Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Xi reviews Navy might in contested waters of South China Sea

China announces live-fire drill in Taiwan Strait China's March trade balance weakens
Ellis Copeland | 14 April, 2018, 22:13

Last Thursday, Trump ordered the US trade representative to consider imposing tariffs on up to $100 billion worth of Chinese products.

Foreign investors were also exempt, for the first two years, from any government profit taxes, and land rights on the island could be bought from the government for 70 years.

But information on strategic stocks is shrouded in secrecy, with government reports on the fill level coming only with several months' lag, and the IEA said the latest report did not include all the sites that are part of the programme.

"We don't strive for a favourable balance of trade (for China), the current state of trade affairs are shaped by the market", he told a briefing in Beijing. His speech did not specifically mention the United States or its trade policies, which have been assailed by Chinese state media in recent days.

While Taiwan is democratically run and enjoys American military support, China considers it a province and has made acceptance of its "one-China" claim a precondition for diplomatic ties - including with the U.S.

"If the United States takes any action to escalate the situation, China will not hesitate to fight back".

After Trump unveiled another set of planned tariffs last Friday, Xi this week struck a conciliatory note, promising to cut tariffs on cars - a key point of U.S. anger - and other imports, as well as further open up the economy.

Exports increased by 14.8% while imports edged higher at 8.9%, prompting a plea from the customs administration spokesman, Huang Songping, for Washington to be "patient."

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Trump's economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the U.S. was receiving good signals from China for change in the past few days.

The move just came days after Xi promised lower tariffs on auto imports, harsher punishment for intellectual property rights violations and the further opening of the financial sector in apparent overtures to cool tensions between China and the United States over the bilateral trade imbalance. "But the one that really is the most interesting for the people at this table is beef", Trump said.

Analysts expected China would record a trade surplus of US$27.21 billion for last month, from February's surplus of US$33.75 billion.

General Motors and its joint ventures reported a 2% year on year sales rise to 352,346 units in March, while Nissan's sales increased by 2.4% to 122,959 units and Toyota's were up by 5.4% at 118,500 units.

That produced a trade deficit of US$4.98 billion for the month, but such shortfalls are not uncommon for China early in the year, likely due to seasonal factors.

But the sudden spike in trade tensions with the United States is clouding the outlook for both China's "old economy" heavy industries and "new economy" tech firms alike.

A day later, Beijing fired back with a plan to impose import duties on $50bn worth of American products, inclusive of soy beans, cars and airplanes.

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