China approved 227 projects worth $246 billion in 2016

Elbert EdwardsJan 14, 2017

China planned to invest 1.2 trillion yuan ($173.57 billion) between 2016 and 2018 in a three-year action plan for the development of information infrastructure. Chinese exports had slumped 16 per cent in 2009. We hope China and the United States, as the two largest economies, can have promising further developments in economic and trade cooperation.

Imports rose 3.1 percent to $168.5 billion, slowing from a 6.7 percent rise the month before.

The yuan's recent slide against the USA dollar to eight-year lows helped lift exports in November, but the outlook for this year is shaky after Trump threatened to label China a currency manipulator and slap punitive tariffs on its goods. That gave it a trade surplus of US$40.8 billion in December, sharply below November's US$44.6 billion.

China has, in fact, been spending hundreds of billions of dollarsrecentlyto buy its own currency and stop it falling too rapidly, rather than devaluing the yuan to boost exports. "Sluggish global demand and anti-globalization sentiment will continue to cloud Asia's export outlook, including China's".

The latest numbers mark a return to a long term downward trend amid tepid global demand. "Mr Trump's trade policy will likely motivate U.S. businesses to move their manufacturing facilities away from China", economists at ANZ said in a research note.

Trump's trade team includes Peter Navarro, an economist who directed a documentary titled: "Death By China: How America lost its manufacturing base;" and Robert Lighthizer, who was part of a Reagan administration trade team that imposed protectionist measures.

But signs are mounting that the red-hot property market may have peaked, meaning China may have less appetite this year for imports of building-related materials. Further upside to economic activity, both in China and overseas, is probably now limited given declines in trend growth.

"It's hard to see conditions becoming much more favorable to Chinese trade than they already are", Julian Evans-Pritchard, an expert on China at Capital Economics, said.

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