Trade war, day 189: Chinese commerce ministry mum on details of negotiations

Foreign Affairs

China’s commerce ministry has now also issued a statement (in Chinese) about the January 7-9 trade negotiations. It is even less detailed than the American statement, as expected, and consists mostly of this one sentence, per Xinhua translation:

Both sides have actively implemented the significant consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and conducted extensive, in-depth and detailed exchanges on trade and structural issues of common concern.

We are left with the same understanding of the current status of trade negotiations that we had yesterday.

Other links to check if you’re following the trade war and related issues closely:

  • Good overview of negotiations
    China offers Trump a trade peace deal. It may not be enough. / NYT (porous paywall)
    In addition to its overview of the current stakes in talks, the piece also notes: “Chinese lawmakers last month released a draft of a proposed law that would stop local officials from forcing foreign companies to transfer their technology as a cost of doing business…The law may not change things meaningfully, said Donald Clarke, a specialist in Chinese law at George Washington University. The draft is vaguely worded, he said, and doesn’t acknowledge that the pressure American companies face to share their know-how often comes from behind-the-scenes maneuvering rather than strict government requirements.”
  • German business lobby raises alarm
    German business calls for tougher stance on China / FT (paywall)
    “In a strongly worded policy paper, the BDI said Germany’s liberal, open model was increasingly in competition with China’s ‘state-dominated economy’ and needed to protect itself more effectively from Chinese companies.”
  • Wang Qishan weighs in
    China’s vice president urges deeper U.S. cooperation after talks / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
    “‘As Chinese-U.S. relations stand at a new starting line, it must stay committed to our original aspiration and focus on coordination, cooperation and stability,’ Wáng Qíshān 王岐山 said at a reception in Beijing on Thursday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China and the U.S. establishing diplomatic ties. ‘We must adapt to the new reality, keep looking for and expanding our common interests, deepening and promoting practical cooperation.’”
  • Economic slowdown
    Chinese car sales fall for first time in more than 20 years / The Guardian
    “Passenger vehicle sales in mainland China dropped by 5.8% last year to 22.35m, according to the China Passenger Car Association, the first reverse in the world’s biggest car market since 1992.”
    China to roll out new consumer spending incentives for cars and home appliances to offset trade war / SCMP
    “China is planning to roll out a new set of incentives this year to encourage the country’s 1 billion consumers to buy more items like cars and home appliances as part of a wider effort to stabilise economic growth, a senior state planner [Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission] said.”
  • “Thousand Talents Programme” no longer advertised after U.S. scrutiny
    China hushes up scheme to recruit overseas scientists / FT (paywall)
    “Late last year, the government ordered civil servants and recruiters not to discuss by name the ‘Thousand Talents Programme’, under which thousands of scientists and experts have been attracted to China with lavish grants.”
  • China at the World Bank
    China still borrows billions in low-cost loans from World Bank, as Trump administration pushes back / CNBC
    “The Center for Global Development found that the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loaned China an average of $2 billion a year, totaling more than $7.8 billion, since the country surpassed the bank’s income threshold for lending in 2016.”
  • Elon Musk
    China offers Elon Musk permanent residency / AFP
    “Tesla boss Elon Musk has been offered a ‘green card’, China said Thursday, a privilege enjoyed by an elite group of foreigners, including several Nobel laureates and a former NBA star.”
    Tesla boss Elon Musk says he loves China, so Premier Li Keqiang offers him a green card / SCMP
  • Chinese investment in the U.S.
    Chinese investors ‘facing severe situation in the US’ / SCMP
    “In its sixth annual report evaluating country-specific investment risks, the Institute of World Economics and Politics, a government think tank under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, ranked the United States investment environment as number 14 out the total of 57 countries, a drop of 10 places from a year ago…Zhang Ming, who led the research for the institute, attributed the downgrade to the trade war that started last July as well as a number of deep-seated problems.”
  • HNA’s continuing sale of overseas assets
    HNA’s US$41 million loss on building sale near Trump Tower is the latest price paid by Chinese firms for Donald Trump’s chokehold on China / SCMP
    “Chinese conglomerate HNA Group sold its stake in a Manhattan office building this week, a deal that led to US$41 million in losses for HNA and its US partners and became the latest example of a Chinese business struggling as America tightens its grip on its critical assets.”

Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

Trade war, day 188: Will Trump’s stock market obsession cut short negotiations?