Article: Insider trading research with Taiwanese vaccine makers reveals broader issues

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Insider trading research with Taiwanese vaccine makers reveals broader issues

bernardblack, 02 July 2021

A survey of insider trading with Taiwan’s Covid-19 vaccine maker raised concerns about Taiwan’s fiscal oversight and involved President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration.

The Taipei-based Shilin District prosecutor’s office said Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporation after the company’s stake jumped more than 20% in the days before announcing positive results for a phase II vaccine trial in June. He told the Financial Times that he was investigating. The prosecution refused to reveal the details of the investigation. Continue reading “Article: Insider trading research with Taiwanese vaccine makers reveals broader issues”

Article: Chinese Trolls Show That Information Can’t Be Stopped, Nor Should It Be

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Chinese Trolls Show That Information Can’t Be Stopped, Nor Should It Be

Emilio Iasiello, 14 June 2021

Beijing has been engaged in a battle for public opinion for several years, aggressively promoting a positive vision of China to counter criticisms for its involvement in human rights violations, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, its engagement with Taiwan and the South China Sea disputes, and its suspected involvement in the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2017, senior Party leaders acknowledged that “the main battlefield for public opinion” occurs on the extensive borderless Internet where people receive their news, express their thoughts, and promote and argue their political and ideological viewpoints. Beijing understands how the Internet is essential in disseminating China-friendly narratives, while at the same time deflecting criticisms and reassigning blame. In essence, it is how Beijing seeks to preserve its image while tarnishing those of others. Continue reading “Article: Chinese Trolls Show That Information Can’t Be Stopped, Nor Should It Be”

Article: Next Digital trading halted after Jimmy Lai’s assets frozen

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Next Digital trading halted after Jimmy Lai’s assets frozen

Associated Press, 17 May 2021

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong stock exchange halted trading of Next Digital shares Monday at the media company’s request after authorities froze assets belonging to its founder, Jimmy Lai, who has been a high-profile voice in the the territory’s pro-democracy movement.

Later in the day, the media tycoon and nine other pro-democracy activists pleaded guilty to taking part in an unlawful assembly in 2019. Lai is already serving a 14-month sentence for his role in two other unauthorized assemblies during a period when Hong Kong residents were involved in mass anti-government protests. Continue reading “Article: Next Digital trading halted after Jimmy Lai’s assets frozen”

Article: Citibank Taiwan, DBS Bank Taiwan hit for AML failings

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Citibank Taiwan, DBS Bank Taiwan hit for AML failings

Kao Shih-ching, 13 May 2021

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said.

Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City Continue reading “Article: Citibank Taiwan, DBS Bank Taiwan hit for AML failings”

Article: Vietnam seeks avoidance as currency manipulator in future

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Vietnam seeks avoidance as currency manipulator in future

Saigon Investment, 06 May 2021

Professor Eswar Prasad at Cornell University believes that the US Treasury report this time includes more intensive analysis and shows a less overtly political approach than previous reports during the Trump Administration. However, to avoid being labeled as a currency manipulator again in the future, Vietnam needs to do much more concerning trade and currency issues, rather than just tackling short term problems.

Subjective decision Continue reading “Article: Vietnam seeks avoidance as currency manipulator in future”

Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

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Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

Mike Bird, 03 May 2021

South Korea and Taiwan both reported better-than-expected economic growth last week, and in both cases it looks quite similar: Exports have boomed, domestic demand hasn’t. That has already caused some problems, which will be exacerbated if the trend continues unabated.

In South Korea’s case, exports of goods were 4.4% higher in the first quarter compared with the final quarter of 2019, before the pandemic hit. Meanwhile, private consumption spending is still languishing 5.5% below that benchmark.

It’s a similar story in Taiwan. Electronics exports in particular are up by 28.4% year-over-year, with net exports contributing far more to the overall 8.2% growth in gross domestic product than consumption. Continue reading “Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future”

Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

Article - Media, Publications

Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future

Mike Bird, 03 May 2021

South Korea and Taiwan both reported better-than-expected economic growth last week, and in both cases it looks quite similar: Exports have boomed, domestic demand hasn’t. That has already caused some problems, which will be exacerbated if the trend continues unabated.

In South Korea’s case, exports of goods were 4.4% higher in the first quarter compared with the final quarter of 2019, before the pandemic hit. Meanwhile, private consumption spending is still languishing 5.5% below that benchmark.

It’s a similar story in Taiwan. Electronics exports in particular are up by 28.4% year-over-year, with net exports contributing far more to the overall 8.2% growth in gross domestic product than consumption. Continue reading “Article: Asia’s Lopsided Economic Booms Store Problems for the Future”

Article: Currency control is not black and white

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Currency control is not black and white

SCMP Editorial, 18 April 2021

There are myriad ways for a government to affect the direction and value of its national currency. Some are labelled currency manipulation; others not. It depends on one’s definitions. Those of the United States Treasury mean the country cannot engage in such manipulation, an alleged sin only other economies can commit. Therefore it sits in judgment of others and threatens sanctions against those who allegedly game the global “rules-based” trade system.

