Zhou Xin

Zhou Xin

Political Economy Editor

Xin is a contributor to Inkstone. He is a deputy China editor for the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China's economy
With a poor social safety net, is China prepared to handle a job crisis?
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown tens of millions out of work in China, piling pressure on the country’s patchy social welfare network and creating a major policy challenge for Beijing. While the Chinese government has vowed to handle the sharp rise in unemployment, some economists have warned that the structural changes in the economy that helped absorb waves of unemployed in the past are no longer present to help in the current situation. A failure to revive the services sector and private businesses, which account for the vast majority of jobs, could darken China’s economic future and undermine the Communist Party’s narrative that its model of governance will lead China to a great reju
Will coronavirus pandemic change China’s role in the global economy?
A consensus is growing in Beijing that the coronavirus pandemic is set to make the world more hostile toward China.  The growing hostility could undermine the accommodating international environment that underpinned the country’s spectacular rise from a closed communist backwater to a global economic powerhouse. The global health crisis, which has killed more than 210,000 people and infected more than 3 million worldwide, has many in China wondering how the nation can continue to thrive amid an international backlash over its handling of the virus, which first appeared in the central city of Wuhan. One of the most pressing challenges facing the central government will be the acceleration of
China, US may stop their war of words at coronavirus summit
China and the United States are expected to call a timeout on their coronavirus blame game and focus on the challenges of the pandemic, when leaders of the Group of 20 hold talks via video conference on Thursday. According to a draft statement to be discussed at the summit, the leaders are expected to agree that the coronavirus is a common threat to humanity and united efforts are required to fight it. All eyes will be on the US and China, which have been locked in a war of words over a pandemic that has already infected more than 470,000 people and killed 21,000. The US has criticized China, where the outbreak was first reported, for its slow initial response and attempts to silence people
China’s economy could shrink for the first time since Mao died
The odds are rising that China will report a sharp deceleration in growth – or even a contraction in the first quarter as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. The outbreak has paralyzed the country’s manufacturing and service sectors, putting Beijing in the difficult position of either forgoing its economic growth goal for 2020 or returning to its old playbook of massive debt-fuelled economic stimulus to support growth. The first available economic indicators showing the extent of the economic damage done by the epidemic have prompted economists to slash their Chinese growth forecasts. Several are even expecting the once-unthinkable scenario in which China’s economy posts a zero growth rate
Economic shock of coronavirus may ‘hit harder than Sars’
Cities across China have become virtual ghost towns as public fear grows over the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Early signs indicate the outbreak could deal a heavy blow to the country’s already fragile economic recovery. As the virus has fanned out from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, authorities have taken increasingly aggressive measures to contain the Sars-like virus: curbing public transport, shuttering entertainment venues and shortening business hours. The rapid transmission of the coronavirus, partly due to initial mishandling by officials in Wuhan and Hubei, comes as China is trying to stabilize economic growth in 2020 following the signing of a phase one t
Economic break-up with US ‘unrealistic,’ China’s top trade negotiator says
China and the United States reached an agreement that would help fend off talk of a decoupling between the world’s two largest economies, a top Chinese official said. The countries signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday to put the brakes on their 18-month war of tariffs that roiled global markets and shook up supply chains. Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, speaking to reporters after a signing ceremony with US President Donald Trump, said the deal indicated that the two countries are deeply interconnected. “I think it is very unrealistic. A few people without economic backgrounds are talking about decoupling between China and the US, but in reality it is impossible,” Liu was quoted as saying
‘To hell with decoupling!’ says China's former commerce minister
China’s former commerce minister has issued a strong rebuff against “unthinkable” suggestions that the world’s two largest economies could disengage from each other due to the ongoing tensions caused by the trade war, with Chen Deming saying: “To hell with decoupling!” The US and China have found themselves linked for the past 40 years, but with the 18-month trade war having led to the straining of the relationship, suggestions have been made that a broader economic and technological decoupling could happen. “Is globalization falling into ‘hemispherization’ or is the whole process halted? Whoever insists on decoupling …. will fall behind and even be phased out in the advancement of science a
What wasn’t said during China’s 70th anniversary parade
Mention of China's controversial family planning policy was curiously absent from National Day celebrations in Beijing on Tuesday, sending a clear signal, according to analysts, that the country’s decades-long policy of birth restrictions could be scrapped altogether. China scrapped its one-child policy in 2016 to allow couples to have two children as its birth rate slows and its population ages. This move has so far proved unsuccessful in boosting births. Analysts said the lack of slogans or delegates related to the policy was a signal China could be about to lift restrictions entirely in a bid to encourage births. “Family planning was an achievement for the People’s Republic at its 60th an
China’s new trade weapon puts foreign companies in a bind
China’s plan to create an “entity list” of foreign companies and individuals that are deemed to be hurting Chinese interests could put many multinationals into a Catch-22 situation amid the intensifying rivalry with the United States. In a hastily arranged press conference on Friday, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said that China will start to implement a list for “unreliable” foreign companies and individuals, who would be punished if they were found to be blocking or cutting back supplies to Chinese companies for non-commercial purposes. The ministry did not immediately specify the possible consequences, nor did it directly link the move to the treatment of Huawei or China
Is China threatening to use its ‘trump card’ on the US?
Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited a rare earth plant in what analysts describe as the latest show of strength, after Beijing switched to a tougher rhetoric amid the escalating trade war. China accounts for more than 90% of the global production of rare earths, a group of 17 chemical elements that are key components of high-tech and defense equipment, from laptops to electric vehicles to weapon systems. With the US relying heavily on imports from China, rare earths are among the few Chinese products the Trump administration has no plan yet to put tariffs on. On Monday, Xi visited JL Mag Rare-Earth, a major rare earths processing company in the eastern city of Ganzhou, sparking speculat