Good evening. Twenty years ago, biofuel was seen as something of a silver bullet — a way to “green” our engines and support our farmers all at once. But the industry has been plagued by unintended consequences ever since, and as our cover story this week shows, the latest controversy involving Chinese imports to the EU is exposing broader problems in the industry. Elsewhere, we have infographics on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; an interview with Myron Brilliant on business’s role in dealing with China; a reported piece on the latest threat to tech in Hong Kong; and an op-ed about how to decouple differently to de-escalate U.S.-China tensions. If you’re not already a paid subscriber to The Wire, please sign up here.
Want this emailed directly to your inbox? Sign up to receive our free newsletter.
In January, monthly exports of advanced biodiesel from China to the EU hit a peak of over 250,000 metric tons, a level never seen before and nearly double the trade just a year before. The EU’s biofuel industry, which is struggling to survive amid the influx, is now calling foul, saying that Chinese suppliers are likely cutting corners with less sustainable methods of production. But, as Katrina Northrop reports, the controversy is exposing deeper problems in the industry.
The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is facing allegations of political interference, but what does its record show? This week’s infographics by Aaron Mc Nicholas look at the track record of the AIIB since its founding, and examines its claims around political independence and transparency.
As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top international executive, Myron Brilliant played a central role in lobbying Congress for every trade pact since the North American Free Trade Agreement in the early 1990s. Over the years, Brilliant became a confidante of government and corporate officials in the U.S., China and other American trading partners. Early this year, Brilliant left his post as the Chamber’s executive vice president to start his own consulting firm, Brilliant Impact Group LLC. In this week’s Q&A with Bob Davis — part of our ‘Rules of Engagement’ series — he talks about about the rights and wrongs of China’s WTO entry and how companies should deal with the current tensions in the U.S.-China relationship.
Illustration by Kate Copeland
The Hong Kong government’s legal effort to stop a popular protest anthem from appearing on social media platforms is posing a major question for Western tech giants like Meta and Google — will they soon find Asia’s leading financial center as much of a no-go area as mainland China? Isaiah Schrader reports.
Imposing trade restrictions to address national security concerns is at the heart of today’s heightened tensions between the U.S. and China. Instead, argues Wing Thye Woo, Vice President for Asia at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the two countries should establish new agreements on arms control and industrial policies, which will require rebuilding trust.
Subscribe today for unlimited access, starting at only $19 a month.