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China

Great power competition has shifted in the United States’ favour

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US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia on 14 November 2022. (Photo:Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Author: Ryan Hass, Brookings Institution

At the start of 2022, China’s economy appeared strong, Beijing seemed to have contained the spread of COVID-19, Sino–Russian relations were deepening and there was growing talk of autocracies stealing the march on democracies across the world. China’s leaders were proclaiming that ‘time and momentum’ were on China’s side in its great power competition with the United States.

Meanwhile, the United States was mired in partisan paralysis, with President Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ agenda seemingly stuck. Washington was reeling from the reputational damage of the United States’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Within Asia, talk was growing louder of China dominating the 21st century.

A year later, the script reads differently. China’s economy has turned sluggish, pulled down by expanding state intervention in the economy, waves of COVID-related lockdowns, a property sector slowdown and softening international demand for Chinese exports. Beijing’s messy exit from its zero-COVID policy has exacerbated domestic stressors. Even as China remains the largest trading partner for most of the world, its economic lustre has dimmed amid declining economic growth.

China’s international image in most of the developed world has also suffered. Part of this owes to China’s rhetorical support for Russia amid Moscow’s barbarism in Ukraine. China’s plummeting image is also attributable to its hardening authoritarianism at home, its nationalistic ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy and its growing military activity along its periphery, including in the waters and airspace around Taiwan.

By comparison, Biden’s political position has strengthened. At home, the Biden administration secured passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, which together add up to over US$1 trillion in government spending. Though elements of these investments favouring domestic manufacturing have generated friction with US trading partners, they represent a generational investment in US innovation. Technology companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Samsung, Micron, SK Hynix, Intel and IBM announced investments in semiconductor production in the United States exceeding US$100 billion.

The United States also strengthened its position abroad. Transatlantic unity deepened under the stress of the joint response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Coordination strengthened in other purpose-driven groupings, such as the Quad and AUKUS. The G7 bolstered its relevance as its members acted with greater cohesion on global challenges, including financing Indonesia and Vietnam’s clean energy transitions. US–ASEAN ties were elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The United States’ relationships with Pacific Island countries also advanced, including through the release of the White House’s Pacific Partnership Strategy.

Looking ahead, several potential flashpoints will require careful management in 2023, including North Korea’s nuclear program, China–India border flareups and rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait. A key question will be whether the United States’ progress and China’s relative setbacks over the past year create conditions conducive for Washington and Beijing to lower the temperature of bilateral relations.

Biden will face domestic political pressure to maintain an unyielding posture on China. China’s President Xi Jinping, similarly, is unlikely to relent on issues that are aggravating tensions. Still, from a strategic standpoint, the United States’ global partners would welcome efforts by Washington to cool tensions, even if they do not yield reciprocal actions from Beijing.

US officials are receiving consistent demands from foreign counterparts to responsibly manage competition with China. Many countries around the world are more focussed on addressing proximate challenges, such as rising sea levels and mounting debt, than they are on great power competition. They want to see the United States galvanise global efforts to tackle common challenges rather than grow fixated on tit-for-tat games with China.

The Biden administration entered office believing it needed to invest at home and deepen relations with partners to put the United States in a ‘situation of strength’ to deal directly with China. Now that it has made historic investments in US innovation and strengthened bonds with global partners, a key question is whether the Biden…

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Canberra ties the knot with Washington

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Canberra ties the knot with Washington

Abstract

Australia has shifted its strategy towards favoring the United States over China due to increasing fear of Chinese power and the competitive Indo-Pacific environment.

The ‘riding two horses’ strategy adopted by Canberra over the past 25 years has shifted in favor of the US alliance to counter China’s growing power. Previous prime ministers sought to balance relations between China and the US, with Kevin Rudd aiming for ‘true friendship’ with China while also promising military intervention if needed. Tony Abbott’s approach was driven by ‘fear and greed’, and John Howard acknowledged the benefits of a relationship with both countries.

