The Korea Times

Xi’s economic team

- South China Morning Post

For neutral observers of the most important bilateral relationsh­ip in the world today, recent news out of Washington has been alarming. On the other hand, developmen­ts in Beijing should at least offer some comfort. From foreign policy to trade, hawks have replaced moderates as the top policymake­rs at the White House under U.S. President Donald Trump. A potential trade war is looming. So there is at least some reassuranc­e that President Xi Jinping has put together a new economic team headed by Liu He.

As the new vice-premier, Liu has already been dubbed the “economic tsar”. Meanwhile, Yi Gang, a U.S.-trained economist, has replaced the highly regarded Zhou Xiaochuan as head of the central bank. Both men are seen as reform-minded, but have their work cut out for them.

Liu has made it clear that Beijing wants to compromise and avoid conflicts with the U.S., though not at the expense of China’s own economic interests. He headed to Washington last month to try to defuse tensions and is now in close touch with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to find common ground.

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