China’s GDP expanded 6.3 percent year on year in the first half of 2019 to about 45.09 trillion yuan (about 6.56 trillion U.S. dollars), according to figures released by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Ross Feingold, a senior advisor with the DC International Advisory, said that while China’s economic growth has taken a knock in some quarters, the newly-released data show a growth rate that many other countries can only dream of, given that the whole economic landscape across the globe is not optimistic.
“Certainly the loss of some export orders to customers in the United States is detrimental to manufacturers in China whether they’re owned by Chinese companies or foreign companies that manufacture in China, but it does have a negative impact on Chinese growth. But of course having growth of over 6 percent is still very admirable. Obviously, many countries around the world would like to be growing that quickly, it’s far higher than most places in the West including the United States,” said Feingold in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Thursday.
Feingold also warned that the standoff between the world’s biggest two economies is likely to go on as neither side would like to make a compromise.
“But also we should keep in mind that having 6 percent growth will give the Chinese leadership confidence to continue with their policies, but also it’ll give President Trump confidence to continue with his policies, and that includes the tariffs. So hopefully the ultimate result will be a negotiated settlement, we all hope that this will occur soon,” he said.
John Gong, economics professor with the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said China’s exports to other regions such as the ASEAN countries and the European Union (EU) can offset its loss of exports to the Untied States during the trade frictions, which means the country still has a large global market.
“China-U.S. trade still represents a very small percentage of the total economy. And actually our exports is not decreasing. I mean the loss of exports to the United States is very much picked up by very significant growth in exports to ASEAN countries, to the European Union, to countries engaged in the Belt and Road Initiative. So overall we know that at the end of the day, if we have to walk from the table, we can, it’s something we can afford. So it’s not much of a big deal,” he said.
Gong also believes China’s stable economic growth in the first half of this year can disprove Trump’s judgment about the trade frictions.
“I also want to point out that there are two elements in President Trump’s statement that I think is clearly, clearly misleading information if not lying. First of all, he said over 1,000 companies are leaving China, that’s just not true, not a shred of evidence of that. I’m not even sure a thousand companies are planning to leave China. So there’s no evidence to back that up. Second, he said that China’s economy has been coming down due to his trade policies. That’s not true either,” said Gong.
The NBS figures, which were released on Monday, showed that China’s growth was in line with the government’s annual target of 6-6.5 percent set for 2019.
Photo: CCTV 2019