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President Trump’s policy both in trade and foreign relations will hyper-drive China into a global superpower. The US-China relationship will remain fundamental to global equilibrium: if it crashes, the global economy would freefall and destroy asset valuations.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, got a boost as America destabilised historic partnerships. China will further focus on Asia, building a resilient Sino-centric regional economy. China’s progress Asia will not slow: it will provide a massive barrier to the US.
China in 2019 aims to improve quality more than quickly grow. This rebalances away from manufacturing and into consumption. Reform is also focused on financial de-risking and slower credit growth. This transition has been tricky, and the world has had to adjust to a slower but more sustainable Chinese growth rate. Even if China’s growth is slowing, authorities are using fiscal, monetary and regulatory devices to safeguard stability – such as selectively re-opening credit valves. Investors would like to see further stimuli to spur an acceleration in growth next year. Growing monetary policy divergence with the US is likely to drag on China’s currency and equities.