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China

Myanmar’s junta leader and shadow gov’t both praise China at Lunar New Year Festival

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In a reflection of the influential role that China plays in the region, leaders from both Myanmar’s ruling military and the anti-junta National Unity Government – essentially enemies – praised China over the Lunar New Year weekend, competing for their neighbor’s blessing.

Junta chief Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said that China had been an important and good neighbor, while the shadow Unity government sent a message through diplomatic channels saying that it could “guarantee that the fruits of their revolution’s success will not harm the interests of regional countries, including China, but give even more benefits.”

China is an important economic partner and shares a border with Myanmar. It also wields a powerful veto on the five-member U.N. Security Council, which both the junta and the shadow NUG hope Beijing will leverage to their advantage. 

China’s U.N. delegation, for example, has prevented meaningful sanctions from being imposed on Myanmar since the military took control in a February 2021 coup, or hold the junta accountable for human rights violations against its own people.

Analysts said that the NUG appears grateful that China did not veto the Dec. 21 Security Council resolution calling for the release of political prisoners by the junta, including imprisoned former leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

The resolution also called on the army to stop violence against civilians and implement the five-point consensus for peace in Myanmar adopted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 

Trying to keep China from supporting opponent

Rather than seeking an outright partnership with Beijing, both sides may be trying to keep China from joining their opposition, political analyst Ye Tun said.  “It is not bad for them if China at least stays neutral,” he said. “They are trying to have China not be on the opposing side.”

Thein Tun Oo, executive director of the pro-junta Thayninga Institute for Strategic Studies accused the NUG of pulling “a political stunt by thanking China for not vetoing the Security Council resolution. China knows very well who is ruling Myanmar and who to associate with.”

According to data from the Institute for Strategic Studies, which monitors China-Myanmar relations, three new trade channels have emerged between the two countries since the coup. 

One trade route links China’s Sichuan province through Yangon and to Singapore, connecting Chinese exports to infrastructure to the Indian Ocean. A second route links Chongqing province with Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar, while the third is a water route connecting Guangxi province through ports in the Bay of Beibu in the South China Sea. 

The institute said that the new economic channels will enable China to solidify its long-awaited access to the Indian Ocean and spread its geopolitical influence across Myanmar. 

Yangon’s Chinatown was crowded during the Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. Credit: RFA

China is Myanmar’s largest trading partner since the coup, with Chinese trade accounting for more than U.S.$4.4 billion out of Myanmar’s total U.S.$17 billion between April and September.

Hla Kyaw Zaw, a China-based analyst of China-Myanmar relations, views China’s policy as a multifaceted approach.

“China is gradually cooling down the hot areas of Burma. But what they can’t persuade is the military,” he said. “China’s diplomacy is usually done quietly. It doesn’t hurt other parties by not doing things like objecting or condemning. Its approach is multifaceted, and it will deal with the junta, NUG, and ethnic armed groups along the border as well.”

RFA contacted the NUG Foreign Minister and President’s offices for comment on the NUG’s relationship with China but did not hear back. 

Translated by Kyaw Min Htun. Edited by Nawar Nemeh and Malcolm Foster.

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China Implements New Regulations for Fair Competition Reviews to Enhance Business Environment

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The State Council released Fair Competition Review Regulations to ensure a level playing field for state-owned and private companies. Administrative authorities must conduct fair competition reviews of policy measures to prevent favoritism. Policy measures that restrict market access, flow of goods, or increase production costs will not be issued.


On June 6, 2024, the State Council released the final version of the Fair Competition Review Regulations (the “regulations), in an effort to “unify the domestic environment” and level the playing field between state-owned and private companies.

The regulations, which are based on China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, will require administrative authorities to conduct fair competition reviews when drafting laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, rules, normative documents, and policy measures (hereinafter collectively referred to as policy measures), to ensure that they do not unfairly favor certain market entities.

The regulations prohibit drafting authorities from including any content in policy measures that may negatively impact market access, the free flow of goods and resources, production and business costs, or production and business activities. Policy measures found to contain any such content during the review process (or that do not qualify for the exemptions, see below) will not be issued.

