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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

China calls for "good will" as the U.S. prepares sanctions, Chinese imports still booming

Monday Morning Wake Up Call

December 7, 2020

China, U.S. need to proceed together with 'good will': Chinese envoy

(Reuters) - China and the United States need to proceed together with “good will” to improve relations, the Chinese ambassador to Washington said on Saturday, as ties remained fraught between the world’s two biggest economic powers.

Sino-U.S. relations have fallen to their lowest point in decades over issues from trade and security to human rights and COVID-19. On Friday, a Chinese state media editorial said ties are being shifted to “a dangerous path”.

“In order to put the relations on the right track, to have real improvement of the relations, both sides have to proceed with good will and good faith,” Ambassador Cui Tiankai told the Annual Conference of the Institute for China-America Studies via video link.

“I don’t think that China should just do something to please anybody here,” he said, according to a transcript posted on his embassy’s website.

U.S. preparing new sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdown - sources

(Reuters) - The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on at least a dozen Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing’s disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong, according to three sources, including a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

The move, which could come as soon as Monday, will target officials from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as President Donald Trump’s administration keeps up pressure on Beijing in his final weeks in office. President-elect Joe Biden takes over on January 20.

The State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Up to 14 people, including officials of China’s parliament, or National People’s Congress, and members of the CCP, would likely be targeted by measures such as asset freezes and financial sanctions, two sources said.

Trans-Pacific box boom likely to last until March — or longer

(American Shipper) The thinking back in August and September was that trans-Pacific container volumes would fade after China’s Golden Week holiday in the first week of October. Volumes would still be solid through December, but they’d peak around that earlier holiday.

It didn’t happen. Not even close. U.S. imports just kept coming, unabated. With three weeks left in the year, it’s virtually guaranteed that there will be no letup in 2020. Even with COVID cases surging, the next line in the sand appears to be after the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday, to be held Feb. 11-26.

Container volumes traditionally jump in January as shippers compensate for CNY closures. This pattern increases the odds that America’s box deluge won’t end until March at the earliest. And it doesn’t necessarily have to end in March.

The trans-Pacific cargo wave should last “at least until Chinese New Year,” SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO Lars Jensen told FreightWaves.

Jensen believes import demand will fall off when Americans shift their spending back toward services at the expense of goods. “Predicting the [timing of] the letup is exceedingly difficult, as it depends on when U.S. consumers get confident about their future ability to spend money again on services such as travel, restaurants, bars, etc.”

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