for comment on a policy-related story, email us at media.contact@policycn.com

China-US trade war is making American soybean farmers anxious

Regardless of how this trade conflict resolves, analysts said US farmers should prepare to share the China market with other nations. 'At the end of the day it is not in China’s interest to expand agricultural trade with the US exclusively,' Even Rogers Pay of China Policy, a Beijing-based consulting group, said. 'It would leave China more dependent on a single, powerful trade partner for a necessity: food.'

can deserts become rice paddies? Chinese scientists say yes

China is not the only country facing the issue of overly salty soil. Around the world, there are around 2.35 billion acres of 'highly saline' land. And the number is increasing because of rising sea levels and changes in precipitation caused by climate change. 'Probably only a fraction of the world's saline land could be brought into production with seawater rice, but that would still have a very substantial impact on food security, not just in China but also around the world,' Even R. Pay, a senior analyst with Beijing-based consultancy firm China Policy, told Inkstone.

China’s financial liberalisation: fact or fiction?

'The challenge for China is control,' said Erlend Ek, at Beijing-based advisory firm China Policy. 'There are bubbles in the economy and if you open up too fast you might lose control of managing these bubbles.'

exclusive: China ramps up checks on U.S. pork imports in potentially costly slowdown

China’s General Administration of Customs, which oversees food imports, did not respond to a fax seeking comment. Increased checks on U.S. products are 'not terribly surprising,' said Even Rogers Pay, an agriculture analyst at China Policy, a Beijing-based consultancy. 'In a situation where trade tensions are high, China will enforce every possible regulation on its books. It makes strategic sense to do so at this point,' she said.

scientists in China race to edit crop genes, sowing unease in U.S.

While China historically has lagged behind other countries’ agricultural research, “in Crispr, they could leapfrog,” said Even Rogers Pay, agricultural analyst for Beijing-based research and advisory firm China Policy. China is also seeking a lead in gene editing in human medicine and livestock, in some cases pursuing research with fewer regulatory restrictions than U.S. counterparts.

China’s reform pledges fail to impress

Chinese strategists see trade frictions as a fight for dominance in the next wave of technologies such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), said China Policy’s Ek. 'It is not about now, but it is really about the future in 2025-2030. It is about getting there first,' Ek said. 'I think the U.S. is quite scared of China and this state-supported model. Traditionally it hasn't been very efficient, but they see that it has got some results because they have this massive population.' China's massive population and market is a huge advantage in developing data, AI and so on, Ek said. It is a huge carrot that the Chinese government can use to compel foreign companies to accept strong-arm tactics on market access. It is also large enough to nurture information technology companies in a protected environment at home until they are ready to go abroad.

in a trade war, China might boycott U.S. goods. That could backfire

'The U.S. multinationals have been playing a very critical part of China’s development story, providing investment, technology, brands,' said Erlend Ek, trade research manager of China Policy, a Beijing-based advisory firm. 'They have a very good relationship with each other.'

China traders, farmers shrug off risk of US soybeans tariff

China has already been looking for alternative soy sources in places like Brazil, Canada and Russia, and the tariffs could help reduce Chinese dependence on U.S. suppliers, says Beijing-based trade analyst Erlend Ek. 'The discussion at the moment in China is a confident one. They think they can weather out the effects of these extra tariffs. Tariffs aren’t stopping imports, it’s just making it more expensive,' Ek said. 'They’re willing to bite that pill.' The soybean tariff is part of a carefully-targeted strategy by Chinese President Xi Jinping to strike at the heart of Trump’s base, Ek says, while minimizing risks to the Chinese economy.

Trump scoffs at China trade war `lost’ years ago by predecessors

'Chinese strategists are seeing no good economic argument for escalating the situation,' said Erlend Ek, an agriculture and trade research manager at China Policy, a consulting firm based in Beijing. 'They see good economic reasons for de-escalating it, however.'

China moves its factories back to the countryside

'In the long term, China’s continued economic development will depend on people in fourth-tier cities, county towns and villages joining the consumer class,' says Even Pay, an agriculture analyst at the Beijing-based research firm China Policy. 'This is the real aim of the rural revitalisation strategy.'