Tuesday, December 1

Fresh US/China Tensions Over Press & Exports

Hostilities Return

Following recent confirmation that US/China trade negotiations were back underway, optimism around the talks has once again faded in response to a slew of negative headlines this week. Earlier this week, it was reported that China has frozen credential for foreign journalists working with US press companies such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN and Getty Images. Such moves typically precede expulsions and China has suggested that it could expel the journalists in question if Trump presses ahead with action against six Chinese media in the US.

The current situation is the latest in a series of standoffs between the US and China and raises fresh concerns over the health of the trade negotiations. Despite both sides reaffirming their commitment to the trade negotiations, the continued tit-for-tat hostilities suggest that relations remain frayed in the wake of months of dispute over a number of issues such as COVID-19, militarisation of the South China Sea and the National Security law in Hong Kong.

US Journalists At Risk of Expulsion From China

US journalists applying to renew their press cards in China this week, for the next 12 months, were told by the Foreign Ministry that they could not do so. So far fiver journalists from four different organisations have been impacted. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China issues a statement on Monday saying: “These coercive practices have again turned accredited foreign journalists in China into pawns in a wider diplomatic conflict. The F.C.C.C. calls on the Chinese government to halt this cycle of tit-for-tat reprisals in what is quickly becoming the darkest year yet for media freedoms.”

According to the F.C.C.C, 17 foreign journalists have already been expelled from China over the first half of the year due to the cancellation of press credentials. Of those expelled, seven were from the New York Times.

US To Ban Xinjinag Exports

In a further concerning development, the US announced this week that it is considering banning exports from the Xinjiang region of China due to allegations that the region utilises forced labour. The ban would include exports of products such as cotton, and tomato products, tow of China’s main exports. The plans come on the bac of increasing global pressure on China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims in the area. The US Customs and Border protection (CBP) is working on Withhold Release Orders which would allow it to freeze shipments on suspicion of the involvement of forced labour. Speaking with Reuters this week, CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith said: “We have reasonable but not conclusive evidence that there is a risk of forced labour in supply chains related to cotton textiles and tomatoes coming out of Xinjiang. We will continue to work our investigations to fill in those gaps.”

Technical Views

USDCNH (Bearish below 6.9065)

From a technical viewpoint. USDCNH continues to hold around the 6.8470 level this week, with price trading slightly above the level again currently, having found support at the 6.8168 region. However, while still well below the 50dma, sentiment remain heavy and the near-term outlook remains bearish with risks of a break below the 6.8168 region next.

Fresh Tensions US/China Tensions Over Press & Exports

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