China keeps tech priority in ‘new development pattern’

SHANGHAI — The headline-grabbing debates on slowing growth and the new Hong Kong security bill have obscured China’s announcements about high-technology developments at the ongoing National People’s Congress, the country’s legislative sessions being held in Beijing.

Among the announcements made, at a time when nationalist sentiment is running high, is that the construction of the $5 billion Circular Electron Positron Collider, not unlike the CERN project in Switzerland, is moving a pace. Some of the equipment for the project to find the elusive Higgs boson particle that could yield clues to the origins of life has reached “design standard,” Wang

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China can use tech to prove planned economies work

To this day, perceptions of planned economies are shaped by stories of the Soviet Union’s economic inefficiencies and distortions, either turning out shoddy goods that nobody wanted or unusable ones, like quantities of unpaired shoes. Among the most sought-after privileges was access to the foreign currency shops that sold the things people actually wished to own.

The obvious lesson from the discredited Soviet model is that bureaucrats are not the best arbiters of what people want or how much they will pay for it. Judgment without good information does not work.

But what if those bureaucrats had better information? Might

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China aims to launch digital yuan by 2022 Winter Olympics

BEIJING — China seeks to have its planned sovereign digital currency ready in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics here, the central bank revealed Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a shift away from cash.

The government plans to run pilot tests at Olympic venues, though there remains no official timetable for a release, People’s Bank of China Gov. Yi Gang told Chinese media in an interview released by the central bank. Limited trials are underway in Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiongan New Area in the northern province of Hebei, he said.

If the government is satisfied with the

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China plays with fire by drawing on currency card

TOKYO — China’s central bank has weakened its reference rate for the yuan for a second day amid rising tensions with the U.S., stoking market concerns of capital flight and a rekindled trade war.

The People’s Bank of China on Tuesday set its central parity rate for the yuan to 7.1293 against the dollar, responding to downward pressures in the market. The bank had just brought the rate to its weakest in more than 12 years the day before.

“I thought China would avoid weaponizing its currency,” a strategist at a U.S. brokerage said. “We’ll need to keep a close

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