Plato Data Intelligence.
Vertical Search & Ai.

China Resets, with Crypto?


“The motivation behind the intended resets derives from a confluence of different economic, social and foreign policy stresses that have reached critical levels.”

So reports the Financial Times with claims made that “pragmatism” is back, hostilities towards the tech sector are out, and Europe in particular is being courted.

“China has realised that it has antagonised too many countries at the same time, particularly among developed countries which still today are its main trade and economic partners,” says Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a China expert at Hong Kong Baptist University, adding:

“So it is trying very hard to reach out to the EU and key European nations — Germany, France, Italy and Spain — as well as America’s Asian allies, such as Japan and South Korea and US partners such as Vietnam.”

Since Xi Jinping has been returned this October to remain in charge, these talks of a reset may bring to mind for some the big red button that Hillary Clinton pushed in 2009 in a symbolic reset of relations with Putin’s Russia.

That didn’t work out very well, but there was the largely failed Arab Spring and a series of events out of it that arguably pulled Putin towards the destructive direction that now he finds himself in Ukraine.

Although the attempted invasion of Georgia in 2008 perhaps suggests the Ukraine debacle would have happened regardless.

So making the China reset, with the same person in charge that made the mess, a similar question of is it events, or is it the man?

Had they returned someone else, then of course there’s a natural reset as we have seen for example with the Biden administration compared to Trump.

A Trump reset however? And that’s what China is offering, in effect. The man that signed “no limits” with Putin is now in effect saying he has changed in this third term which he secured in breach of their own term limits.

It is probable therefore there won’t be any real reset until they change the chair of the Communist Party, which is how actual resets happen.

But, he is there for at least another five years, so if we assume the worst as we have to because this third term is a significant echo, what should have been done had it been known that Putin would do what he did?

The answer thankfully is very simple: no dependence or reliance on China in any aspect. That meant at the time keeping Russian gas to 10% or less. For China, it means a decoupling of sensitive industries, including solar manufacturing.

A Crypto Reset?

Speaking of crypto might describe it better. Under Xi Jinping, there have been three prominent bans of crypto, the only country of note to have done so.

The very first one was in 2014 when China made accepting crypto for payments as illegal. The second one in 2017 when they closed crypto exchanges. And the third one in 2021 when they closed down crypto mining.

“I’m a sinner to the people in Fuzhou, and I have failed them,” Xiao Yi, a former Communist Party chief of Fuzhou, said on state television in a name and shame because he allowed crypto mining after it was banned. “Because of my distorted view of political achievements … I acted recklessly, causing such grave losses.”

This was reported just on Monday by the Alibaba owned SCMP, continuing in effect the Chinese Schrödinger because in other reports, China has launched a state-sanctioned secondary trading platform for digital assets.

It is not yet quite live, with it created by the China Technology Exchange, the Cultural Relics Exchange, and the Copyright Service Centre.

It plans to also have some China Cultural Protection Chain, so just how much this is crypto and just how much it is a database dressed in crypto, is anyone’s guess.

Hong Kong however is consulting to reopen crypto exchanges to retail investors with a potential decision coming out this quarter or next.

Such crypto exchanges obviously have to be licensed, with some seeing this as the first step to China potentially reopening crypto exchanges domestically.

Any reset would probably have to involve this sort of move as the business world has now seen the treatment of crypto is just a sign of how the overall business world will be treated with the kicking out of crypto so followed by the kicking out of Jack Ma and some iron slaps towards quite a few tech companies.

If China moves in that direction, then of course it would be welcomed and there would be some basis to start wondering whether the reset might be real.

However, it would take significant time and significant normalization before the crypto world moves in anyway to plan any sort of innovation based on any aspect in China.

The risk remains very high, and probably will for quite some time, that any such plans would just be destroyed without any recourse.

A China reset however doesn’t need our input, but their actions. It is for them to open crypto exchanges, while what we get instead is a lynching on national TV and some unmeaty digital exchange in a continuation of the endless Schrödinger.

Likewise more widely China has not revoked that “no limits” agreement, it hasn’t slowed down in trying to expand their territory in the South China Sea, it has not eased tensions with Taiwan, and it has made no promises in regards to recourse where commercial matters are concerned.

That may change of course, but until it does, there has been no change. There has been no sign that this reset is anything more than that red button.

The only change we have seen instead is for the worse: a third term in contravention of their term limits.

China therefore has to do a lot more to convince the business class in particular that they are indeed becoming “pragmatic” and therefore don’t have to account for the considerable political risks.

Europe in particular also has to secure solar and other sensitive industries because China may be different of course as they’ve had the benefit of seeing the Russian debacle, but unreliability in a system where you can just breach term limits is probably built in.


Latest Intelligence