Good evening. In a blow to Beijing’s Belt and Road dreams, Italy — the only G7 country to join the initiative — has signaled that it now wants out. Our cover story this week looks at how Italy and China arrived at this crossroads as well as where each country can best hope to go from here. Elsewhere, we have infographics on China’s new skincare routine; an interview with Logan Wright on the woes of China’s property sector; an op-ed on why the recent BRICS expansion is a warning for the U.S.; and an op-ed about keeping Taiwan online. If you’re not already a paid subscriber to The Wire, please sign up here.
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As the Belt and Road Initiative gets ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Italy is looking for the off-ramp. As Eliot Chen reports, Beijing’s response, plus Italy’s ability to negotiate a new deal for itself, will speak volumes about both China’s standing in Europe and what the BRI, once seen as a colossus, has left to offer.
Chinese consumers are going to ever greater lengths to protect their skin, boosting foreign and domestic companies. This week’s infographics by Ella Apostoaie look at how the Chinese skincare industry has fared to date, and what the future has in store for the homegrown brands who are tussling with some of the global skincare giants.
Logan Wright is director of China markets research at Rhodium Group and senior associate of the Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Wright is an expert on China’s financial system, and over the years he has studied the expansion of credit in China, the Chinese government’s deleveraging campaign, and local government debt. In this week’s Q&A with Grady McGregor, he discusses the health of the Chinese economy and what a slowing China could mean for the rest of the world.
Illustration by Lauren Crow
Washington needs to do more to keep the swing states of the Global South onside, argues Cliff Kupchan, chairman of Eurasia Group, in this week’s op-ed.
Taiwan should invest more to ensure its connectivity to the outside world remains robust, argue Jason Hsu and Richard Y.K. Chen in this week’s op-ed.
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