The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. China’s New Free Trade Zones: Passing Fad or Sign of the Future? 

    China quietly opened an 11-mile free-trade zone near Shanghai, but questions remain as to exactly how freedom will be defined. The plan, first announced in July then slowly rolled out this week, tests the waters on bringing part of China more in line with Hong Kong when it comes to some aspects of trade and Internet access. Among the possibilities: partnerships with foreign banks and the sale of foreign video games. But social media has proven trickier, and The New Yorker describes the fits and starts on what’s allowed and what isn’t. With Qianhai officials planning a reform district as well, the idea appears to be catching. The question remains as to whether these islands of experimentation hearken a new age for Chinese communication and trade, or whether old-line conservatives will get nervous and pull the plug. 

    Sources: The New Yorker, South China Morning Post, Reuters

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