Links for Thursday, July 23, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

After seven years and more than 30 rounds of talks, China’s Vice-Premier Liú Hè 刘鹤 and the European Commission’s executive vice-president in charge of economic policy Valdis Dombrovskis are expected to speak on the phone next week in a last-ditch effort to salvage an investment treaty, [of] which they cannot even agree [on] the name.

When China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) acquired Switzerland’s Syngenta AG in 2017 for a blockbuster $43 billion, it paid only $5 billion of its own capital, cobbling together loans from banks and other institutions to make up the rest.

Syngenta AG, as the world’s third-largest seed supplier and top pesticides-maker, brought its rich store of seed and agrochemical patents to state-owned ChemChina. Now, with both companies deep in debt, there are concerns the lion’s share of the debt accrued in the acquisition could wind up back on Syngenta’s shoulders.

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

  • China fuels the dirty side of Vietnam’s energy industry
    Will Vietnam’s new energy policy mark a turning point for coal? / China Dialogue
    “However, electricity from fossil fuels still accounts for 62% of Vietnam’s total installed power capacity… Under the government’s current power development plan, released in 2016, this is expected to drop to 53% by 2030. But the finance and construction of new power plants is nevertheless ongoing, much of it with the support of major Chinese banks and companies.”

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

  • Torrential downpours and hurricane-force winds forecast across large parts of the country.
  • Water levels of 93 rivers still above warning levels, government says.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE: