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China

India pushes back against China’s economic influence

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East Asia Forum

Abstract

The intensifying competition between India and China for influence in South Asia highlights the increasing importance of foreign investment in shaping the region. India, in order to establish itself as a key player in South Asia, will need to leverage foreign aid and investments. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has filled the investment gap in South Asia, funding various infrastructure projects in countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. India, recognizing the need to counter BRI projects, aims to accelerate its own infrastructure projects. The growing synergy between India and the US can contribute to regional development and stability, especially in light of China’s assertiveness.


Author: Radhey Tambi, Centre for Air Power Studies

As the competition between India and China for influence in South Asia intensifies, foreign investment becomes more important in shaping regional outcomes. This discussion is particularly relevant as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to expand, reaching the borders of almost every South Asian country. India will need to leverage foreign aid and investments to achieve its goal of becoming a leading player in South Asia.

South Asia remains one of the least integrated regions in the world. Since its announcement in 2013, the BRI has significantly filled this investment vacuum. China has funded the Hambantota port and Port City Colombo in Sri Lanka, the trans-Himalayan corridor and the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, and sealed an oil extraction deal with Afghanistan and a free trade agreement with Male.

Beijing has also capitalised on the development gap along the Line of Actual Control — the effective border between India and China — by developing villages and a new highway. China’s BRI has created dependency among South Asian countries by attaching conditionality to its aid. This could potentially serve Beijing’s military interests in the future.

This development has spurred India to accelerate its infrastructure projects in the region. Indian policymakers recognise the need to counter BRI projects to safeguard regional stability and prevent further erosion of India’s strategic space.

New Delhi enjoys civilisational and historical linkages rooted in shared culture, norms and tradition. Any developmental vacuum filled by an outside power that disrespects sovereignty will inevitably bite back. The economic crisis in Pakistan and Sri Lanka which embraced the BRI with great gusto is a glaring example. South Asia needs development, but not at the price of pushing the region into dependencies.

To this end, the growing synergy in India–US ties can foster infrastructural growth in the region, especially when Washington is engaging with smaller South Asian states to enhance its Indo-Pacific strategy. During her visit to South Asia, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs announced that the United States would spend more than US$1 billion over the next five years on clean energy, electrification and small women-owned businesses in Nepal.

On the security front, the United States and Bangladesh have passed a draft agreement on the General Security of Military Information Agreement. But this requires Washington to accommodate and work in consonance with India, especially regarding China in South Asia. Managing China’s ambitious rise in India’s immediate neighbourhood where it is seen as bullying and coercing weaker states in the garb of development must be a priority.

India’s ability to provide nearly US$4 billion of aid to Sri Lanka demonstrates its economic regional potential. As India continues to hold a prominent position on the global stage, the world looks to it to take on a larger economic role.

India must combine diplomatic efforts with massive development…

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China

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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China

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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