Superbly concise summaries of various, interesting Wall Street Journal articles you may have missed, provided by Zach Robinson;

Two on China:

Do they see us as an enemy?

China has been  acting lately like it sees the United States as an enemy. It has been fortifying its border with North Korea by building bunkers as if in anticipation of an American strike on the isolated state on the Korean peninsula that might result in a refugee flow northward or other military forces’ movement. In other news, a Chinese made J-10 fighter compelled an American reconnaissance plane operating in the south China Sea to take evasive action when it flew within 300’ of the flight path of the unarmed plane. The Chinese government then called on the U.S. to suspend further flights, though these areas are international skies.

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China horns in on semiconductor industry

China is targeting an American manufacturing bulwark, semiconductor production, as a new global business to dominate and control. The U.S. government is reacting with alarm, and perhaps something can be done not to lose this industry. So far a committee on foreign acquisitions has blocked Chinese purchases of valuable chip companies, but now China is teaming up with its universities to propel its tech industry towards innovation and low prices. When China first began to spend more on imported semiconductor chips than it did on imports of oil, it began to formulate plans to secure a fresh domestic supply, presumably afraid of a putative embargo. Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining whether former Chinese employees in Taiwan of American company Micron stole trade secrets when they defected to Chinese competitors. While their managers say the new staffers haven’t done anything wrong, it remains to be seen what the reality is.

Good news in one sector of the economy

Home improvement sales to fix up existing housing stock is expected to rise to $316 billion in 2017, up from $299 billion in 2016. Related retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s are expected to show record earnings, as home owners elect to fix up their residences rather than try to move, given a shortage of newly constructed houses. In various parts of the country, remodeling firms are reporting a work backlog of up to six weeks for prospective clients.

 

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