Asia-Latin America Round Up — 17 Aug 2017

Highlights

Chinese investors set sights on Miami — Miami Agent Magazine
A summary of an Investorist report that revealed that Miami has a high level level of activity from Chinese investors — second only to Los Angeles — who are drawn to the city's rising land values, reputation as a major financial hub and an increased interest from Chinese students to attend the University of Miami.

China-Latin America

Bioceânica, orçada em R$ 155 bi, se torna conto chinês — Valor
The Bioceanic railway is a Chinese sponsored project that was going to connect the Atlantic and the Pacific via Brazil and Peru. However, the project has struggled with disagreements among the three countries as to the best route, and other delays. And with a $49b price tag in it’s best case scenario, the Brazilian government has balked at paying it’s share, and it’s unclear whether the project will actually go forward.

China Steps up for Sustainable Infrastructure — Hablemos de cambio climático
The IDB applauds the China International Contractor Associations (CHINCA) coming out withGuidelines of Sustainable Infrastructure for Chinese International Contractors. Last year they issued a joint technical report on sustainable infrastructure which provides a practical and process-oriented perspective for Chinese institutions and sets the stage for a new chapter of China-LAC infrastructure cooperation, which the IDB sees as a precursor to the new guidelines. The IDB sees China as continuing to be a key part of solving Latin America’s infrastructure gap of about $180b per year. Interesting to note that they see working with the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as a key part of filling that gap.

Returnees from Venezuela eager to leave China again — SCMP
As Venezuela implodes, so do the dreams of Chinese migrants — SCMP
Two companion pieces profiling the fortunes of the 400,000 Chinese people that had moved to Venezuela, in part due to the economic connections and political affinity between China and Chávez’s government. Of note, 50,000 people with roots in Enping a county-level city in Jiangmen in the Pearl River Delta which has a long history as a source of Chinese migrants, had returned to China from Venezuela last year.

China in Bolivia: Financial Sovereignty or New Dependency? — NACLA
While Chinese investment in Venezuela has been the biggest discussion in Latin America, it isn’t the only one. "China has become the principal funder and contractor for President Evo Morales’s state-led development project.” This article profiles the Chinese presence in Bolivia, which continues to grow, and has led to several protests:

A major highway in Cochabamba, Bolivia, under construction by Chinese conglomerate Sinohydro, is paralyzed by five work stoppages in 14 months. In Santa Cruz, Sinopec, a Chinese oil and gas megafirm building another road, is cited for contaminating a nearby river with construction debris. Outside La Paz, 86 communities declare a “state of emergency” to protest the alleged diversion of water by Chinese mining companies during an unprecedented water crisis.

China Econ/Policy

Trump's China trade crackdown coming Monday — Politico
Trump administration goes after China over intellectual property, advanced technology — Washington Post
After much speculation in leading up to the announcement on Monday, the White House announced what was received as underwhelming steps towards addressing trade with China. The announced policy directs U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to determine whether to launch an investigation into Chinese intellectual property theft. The inquiry — which could take up to a year — would give the president broad authority to retaliate if it finds that China is compromising U.S. intellectual property.

Why China Is Shooting Its Gray Rhinos — Variety
An interesting profile of how the recent clampdown on private Chinese companies like Wanda and Fosun has impacted Hollywood. The article says the lessons for the US movie industry are twofold: first, political risk should be moved far higher up the agenda in any Sino-international dealing; and second, that China is now a major player that has enough momentum and scale to affect global industry. 

Vista Tower moving ahead despite Chinese crackdown on investor — Chicago Tribune
After all the news about Dalian Wanda in the past several weeks, Magellan Development Group says that the billion-dollar, 98-story Vista Tower, which will be the third-tallest building in Chicago once completed, is unaffected.

China’s love of US chicken feet proves a recipe for a perfect trade — FT
China’s demand for agricultural products goes beyond what Westerners traditionally define as consumable, as the country imports300,000 tonnes of chicken feet each year. This article does a deep dive into the regulatory process behind getting approval for canning chicken in China for the US, the economic case for which was driven by those feet.

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