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China

Philippines raises concerns with China about spiraling Taiwan tensions

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The Philippines on Saturday raised concerns with China about soaring tensions related to neighbor Taiwan when the two countries’ top diplomats met in Manila.

The meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo came amid heightened rhetoric over the Philippines recently granting the United States access to four additional military bases, two of them fronting Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.

“Manalo reaffirmed the Philippines’ adherence to the One China Policy, while at the same time expressing concern over the escalating tensions across the Taiwan Strait,” said a statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) after a meeting of the two officials.

Manalo also told his Chinese counterpart that the Philippines continues to pursue “an independent foreign policy, which seeks to ensure stability and prosperity in the region,” according to a report by BenarNews, an affiliate of Radio Free Asia.

For his part, China’s Qin reminded Manalo of the “promises” the two nations have made to each other, in what appeared to be an oblique reference to the One China policy, which Beijing’s envoy to the Philippines brought up last week in not so delicate a fashion.

Qin called the situation “‘fluid’ and turbulent,” without elaborating.

“[A] healthy and stable China-Philippines relationship is not only meeting the aspirations of our two peoples, but also in line with the common aspirations of regional countries,” he said.

“We need to work together to continue our tradition of friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and properly resolve our differences in the spirit of credibility, consultation, and dialogue, and keep our promises to each other so as to bring more benefits to our two countries and people and inject greater positive energy to the peace and stability of this region and the whole world,” Qin added.

Analysts had called expanded access to Philippine military bases “central” to Washington’s aim to deter any plan by Beijing to attack Taiwan.

China has said it amounted to interference.

But the latest controversy involving China was the warning of its envoy here to the Philippines.

Ambassador Huang Xilian had strongly advised Manila to “unequivocally oppose” Taiwan’s independence rather than fan the flames of conflict by offering the U.S. military additional access to bases. He also commented on the safety of 150,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan. 

Protesters hold signs demanding the expulsion of Huang Xilian, the Chinese envoy to the Philippines, outside the Chinese Consulate in Makati City, the Philippines, April 21, 2023. [Gerard Carreon/BenarNews]

The Philippine government and opposition slammed the Chinese envoy for his statements on Manila’s policy on Taiwan and its workers on the neighboring island, saying they will not brook any attempts at intimidation by Beijing.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. later downplayed the Chinese envoy’s comments noting the latter’s speech released in English may have been “lost in translation.”

On Saturday Marcos met with China’s Qin and called the meeting “useful.”

“Some of the pronouncements that have been made recently by our two countries and many other countries might be misinterpreted,” according to a statement released by Marcos’ office. 

“So today it was really useful that we were able to speak with Minister Qin Gang, the Foreign Minister of China, so we can talk directly to one another and iron things out.”

South China Sea issue

Qin’s visit came even as the Philippines is hosting more than 12,000 American soldiers for the largest-ever joint exercises between the two long-time allies.

The exercises were for “maritime defense, territorial defense, [and] coastal defense,” a Filipino military official said last month, amid seemingly hostile actions by Beijing in the South China Sea, parts of which both countries claim.

During the meeting Saturday with the top Chinese diplomat, his Philippine counterpart Manalo raised the issue of the disputed waterway.

“Our leaders have agreed that our differences in the West Philippine Sea are not the sum total of our relations,” he said, referring to the part of the South China Sea that lies within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

“These differences should not prevent us from seeking ways of managing them effectively, especially with respect to the enjoyment of rights of Filipinos, especially our fisherfolk.”

Manila has said that China has ramped up its presence in the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone in the disputed sea and increased harassment of Filipino fishermen in recent years. 

At a high-level foreign department consultation last month on the sea dispute, the government reminded China that intimidation and coercion have no place in solving the issue. 

While there have been significant developments already after the bilateral consultative meeting, Manalo noted that much still needed to be done.

Philippine President Marcos on Saturday referred to the dispute saying more communication would help.

“As to the conflicts, we agreed to establish more lines of communications so that any event that occurs in the West Philippine Sea that involves China and the Philippines can immediately be resolved,” he said. 

“So we are currently working on that and are awaiting the Chinese response and we are confident that these issues would be worked out that would be mutually beneficial for both our nations.”

Manila had recently lodged a complaint about the swarming of more than 40 Chinese fishing boats, which were escorted by a Chinese Coast Guard ship and a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ship near Pag-asa (Thitu), one of the Philippine-occupied islands in the disputed waters.

In February, a CCG ship allegedly pointed a laser towards a Philippine Coast Guard vessel in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal).

Still, as the Philippines’ Foreign Secretary Manalo noted, China has remained the country’s top trading partner over the past few years, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And when Marcos visited Beijing in January, he took home investment pledges worth about U.S. $22.8 billion.

Meanwhile, Marcos is scheduled to make his second visit within a year to the U.S. on May 1, when he is set to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in the White House.

The two leaders are expected to discuss deepening political and economic ties,…

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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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