However, spending trillions of US dollars on bond buying – also known as quantitative easing – for more than a decade and on economic relief packages to support growth and encourage inflation have achieved the same or similar results as manipulation. They have already caused significant depreciation of the US dollar against most major currencies and the slide is expected to continue. It is doubly ironic that in the middle of a trade and ideological war between the world’s two superpowers, Washington has, in its wisdom, declined to label mainland China as a currency manipulator but added friendly Taiwan to the watch list. The political nature of the exercise was exposed when the US Treasury, under former president Donald Trump, designated China as a manipulator in mid-2019, despite not meeting its full criteria, and then abruptly lifted the label five months later as a concession in a trade deal. Continue reading “Article: Currency control is not black and white”

Article: Taiwan Calls on U.S. to Suspend Currency Manipulation Criteria

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Taiwan Calls on U.S. to Suspend Currency Manipulation Criteria

Miaojung Lin and Samson Ellis, 18 April 2021

Taiwan urged the U.S. to temporarily ease its monitoring of trading partners for currency manipulation during the ongoing Covid pandemic.

The U.S. Treasury should suspend its three criteria for designating major trading partners currency manipulators while the world battles the coronavirus, Taiwan’s central bank said in a statement on its website Sunday in response to the latest U.S. foreign-exchange policy report.

The U.S. refrained from labeling any economy a currency manipulator in the Biden administration’s first report published Friday, despite acknowledging that Taiwan, Switzerland and Vietnam all met the threshold. Continue reading “Article: Taiwan Calls on U.S. to Suspend Currency Manipulation Criteria”

Article: US Treasury says no major trading partner manipulates currency

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US Treasury says no major trading partner manipulates currency

Xinhua, 17 April 2021

WASHINGTON — The US Treasury Department on Friday said that no major trading partner of the United States meets the criteria as a currency manipulator, but Vietnam, Switzerland and China’s Taiwan will be under enhanced monitoring for their currency practices.

In its semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States, the Treasury Department concluded that Vietnam, Switzerland and Taiwan met all three criteria for enhanced currency analysis under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 during the four quarters through December 2020. Continue reading “Article: US Treasury says no major trading partner manipulates currency”

Article: Bank of Thailand Unfazed by U.S. Currency Watchlist Inclusion

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Bank of Thailand Unfazed by U.S. Currency Watchlist Inclusion

Suttinee Yuvejwattana, 17 April 2021

The Bank of Thailand has responded to the U.S. decision to keep the nation on watch for currency manipulation by asserting it has stepped into the market only to curb volatility in the baht.

The central bank is committed to exchange-rate flexibility, with “interventions limited only to curbing excessive volatility and rapid movements of the baht on both sides,” Assistant Governor Chantavarn Sucharitakul said in a statement Saturday, adding that “Thailand has never used the exchange rate as a tool to gain an unfair trade advantage.” Continue reading “Article: Bank of Thailand Unfazed by U.S. Currency Watchlist Inclusion”

Article: Vietnam Reiterates Dong Policy After Manipulator Label Dropped

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Vietnam Reiterates Dong Policy After Manipulator Label Dropped

Mai Ngoc Chau, 17 April 2021

Vietnam’s central bank reiterated its exchange-rate management policy was in line with other economic goals after the U.S. Treasury Department removed the nation from its currency manipulator list.

The State Bank of Vietnam said its monetary policies are not meant “to create an unfair competitive advantage in international trade” for Vietnam, and are intended to control inflation and support growth, according to a statement on Saturday.

“The State Bank has applied measures to gradually improve the flexibility of the exchange rates while maintaining the foreign currency market in a stable manner,” it said. “The U.S. Treasury Department has recorded positive developments in Vietnam’s foreign currency market and the central bank’s performances.” Continue reading “Article: Vietnam Reiterates Dong Policy After Manipulator Label Dropped”

Article: Ever Given Operator Questions $916M Claim Over Grounding

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Ever Given Operator Questions $916M Claim Over Grounding

Martin Croucher, 15 April 2021

The operator of a giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for a week after running aground last month has said that the Egyptian authorities “lack any detailed justification” for demanding almost $1 billion in compensation.

Evergreen Line, the Taiwan-based operator which chartered the Ever Given that blocked traffic in the Suez Canal when it became wedged across the busy sea lane on March 23, said on Wednesday that it is investigating the scope of an Egyptian court order for the vessel to be seized by authorities in Cairo. Ever Given caused a logjam of approximately 200 ships in the canal Continue reading “Article: Ever Given Operator Questions $916M Claim Over Grounding”

Article: Being ‘tough on China’ can’t mean harming our own interests

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Being ‘tough on China’ can’t mean harming our own interests

DANIEL L DAVIS, 11 April 2021

Being “tough on China” is politically popular in Washington these days, and Biden has come out of the gate swinging against Beijing. But “being tough” isn’t a policy and reflexively applying it to China doesn’t serve U.S. interests. A logical and realistic approach to Beijing, however, can.

Obama’s “pivot to Asia” in 2011 opened a new chapter in Sino-American relations and turned an always challenging relationship even more tense. From the beginning of his administration, Trump characterized China in starkly adversarial terms, calculating domestic political advantage in starting a trade war. In the early months of the Biden term, it appears the new president has chosen to accelerate this deterioration in relations. Continue reading “Article: Being ‘tough on China’ can’t mean harming our own interests”

Article: U.S. Spy Agencies Warn of Threats From Digital Currency to AI

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U.S. Spy Agencies Warn of Threats From Digital Currency to AI

Joen Coronel, 10 April 2021

The U.S. intelligence community predicts an increasingly leaderless and unstable world in the coming decades as trends such as artificial intelligence, digital currencies and climate change reshape the global arena, according to the National Intelligence Council.

The coming decades will be characterized by a mismatch between global challenges and “the ability of institutions and system to respond,” according to “Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World.” The result will be “greater contestation at every level” — especially between the U.S. and China. Continue reading “Article: U.S. Spy Agencies Warn of Threats From Digital Currency to AI”