China Inc in Action
The Melbourne Age reports: 'The Defence Department is reviewing business dealings between one of its senior scientists and the Chinese government’s missile development agency amid ongoing concerns about Beijing’s effort to recruit western scientists and officials.
'In a separate development, Fairfax Media can also reveal that Australia's peak scientific research agency, the CSIRO, spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading its cyber-security and information systems after a data breach linked to an employee who was a Chinese national. The man disappeared after the apparent breach in November 2013.
'The Defence Department senior scientist, who has a security clearance that gives him access to classified information, was in early 2016 appointed director of a small NSW firm which specialises in non-military uses of big data analytics'.
Another fine article comes from the latest Economist, titled 'America’s trade strategy has many risks and few upsides'
'It is undermining the rules-based trade order and could start a series of tit-for-tat moves'.
The concluding paragraphs are as follows: 'China’s desire to be seen to adhere to the rule book could weaken, however. Cui Tiankai, its ambassador to America, responded to Mr Trump’s announcement by saying that “if people want to play tough, we will play tough with them and see who will last longer.” At risk would be agricultural exporters and American companies operating in China. Mr Lighthizer told a congressional committee on March 21st that he would defend farmers’ interests should they be hit, adding to the impression that Mr Trump would not shy away from a trade war.
'Another risk stems from Mr Trump’s obsession with the bilateral trade deficit. No deal can guarantee to bring it down. Whatever the two sides agree to, the fact is that trade is devilishly difficult to manage. Factors beyond China’s control could easily overwhelm the impact of any deal on the bilateral trade deficit. Mr Trump’s cuts to income and corporate taxes mean that America’s economy is about to receive a large stimulus. All else equal, this will suck in imported goods.
'American and Chinese trade negotiators thus have their work cut out. Any deal they reach must allow both sides to claim victory. And since it will be judged a success or failure according to outcomes that have little to do with their agreement, it is bound to be a fragile one'.