China economy grew 6.7% in 2016

Tsai still hopes to avoid provoking China, which retaliated for the Trump call by persuading a Taiwan ally to switch sides last month, and passing the Chinese aircraft carrier near Taiwan last week, experts say.

Sector-wise, agricultural production fell 0.8 percent while industrial production rose 6 percent and retail sales of consumer goods grew 9.6 percent.

“While other issues will remain important to track, a housing sector correction will nearly certainly be what dominates China’s economic narrative in the year ahead”, he added.

Tension in ties might be inevitable between China and the U.S. under the new administration but President Donald Trump should think about viable options rather than playing out a zero sum game between Washington and Beijing, a leading Chinese expert on global relations has said.

Beijing is watching President Donald Trump’s early moves carefully, praying that he does not upend the very delicate U.S. Boosted by strong government spending and record bank lending, the Chinese economy accelerated at a pace of 6.8 percent, compared with the same three-month period a year ago.

Photo taken on Dec 1, 2016 shows the Huanghua Port in North China’s Hebei Province.

China reacted to Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president with a mixture of nervousness and a desperate hope that he would not implement threats about restricting Chinese trade and investments.

The stakes are high.

“A trade war between China and the USA seems inevitable”, Pang Zhongying, an expert on US affairs at Renmin University of China, told the South China Morning Post.

Trump’s comments came after he previously suggested in December that the US stance on Taiwan would depend on progress with China on other issues such as North Korea and trade. Between 2006 and 2014, they climbed more than 300 percent.

The nationalistic tabloid, Global Times, also send out a warning after Trump’s inauguration.

Data Friday from Beijing underscored that shift.

On the committee’s recommendation, Mr Obama past year blocked the acquisition of German chip equipment manufacturer Aixtron by Chinese investors.

China’s ruling Communist party is in a state of frenzied excitement as it prepares for its 19th national congress later this year. His choice for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, agreed at his a Senate confirmation hearing that China has shifted recently from efforts to weaken the yuan.

“Among all his alternatives, the least desirable for Trump is to act on his previous threats to slap punitive tariffs on his country’s largest trading partner and label China a “currency manipulator”, as protectionism only stirs up retaliation”.

Business executives seem sanguine, for now.

Participants at Thursday’s symposium – the third of its kind this year – include leaders of non-communist political parties, officials of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and prominent figures without party affiliation.

Still, Trump has proven anything but predictable.

But many observers have been saying for a long time that the country’s growth was actually much weaker than the official data suggests.

It’s also the case that while consumption and services are increasingly fueling growth in China, the wider economy is being held back by a drag from rust belt regions. Trump has said the USA will withdraw from TPP; Rudd, a strong advocate of TPP, said the agreement is dead.

“If U.S. -China relations deteriorate”, said Ferguson, “the economic consequences could be absolutely huge”.

AFP. Beijing