China’s economic policy does not depend on US actions

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/9 22:30:55

Illustration: Luo xuan/GT

This year's annual tone-setting economic conference of China's senior policymakers is likely to be held earlier than usual, which may signal that China will set its next year's economic policy goals and agendas at its own pace regardless of the dynamic in bilateral trade talks.

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting on Friday to set the tone for the upcoming Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC), an annual meeting to discuss China's economic policy for the following year. The Political Bureau meeting is generally seen as a prelude to the CEWC. According to past practices, the CEWC will take place very soon.

Some expected China to convene the Political Bureau meeting after the US decided whether or not to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15, but China did not do this. The Political Bureau meeting on Friday came several days earlier than it has over the past four years. It's also possible that the CEWC could be held before December 15. 

It seems China will follow its own speed and rhythm for its economic development. Regardless of how the trade war develops and whether or not the US scraps tariffs scheduled for December 15, the Chinese economy will remain resilient against external attacks. China's economic policy for next year won't be decided based on what Washington may or may not do.

The Political Bureau meeting on Friday stressed that China must turn external pressure into a strong driving force to deepen reform, and "concentrate on running our own affairs."

Uncertainty surrounding the trade war with the US has prompted China to fine-tune its foreign trade policy. However, it is impossible for China to totally rewrite its economic policy. Many have overestimated the impacts of the trade war on China's economy and its economic policy for next year.China's senior policymakers are expected to map out the nation's 2020 economic and reform targets at the upcoming CEWC. China's economic growth slowed more than expected to 6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, leading many to speculate if the country would accept GDP growth below 6 percent next year. The early arrival of this year's Political Bureau meeting and possibly early CEWC mean the uncertainty surrounding the trade war may have little impact on China's GDP growth target. Even if China's year-on-year growth dips below 6 percent in 2020, the country's economic growth is expected to be faster than that of the US.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.

Posted in: INSIGHT

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