Pete Sweeney

Breakingviews - Beijing’s Hong Kong hard line threatens everyone

22 Aug 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing's hard line in Hong Kong should worry everyone else. President Xi Jinping had peaceful options to calm protesters. Instead state media accused them of treason and separatism; the army is on standby. That China would even consider sacrificing its only offshore financial centre to pander to nationalists suggests the onset of tragic policy–blindness.

Breakingviews - Twitter deserves a follow for China mute and block

20 Aug 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Twitter deserves a follow for muting and blocking China. The U.S. social network suspended state-backed accounts trying to subvert protests in Hong Kong. It also will stop accepting ads from government-controlled media. Beijing’s wedge issue provides a good opportunity for Facebook, YouTube and others to reconsider profiting from propaganda.

China’s best-case trade deal looks worse and worse

01 Aug 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - China’s best-case scenario for a U.S. trade deal looks worse by the minute. Negotiators on Wednesday evening wrapped up yet another round of negotiations, but made little progress. A tariff ceasefire brokered in June has dragged on, and President Donald Trump no longer seems enthused about a quick deal that could expose him to criticism ahead of a 2020 presidential election. With supply chains already migrating out of the mainland and economic growth slowing, time is not on Beijing's side.

Breakingviews - Review: Fighting the second Cold War, lab by lab

26 Jul 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - In 1949, U.S. President Harry Truman proposed to share the fruits of American scientific primacy with poorer countries. "We must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas," he said during his inaugural address. "The old imperialism - exploitation for foreign profit - has no place in our plans."

Breakingviews - Abe's so-so victory is good for Japan's economy

22 Jul 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Shinzo Abe's so-so victory in Japanese elections over the weekend will keep his focus on the Japanese economy, where it should be. The prime minister's ruling coalition won a majority in Japan’s upper house, but slack turnout denied him enough seats to scrap the country’s constitutional commitment to pacifism. That clears away an unhelpful political distraction.

Breakingviews - The Exchange: Tiananmen 3.0

15 Jul 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Han Dongfang was expelled from China for organising worker protests that were bloodily suppressed in 1989. He founded China Labour Bulletin, which tracks factory protests, strikes and policy. He speaks with Pete Sweeney about the economic stress on workers and college graduates.

Breakingviews - CLSA exodus leaves owner Citic with an empty shell

20 Jun 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - CLSA's exodus is leaving Citic with an empty shell. The brokerage's star analysts are being poached by rivals like Credit Suisse and Jefferies. They take with them much of the brand value China's Citic Securities paid $1.3 billion for in 2013. Such mergers tend to be messy. But the state-owned group has missed plenty of opportunities to do better.

Breakingviews - Beijing yields to Hong Kong’s financial clout

15 Jun 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Beijing has yielded to Hong Kong’s unique economic status. Carrie Lam, chief executive of the special administrative region, on Saturday indefinitely suspended a bill that would have allowed extradition to the mainland, responding to mass rallies and violent street protests that rocked the city. It’s a defeat for her, and leaves the central government embarrassed. But for the Chinese Communist Party, preserving Hong Kong’s financial role still trumps the desire for more political control.

Breakingviews - China audit crackdown is a Wall Street nightmare

13 Jun 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - A Chinese listings purge would be a nightmare on Wall Street. Marco Rubio, a Republican U.S. senator, wants to force mainland companies that have gone public in New York to submit to audit oversight - or leave. It’s a radical solution to a real problem. But torching shares valued around $1.8 trillion is a harsh price to pay for transparency.        

Breakingviews - Hong Kong's new protests come at a dangerous time

12 Jun 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - For the second time in less than five years, tear gas is wafting through the streets of Hong Kong. Violence flared in the financial centre on Wednesday as police used gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters opposing an extradition bill. Pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014 fizzled out. This movement will prove harder to defuse.

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