Lisbon challenges China ‘myth’ Jan 24, 2020 (WiC 480)
“A myth has been created that Portugal is some kind of special friend of China in Europe. That makes no sense at all”
Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal’s foreign minister, talked to the Financial Times about Chinese investment in his country, but denied that China is unduly dominant. Santos Silva said he hoped US and European companies would compete with Chinese bidders in the forthcoming tender for a container terminal at Sines, which is the closest European port to the Panama Canal.
Keswick’s take on China Jan 17, 2020 (WiC 479)
“The Chinese are very like Americans, or perhaps the way Americans were. They are natural capitalists and love being rich”
Tessa Keswick discusses her experiences of China with the Sunday Times. The 77 year-old wife of Jardine Matheson’s former taipan Henry Keswick added: “The Chinese look at the Americans and say ‘Why do you lecture us? You’ve got 2.3 million in prison – we don’t. You bomb the whole of the Middle East to bits’. They cannot understand how the Americans do that.”
Bloomberg on China Jan 10, 2020 (WiC 478)
“The Chinese, if they’re trying to control what people see, they don’t worry about us”
Bloomberg’s eponymous founder Michael Bloomberg tells the Financial Times that the media firm’s terminal business is “growing very rapidly” in China. “We’re a professional product. It isn’t the man in the street who reads our stuff,” he added. Bloomberg’s Beijing-based New Economy Forum – last held in November – now makes up 65% of Bloomberg Media’s live events revenue, with the Chinese conference netting an estimated $30 million last year.
Banking on Chinese backing Dec 6, 2019 (WiC 477)
“If I need it I will go first to the AIIB. If we utilise old-style multilaterals, we cannot achieve our target”
Indonesia’s deputy minister for infrastructure affairs Kennedy Simanjuntak tells the Financial Times of his preference for borrowing from the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). He wants funds for a $31 billion new city on the island of Borneo, ready by 2024 to replace Jakarta as capital. Simanjuntak described the AIIB as more flexible than the World Bank: “With old-style banks I’m worried… They’re very slow.”