After China’s outbound foreign direct investment, particularly outbound M&A activities, had reached a historical record high in 2016, the Chinese government has stepped on the brakes to limit foreign exchange outflows and to prevent so-called “irrational” investment projects. Due to this more restrictive approval policy, China’s 2017 first quarter outbound M&A volume dropped by about 60 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
At the annual meeting of the National People's Congress that begins March 5, one group clearly stands out – the 114 of the nearly 3,000 delegates of the National People's Congress (NPC) that are on the Hurun list of richest Chinese.
China’s richest people account for close to 4% of the members of the body that officially acts as China’s national legislature. This high level of representation is at least somewhat ironic in a nation that still follows Communist doctrine.
Is China finally getting serious about reining in its neighbour North Korea? The news that Beijing agreed to new sanctions against North Korea after it claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb has been greeted as a “diplomatic shift” – and a vote on the draft UN Security Council Resolution prepared by China and the US is expected later this week.
“Doin' What Comes Natur'lly”: this song from Irving Berlin’s 1946 Broadway musical “Annie Get Your Gun“ comes to my mind when EU institutions discuss whether or not to grant Market Economy Status (MES) to China. This debate is gaining urgency as some key provisions in China’s accession protocol to the World Trade Organisation of December 2001 are bound to expire this December.