The overwhelming matter in China now is the imminent arrival of the 70th anniversary of the day Mao declared that the Chinese people had stood up. National day, October 1. This is impacting on just about everything, including, and for some people most dramatically, internet access to out there beyond the mainland. It’s getting really spotty.
Meanwhile, news from the US-China relationship has been mixed. There are talks coming in October in Washington, and there is a line of thought that both sides are feeling the pressure of economic downturns enough that they should be willing to do a deal. Who is feeling the pain more and which side will be more tenacious? Trump suggested that the Chinese are planning on doing some big agriculture product purchases, but it comes down to the more systemic changes the US has been pushing for. Particularly the special relationship the SOEs have with the government which gives them a huge commercial advantage over private companies in the US or anywhere else. The consensus view of the pundits currently seems to be that even if an interim deal is done, the goalposts have shifted so far that it will likely just be a temporary respite. Decoupling feels ever more like the future.
And then pork again. Which takes us back to the 70th anniversary. The African swine flu impact on China’s pigs is huge, and the government is releasing a large part of the national pork reserve to ensure sufficient supplies over the Oct 1 National holiday. The total number of pigs in China, as of August, was 39% down on the same time last year. The balance is dead, either from the disease or from being culled.
Have a great weekend, and consider a salad for dinner.