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed a desire to strengthen the US alliance and cooperate with China while also engaging in Australia’s national interest. This shift is evident in actions such as sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait and introducing legislation to facilitate the AUKUS security partnership.

The Indo-Pacific environment has become more competitive, leading Australia to prioritize fear over greed in its alignment. As China’s GDP continues to rise and may overtake the US by 2030, Canberra’s strategy is likely to continue favoring alignment with Washington due to the lack of a viable alternative for addressing its fear of China’s power.

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2024 China IIT Reconciliation: Appointment Through IIT App Opens on February 21st

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Annual IIT reconciliation for 2023 must be done from March 1 to June 30, 2024. Final tax settlement appointments must be made after February 21, 2024. The process involves checking and reporting on IIT paid and deducted in 2023 to calculate refundable or supplementary tax.


Annual IIT reconciliation for the year 2023 is required to be made during the period from March 1 to June 30, 2024. For those who need to make the final tax settlement between March 1 to March 20, they need to make an appointment after February 21, 2024.

On February 1, 2024, the State Taxation Administration (STA) issued the Announcement on Matters Relating to the Final Settlement of Individual Income Tax on Consolidated Income for the Year 2023 (the Announcement), clarifying matters related to the annual individual income tax (IIT) reconciliation for the year 2023.

Annual IIT reconciliation, or annual IIT settlement, is a process applied to individual taxpayers on their comprehensive income (an individual’s combined income of wages and salaries, remuneration from labor services, author’s remuneration, and royalties), to make sure their IIT paid in the previous tax year is accurate.

During the process, individual taxpayers will need to recheck their IIT paid and deducted in the tax year, calculate the refundable or supplementary tax payable, report to the tax authorities, and make the tax settlement.

In this article, we introduce key issues related to the annual IIT reconciliation in 2024 and the key changes as compared to previous years.

After the end of the year 2023, a resident individual is required to consolidate his/her four types of comprehensive income, namely wages and salaries, remuneration for personal services, author’s remuneration, and royalties obtained from January 1 to December 31, 2023, to compute the final tax payable amount. The taxpayer needs to deduct the prepaid tax amount in 2023 to obtain the tax refundable or the tax to be made up amount. Further, the taxpayer is required to declare to tax authorities for a tax refund or tax to be made up.

Tax Refundable or Tax to Be Made Up = [(Annual Comprehensive Income – RMB 60,000- Special Deductions – Special Additional Deductions – Other Deductions Determined Pursuant to the Law – Qualified Public Welfare And Charitable Donations) × Applicable Tax Rate – Quick Deduction] – Prepaid Tax Amount

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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The Year of the Dragon brings record-breaking travel and consumption during the 2024 Chinese Spring Festival

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The Chinese New Year holiday saw a remarkable recovery in the tourist industry, with travel numbers and revenues exceeding 2023 and pre-pandemic levels. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported unprecedented growth, showcasing the industry’s resilience despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


The tourist industry registered significant growth during this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays, the first to be completely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the latest figure released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, both travel numbers and tourism-related revenues reached unprecedented levels, surpassing figures registered during the 2023 Chinese New Year while also surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels.

Rebound in domestic and international travels

According to the data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Sunday, domestic tourism registered a remarkable performance during this year’s eight-day celebration.

The data reveals a significant surge in domestic trips, totaling 474 million trips made across the country from February 10 to February 18, marking a notable increase of 34.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023. This figure attracted special attention as it was a 19 percent rise compared with that in 2019.

The surge in travel within the country was facilitated by traditional transportation models, such as railways, civil aircraft, and waterways. Additionally, this year there has been also an increase in travelers embarking on independent road trips, partially due to the current rise in popularity of electric cars in China. This trend was further encouraged by the government’s efforts to stimulate the purchase of these vehicles as a way to boost domestic consumption. To cater to this trend, provinces ensured the temporary deployment of additional recharging stations in service areas, ensuring a seamless travel experience for travelers.

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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