China has been in the news for many reasons lately. Here is a quick run down with links to some sources and more in-depth articles.
The traditional Chinese thinking and planning is done with 100’s of years in sight. The China 2025 lists Information Technology, Robotics and Green Energy & Green Vehicles as the top three industries as the key government focus. The picture below depicts the routes of the Belt and Road initiative that was proposed by China. Some analysts say that when completed, this will enable roadway access to 48% of all human population with 5 hours!
Earlier this week, representatives of international organizations, industry leaders, scholars and foreign heads of state and government met to chart out and finalize the blueprint for this initiative.
It’s fascinating how China is leading this initiative and receiving praise from over 100 countries globally.
China also received praise for getting the recent shortening of the negative list – a list of areas within the initiative where the foreign companies are prohibited from investing or forming wholly owned subsidiaries. These areas include Manufacturing, Agriculture and other services. This is an amazing feat to have the entire globe get involved. Here’s a quick rundown of the Belt and Road Initiative in numbers
Countries & Supporting Countries: 125 | Global Organizations Involved: 40+ | China’s Direct Investment: $90 billion | Jobs Created” 300,00+ | Countries with Economic and Trade Initiatives: 82+ | Trade in goods among BRI Countries: $6 Trillion
With this massive project, China has also been criticized for increasing debt on smaller nations (for example Pakistan, and Northern African countries). This growing dependence on the Chinese market is what troubles a lot of Americans. Although there’s no direct connection between the initiative and the ongoing trade wars, it does lead to a discussion about whether one affects the other. In case you’re wondering what’s going on with the US-China trade war, check out this article that covers the ongoing trade war.
While the politicians, corporate leaders and global investors & scholars focus on connecting the world through roadways, the Chinese population celebrates World Jianbing Day. Wait, what does that even mean?
Jianbing is a traditional Chinese crepe that can be filled with vegetables, etc. and usually had as breakfast meal. This is the first time that the world is celebrating this day dedicated to the China’s most beloved breakfast foods, also known as bings. One of the ideas behind this celebration is to keep the traditions alive as China moves in the next era of innovation and growth. While it’s becoming difficult to find traditional Jianbing shops in newer cities such as Shanghai, New York is starting to embrace this global food and import centuries old culinary experience. Mr. Bing is a chain of beijing street foods that was started by Brian Goldberg. Mr Bing’s mission is to introduce America to traditional Northern Chinese street crepes the way it is made in China (as guided by the originator of the bing recipe).
Jianbing isn’t the only Chinese export that’s getting attention in the US. On the entertainment side, The Wandering Earth is being called China’s “giant leap into science fiction” and has already raked in over $400 million in revenue . Chinese cinema has, for long, served as a break from the fast-paced high stress life that has fueled the nation’s growth.
While it is difficult to leave China out of any global discussion, year 2019 and onwards are really interesting since most global superpowers, US, China and Russia are looking to expand their reach and control/contribute to global progress as their leaders see fit.