China’s economy loses steam as Xi eludes an upcoming face-to-face with Biden. Retail sales and industrial production in the Asian country slow down. The Chinese president believes that it is necessary to “improve the tone” of the relationship with the United States.
The relationship between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping remains extremely tense. Although the Democrat denied reports that Xi rejected a face-to-face meeting with the White House tenant, diplomacy between Beijing and Washington has been convalescing since the beginning of the year.
The Financial Times cited several people who had access to information about the 90-minute phone call between the two leaders last week, in which Xi did not accept Biden’s offer and instead insisted that Washington adopt a less strident tone. to Beijing.
Although Biden himself and his Biden national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, denied that what was published by the newspaper was an exact portrait of the call, sources consulted by the Reuters agency later insisted that Xi hinted that before a potential meeting, “had to improve the tone and atmosphere of the relationship.”
It should be remembered that the US still maintains tariffs on more than half of the Chinese products that arrive in the country. The Biden Administration is currently reviewing its strategic plan with regard to the Asian giant.
Before the call between the two leaders, there was talk of the G-20 summit to be held in October in Italy as a possible setting for a meeting between the two, but it is true that the Chinese leader has not left the country since the outbreak of the pandemic. early last year.
Precisely, China’s economic slowdown worsened in August , as the coronavirus outbreaks highlighted the persistent weakness of consumer spending and cast greater doubts on the country’s growth prospects.
Retail sales rose just 2.5% year-on-year, their slowest pace in 12 months. For its part, industrial production increased 5.3%. The figures add to growing concern over the loss of momentum of the Asian giant besieged by recent floods, regulatory interventions, new coronavirus infections and a slowdown in the real estate sector.
“The tightening of monetary policy and the Delta variant have caused a slowdown in activity. The drastic regulatory measures recently implemented suggest that crude economic growth may be less of a priority. A looser monetary policy should help stabilize the economy in 2022, when we forecast 5.5% GDP growth, “explains David Lubin, an economist at Citi in a note to his clients.