president as top diplomat visits Jakarta

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China’s top diplomat met the outgoing Indonesian president and his successor in Jakarta on Thursday, as Beijing deepened its engagement with future leader Prabowo Subianto, amid a competition for regional influence with the United States.

The meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was part of a joint commitment to advance the partnership between the two countries, said Prabowo, who visited Beijing in early April after his landslide win in the February general election.

“It is a great honor for me to welcome him [Wang] today. Thank you for the kind reception I received in Beijing a few weeks ago,” Prabowo said, according to an Indonesian defense ministry statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had invited Prabowo to visit, and the latter accepting the invitation raised eyebrows in Indonesia because no president-elect had made a foreign visit such as this one without being sworn in. China is Indonesia’s largest trading partner.

Wang, too, mentioned Prabowo’s Beijing trip, according to the same statement.

“We really appreciate and welcome Defense Minister Prabowo’s visit to China,” he said.

“We are committed to continuing to increase bilateral cooperation with Indonesia, both in the defense sector and other fields such as economic, social and cultural.”

Wang is scheduled to go to East Nusa Tenggara province on Friday to attend the China-Indonesia High-Level Dialogue Cooperation Mechanism, a process to support more effective bilateral cooperation. His Jakarta stop was the first of a six-day tour that also includes Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attend a press conference after their meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta, April 18, 2024. (Eko Siswono Toyudho/ BenarNews)

Prabowo and Wang discussed cooperation in the defense industry and sector, with potential measures such as educational and training collaboration, as well as joint exercises, said Brig. Gen. Edwin Adrian Sumantha, spokesman at the Indonesian defense ministry.

In fact, the ministry statement said that “China is Indonesia’s close partner and has had close bilateral relations, especially in the defense sector, for a long time.”

Of course, China has also invested billions of U.S. dollars in infrastructure projects in Indonesia, including as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative – the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train, which began commercial operations in October 2023, is one such BRI project.

The two countries have drawn closer during outgoing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s two terms, and Beijing would like that to continue as the U.S. tries to catch up with China’s gargantuan influence in Southeast Asia, analysts have said.

Indonesia, China call for ceasefire in Gaza

Both Indonesia and China shared the same position on Israel’s devastating attacks on Gaza, said Wang’s Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi.

Israel’s air and ground strikes have killed more than 33,000 Palestinians following the Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state by Palestinian militant group Hamas, which killed around 1,100 Israelis.

“We … have the same view regarding the importance of a ceasefire in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian problem fairly through two state solutions,” Retno told reporters in a joint press conference after meeting with Wang. 

“Indonesia will support full Palestinian membership in the U.N. Middle East stability will not be realized without resolving the Palestinian issue.”

For his part, Wang slammed Washington for repeatedly vetoing resolutions calling for Israel to end the attacks on the Palestinian territory it occupies.

“The conflict in Gaza has lasted for half a year and caused a rare humanitarian tragedy in the 21st century,” Wang told the media at the same press conference, according to the Associated Press.

“The United Nations Security Council responded to the call of the international community and continued to review the resolution draft on the cease-fire in Gaza, but it was repeatedly vetoed by the United States.”

The conflict in the Middle East offered a strategic opportunity for China to further expand its influence in Southeast Asia, said Muhamad Arif, a lecturer in international relations at the University of Indonesia.

“China is trying to strengthen its position as a key player in the region,” Arief told BenarNews.

China could present an alternative approach to the conflict in Gaza, he said, which may find approval in Southeast Asia’s largest country, Indonesia, and other Mulism-majority states in the region, such as Malaysia and Brunei.

BenarNews is an RFA-affiliated online news organization.

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New Publication: A Guide for Foreign Investors on Navigating China’s New Company Law

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The sixth revision of China’s Company Law is the most extensive amendment in history, impacting foreign invested enterprises with stricter rules on capital injection and corporate governance. Most FIEs must align with the New Company Law by July 1, 2024, with a deadline of December 31, 2024 for adjustments. Contact Dezan Shira & Associates for assistance.


The sixth revision of China’s Company Law represents the most extensive amendment in its history. From stricter capital injection rules to enhanced corporate governance, the changes introduced in the New Company Law have far-reaching implications for businesses, including foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) operating in or entering the China market.

Since January 1, 2020, the Company Law has governed both wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) and joint ventures (JVs), following the enactment of the Foreign Investment Law (FIL). Most FIEs must align with the provisions of the New Company Law from July 1, 2024, while those established before January 1, 2020 have bit more time for adjustments due to the five-year grace period provided by the FIL. The final deadline for their alignment is December 31, 2024.

In this publication, we guide foreign investors through the implications of the New Company Law for existing and new FIEs and relevant stakeholders. We begin with an overview of the revision’s background and objectives, followed by a summary of key changes. Our in-depth analysis, from a foreign stakeholder perspective, illuminates the practical implications. Lastly, we explore tax impacts alongside the revisions, demonstrating how the New Company Law may shape future business transactions and arrangements.

If you or your company require assistance with Company Law adjustments in China, please do not hesitate to contact Dezan Shira & Associates. For more information, feel free to reach us via email at china@dezshira.com.

 

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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