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East Asian economies resist decoupling

Quantifying the effect of supply chain decoupling is difficult. Trade controls, particularly export controls over high-tech products, became a major policy tool for decoupling in the United States and for some US allies, including Japan.

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Media on global trade frequently puts forward the narrative that the US–China confrontation will divide the world in two. But East Asian developing economies have a different view of supply chain decoupling since US–China merchandise exports and imports hit a record high in 2022 and East Asian production networks continue to move actively.

Author: Fukunari Kimura, Keio University

Quantifying the effect of supply chain decoupling is difficult. Trade controls, particularly export controls over high-tech products, became a major policy tool for decoupling in the United States and for some US allies, including Japan.

Items subject to export controls are specified in terms of traded goods, used technologies, export destination, importers and end-use. But the coverage is set very wide and only a small portion of exports are actually under strict control. Governments do not disclose information on products that are banned or under investigation. They also do not disclose how long the investigation took, even ex-post. Private firms may refrain from exporting without seeking an official decision. The international trade commodity classification may not match sensitive export items such as high-end semiconductors.

According to my on-going study with Mitsuyo Ando and Kazunobu Hayakawa, monthly international trade data at the industry level does not show any clear evidence of supply chain decoupling or a drastic reorganisation of production networks until the end of 2022. Yet the August 2020 US export controls that targeted Huawei substantially slowed down the company’s production in China and subsequently reduced Japanese exports to China, especially for parts and components used in Huawei’s wireless communication equipment assemblies. Regression analyses find a statistically significant reduction in Japanese exports to China since August 2020, particularly in semiconductor-intensive parts. The on-going study estimates a 3.3 per cent reduction in exports during this period compared to 2019 trade data. Supply chain decoupling is real, but the trade-reducing effect seems to be limited in scale so far.

Supply chain decoupling in the US–China confrontation came into a new phase when the Biden administration endorsed the Chips and Science Act in August 2022 and strengthened US export controls in October 2022. Though the implementation details of these policies have not been disclosed yet, they will likely further disrupt supply chains in terms of parts, materials, production machines and technologies used for supercomputers.

But supply chain decoupling will likely only be partial. International production networks have overall remained active, particularly in East Asia. Globalisation has provided many private firms with global economic opportunities. With the current heated geopolitical debate between the United States and its allies, the expansion of trade controls is inevitable. But the ‘rest’ of the economy outside of effective trade controls should not be neglected in this debate. The world must keep economic dynamism.

For middle powers such as Japan, the government can take several measures to ensure the health of the rest of the economy. The border between the economy, which is placed under strict trade controls, and the rest of the economy, which is not, must be delineated as clearly as possible.

It is important for civilians that military-use technologies do not get lumped in with regular technologies to avoid an adverse effect on the rest of the economy. If the border is not made clear, the private sector will face huge uncertainties that may shrink trade and investment. It is not only middle powers that must mark clear borders between the economy under trade controls and the rest of the economy, but also the United States. Middle-power governments should communicate closely with the United States and provide relevant information to the private sector. The cost of a blurred border will punish small and medium enterprises as well as firms in developing countries.

Middle powers such as Japan must practice economic diplomacy for the Global South — especially ASEAN — by deepening economic and social relationships, rather than being forced to choose a side. The South is interested in promoting a new agenda on digital and green trade and investment. The negotiation over the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, for example, must enhance multilateral economic relationships, rather than just pushing an economic security agenda.

The rest of the economy must keep to the rules-based trading regime. While the G7…

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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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