Growth in China’s industrial output fell to a 17-year low in the first two months of the year, pointing to further weakness in the world’s second-biggest economy that is likely to trigger more support measures from Beijing.
China's number two leader Li Keqiang has warned the country faces a tough struggle, as he laid out plans to prop up the world's second-largest economy. Opening the annual session of China's parliament, he forecast a slower growth of 6% - 6.5% this year, down from a target of around 6.5% in 2018.
Asian shares stepped back on Tuesday after China cut its economic growth target and pledged measures to support the economy amid growing challenges from rising debt and a dispute over trade and technology with the United States. Australian shares dropped 0.6% while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.2% and Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.3%.
China on Wednesday unveiled plans to cut tariffs for products including machinery, electrical equipment and textile products beginning on Nov. 1, as the country braces for an escalating trade war with the United States.
China plans to reduce the average tariff rate on imports from most of its trading partners as soon as October, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. In July, China cut import tariffs on almost 1,500 consumer products ranging from cosmetics to home appliances as part of efforts to open up its economy, the world’s second biggest.
China revealed on Monday that it will raise its military budget by US$ 175 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, 8.1% increase that is the largest military spending hike in three years. According to Premier Li Keqiang, the additional funding will “advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness, and firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests.”
China aims to expand its economy by around 6.5% this year, the same as in 2017, while pressing ahead with its campaign to reduce risks in the financial system, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday. The goal was kept unchanged even though the economy grew 6.9% last year and exceeded the government's target.
British Prime Minister Theresa May left China on Friday with deals worth more than 9.3 billion pounds, at the end of a three-day trade mission where President Xi Jinping pledged to upgrade their “golden era” in relations.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was starting a crucial trade visit to China on Wednesday as she admitted the two countries will not always see eye-to-eye in sensitive areas like steel over-capacity and intellectual property rights.
President Xi Jinping has unveiled a new slate of top leaders that shows he reigns supreme in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He not only placed people loyal to him in key positions, but also defied convention in not naming potential successors to the party's top decision-making body, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee (PSC).