Specifically, the following content that may directly or indirectly restrict market access and exit cannot be included:

They also cannot include the following content that may restrict the free flow of goods and resources:

Without a legal or administrative regulatory basis or State Council approval, they also cannot include the following content that affects production and business costs:

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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A Timeline of EU-China Relations Post-2024 European Elections

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EU-China relations are crucial in global business, with geopolitical shifts and technological competition shaping the dynamic. The recent EU Parliament elections have brought a political realignment, leading to a more assertive stance towards China. Strategic discussions and new working groups aim to navigate the evolving relationship.


EU-China relations play a crucial role in the global business landscape. The current circumstances, marked by geopolitical shifts, economic interdependence, and technological competition, contribute to the volatility and frequent adjustments in this relationship. In this timeline, we aim to capture key milestones and developments that shape EU-China ties.

The European Parliament elections, held between June 6 and June 9, 2024, have ushered in a new era for EU-China relations. The election results revealed a significant shift in the political landscape, with centrist parties losing ground to far-right groups like the Identity and Democracy (ID) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). This political realignment is poised to influence the EU’s approach to China, introducing more varied and potentially conflicting perspectives on policy.

Traditionally, the EU has maintained a cautious stance toward China, epitomized by the 2019 publication of the EU-China Strategic Outlook, which framed the relationship as one of “partnership, competition, and systemic rivalry.” This tripartite approach was later reiterated in the European Council’s Conclusion on China. However, the narrative toward China has taken a decisive turn with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s speech delivered on March 30, 2023. This speech marked a shift towards a more assertive stance, further strengthened by the release of the European Economic Security Strategy in June of the same year.

In the aftermath of the 2024 elections, the increased fragmentation within the EU Parliament suggests a more complex and uncertain path to forming a cohesive strategy toward China. This uncertainty poses challenges for European companies conducting business with China, as well as Chinese and global businesses operating in Europe, who must now navigate a more unpredictable regulatory environment.

Amid these developments, the Chinese government is keenly observing the evolving dynamics within the EU. China aims to cultivate allies within the European bloc, and this intent was evident during President Xi Jinping’s recent European tour, which included official visits to France, Serbia, and Hungary. During his visit, President Xi reiterated the EU’s significance as China’s major trading partner.

As the new EU Parliament begins its work, strategic discussions have been underway to address key issues, including the EU’s technological and strategic autonomy. To manage different views and promote collaboration on shared interests with China, new cross-regional working groups have been established. These groups are focusing on sectors such as agriculture, aviation, artificial intelligence, energy, and finance, aiming to enhance resilience and foster dialogue.

In this article, we present a timeline of EU-China relations following the EU Parliament elections, reflecting the complexities and opportunities presented by this new chapter in bilateral relations.

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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Economic Update: Consumption and Trade in China See Strong Recovery Despite Decrease in Industrial Output by May 2024

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Industrial output growth in China has slowed, with robust performance in some manufacturing sectors but an increase in consumption driven by services, retail sales, and imports. Despite a slowdown, equipment manufacturing has been crucial in stabilizing overall industrial growth. Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors have shown strong performance, while the automobile manufacturing sector has decelerated due to falling domestic demand.


The data indicates a slowdown in industrial output growth, despite some manufacturing sectors still showing robust performance. In contrast, consumption is on the rise, driven by growth in services, retail sales, and imports. The uptick in these areas suggests a strengthening of domestic demand, spurred by a stabilizing global economic situation and the boost from the Labor Day Holiday at the beginning of May.

China’s foreign trade also continued to show marked improvement, reflecting the country’s strong export capabilities and increasing imports.

Year-on-year growth in China’s industrial sector slowed in May from the previous month but remained relatively strong. Total industrial value-added output grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year in May, a month-on-month increase of 0.3 percent but a deceleration from 6.7 percent year-on-year growth recorded in April. Value-added output of the manufacturing industry grew 6 percent year-on-year, a deceleration from the 7.5 percent year-on-year in April.

According to NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua, equipment manufacturing played a crucial role in stabilizing overall industrial growth. The sector’s added value increased by 7.5 percent from the previous year, contributing 2.6 percentage points to the growth of all industries above the designated size and accounting for 45.7 percent of the total growth. Within this sector:

Certain high-tech and electronic equipment manufacturing sectors exhibited particularly strong performance:

However, the automobile manufacturing sector decelerated significantly from a 16.3 percent year-on-year jump in April to 7.6 percent year-on-year growth in May, possibly due to falling domestic demand.

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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