Reducing its economic dependence on China, a “false proposition”, according to Beijing

2023-06-27 04:12:31
Chinese Premier Li Qiang during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, in the north of the country. June 27, 2023. WANG ZHAO / AFP

The Chinese Prime Minister, Li Qiang, deplored, on Tuesday June 27, during a speech the Western calls to reduce the dependences vis-à-vis his country, seeing there a “false proposition” in a world of intertwined economies.

The European Commission unveiled last week its strategy to respond more firmly to the risks weighing on its economic security, with China in particular in the crosshairs.

Germany, where Li Qiang was recently on an official visit, said it wanted to diversify its partners to “reduce risk” linked to its great dependence on China. Other Western countries have also taken similar positions.

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“In the West, some people highlight the principle that we should reduce dependence, eradicate risks”said the Chinese premier at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Tianjin (north China).

” Cooperation “

“These two concepts are a false proposition, because with the development of economic globalization the world economy has become a community where everyone is intertwined”he underlined, pronouncing the word ” cooperation “ countless times.

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“The economies of countries are intertwined, interdependent, prospering each other and growing together. This is basically a good thing, not a bad thing! »

This edition of the World Economic Forum, known colloquially as the “Summer Davos”, is the first to be held in China since 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will last until Thursday.

Growth that raises questions

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3% last year, far from the official target of 5.5%, and at one of the slowest rates in four decades. For 2023, this objective has been set at « environ 5 % » by the government. “This year, we hope to be able to reach [cet] growth target », said the Chinese premier, who holds the reins of the economy in his country. These remarks come at a time when the world’s second largest economy is facing many difficulties.

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The post-Covid-19 recovery, so hoped for after the lifting of health restrictions at the end of 2022, has tended in recent weeks to run out of steam and is struggling to materialize in certain sectors. The economy is being penalized by the over-indebtedness of the real estate sector (a traditional pillar of growth), sluggish consumption in a context of uncertainty on the labor market and the global economic slowdown, which is weighing on demand for Chinese goods.

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To stimulate activity, the central bank has made several rate cuts in recent weeks, at a time when many economists are pleading more for a stimulus plan. But the authorities seem to be ruling out this option for the time being, in favor of targeted measures.

The World with AFP

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