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Coal in the crossfire: Chinese traders wary of being burnt by trade war

BEIJING: At least three US coal shipments on their way to China may end up casualties of the escalating trade dispute after Beijing said it would impose steep tariffs that may kick in before the ships reach their destinations. The addition of coal to the list of more than 650 items facing higher tariffs came as a shock to Chinese steel mills and trading firms that just last month were encouraged by Beijing to buy more US coal to narrow the trade gap, four sources with knowledge of the plan said. Although 545 items…

Europe casts a wary eye on China’s Silk Road plans

PARIS: Depending on who you ask in Europe, China's colossal East-West infrastructure programme is either an opportunity or a threat -- and when French President Emmanuel Macron visits next week, Beijing will be watching to see how keen he is to jump on board. Since China launched the New Silk Road plan in 2013, the hugely ambitious initiative to connect Asia and Europe by road, rail and sea has elicited both enormous interest and considerable anxiety. "It's the most important issue in international relations for the…

Wary of Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities

BEIJING:┬áThe PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China's upcoming defense budget as Beijing seeks to check US dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe. China's navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places. Now, with President Donald Trump promising a U.S. shipbuilding spree and…