HARD LAND­ING

Bei­jing also wants to find com­mon ground with Wash­ing­ton to avert trade war

New Straits Times - - World -

BEI­JING US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had threat­ened to la­bel China a cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tor and im­pose hefty tar­iffs on im­ports of Chi­nese goods.

But of­fi­cials in China, the world’s largest ex­porter and with a large trade sur­plus with the US, have gen­er­ally struck a con­cil­ia­tory tone, urg­ing any dis­putes to be han­dled through dis­cus­sions.

“I be­lieve what­ever dif­fer­ences we may have we can all sit down and talk to each other and work to­gether to find so­lu­tions.”

Li, at his one news con­fer­ence of the year, ac­knowl­edged that there were in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal risks to China’s econ­omy, but added that talk of a sharp slow­down should stop.

“Al­most ev­ery year I have heard a pre­dic­tion of the Chi­nese econ­omy hav­ing a hard land­ing.

“But I be­lieve that our eco­nomic per­for­mance in the past sev­eral years ... should suf­fice to put a full stop to such proph­e­sies of a hard land­ing.”

China has cut its eco­nomic growth tar­get this year to around 6.5 per cent from last year’s goal of 6.5 to

7.0 per cent, while vow­ing to push through re­forms to tackle ris­ing debt and guard against fi­nan­cial risks.

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