Daily Management Review

China Fighting Against The Clock In Trade Talks


China Fighting Against The Clock In Trade Talks
The trade war with the United States if getting a bit more complicated for China because of a slow growing economy and the government’s approach on economy not being agreed to unanimously within the Chinese Communist Party, according to some analysts.
Analysts say that only some minimal cosmetic concessions on trade have been offered by China even as the clock continues to tick in the 90 day truce in trade war agreement between Chinese President CI Jinping and US president Donald Trump.
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a political science professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, told AFP that the absence of a clear direction in its trade concessions for the US signals disagreement within the party leadership "since the summer".
He added that that there are "fierce divisions" in the leadership on "how to handle the trade war with the US and how to relaunch reforms, and whether to relaunch reforms or not."
"I don't think they've settled the disputes."
On Tuesday, Xi pledged to move ahead with reforms even as the Communist Party commemorated the 40th anniversary of its landmark "reform and opening up" policy.
But Xi also issued a warning that no one would "dictate" China's development path and that it would "resolutely not reform what shouldn't and can't be changed".
Signals that Xi was "avoiding such issues" and "suggest Xi is feeling pressure over the trade war and the slowing economy" could be derived from the absence of a regular autumn plenum of the party's Central Committee – which is the decision making body of the party, said Steve Tsang, head of the China Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
"As Xi takes charge of practically all major policy areas, discomfort in the upper echelons of the party over the trade war and the economy cannot but imply discomfort with the direction he was leading China," he said.
Data on Chinese consumer data last week showed that the growth in consumer spending in China in November was the slowest since grew the last 15 years and there was also a drop in the factory output in the country.
The government has also brought down its expected growth rate for entire 2018 to about 6.5 per cent compared to the 6.9 per cent that the economy touched last year.
There is an uncertainty among investors in about China because of lack of clear trade strategies, said a a prominent economist at a university forum.
"What is the fundamental problem? Fear of policy uncertainty, fear that the government is not trustworthy," said Xiang Songzuo, an economics professor at the elite Renmin University.
The speech has however been taken off the internet by censors and it is no longer available for viewing.
The state run Global Times reported that at the party's annual Central Economic Work Conference, it is expected that the focus would be on steps for stabilizing growth. This conference is used to create guidelines for policies for the next year.
In order to support economic stability and growth, because of the trade war with the US, the government has already dropped off its 2018 focus areas of reduction of risks in the financial system and tackling pollution and poverty, Tsang said.