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News from China
World Bank chief sees rising trade barriers as major downside risk to global growth
5th June 2019

 The global economic outlook is shadowed by "substantial challenges," World Bank President David Malpass said on Tuesday, highlighting rising trade barriers as one of the major downside risks to growth.

 
In a teleconference on the latest Global Economic Prospects report, Malpass told reporters that global growth has weakened since the January issue of the report, and "momentum remains fragile."
 
"There's been a tumble in business confidence, a deepening slowdown in global trade, and sluggish investment in emerging and developing economies," said Malpass, calling the situation "worrisome."
 
In the newly released semi-annual report, the World Bank lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 2.6 percent, 0.3 percentage point lower than the previous estimate in January. Global growth is projected to inch up to 2.7 percent in 2020.
 
Global trade growth in 2019, in particular, was revised down a full percentage point, to 2.6 percent, the weakest since the global financial crisis, the report said.
 
"The global economic outlook, in both the near- and long-term, is confronting substantial challenges," Malpass said. "Downside risks include rising trade barriers, a buildup of government debt, and deepening slowdowns in major economies."
 
"If these trade tensions escalate and we see much higher tariffs put on a very large segment of global trade...it is very likely that we will see a deeper slowdown," Ayhan Kose, director of the prospects group at the World Bank, said in the teleconference.
 
"The slowdown will take place in major economies, will have a significant spillover through trade channels, through confidence channels, through commodity markets," Kose said, noting that the current 2.7 percent forecast for global growth in 2020 could be cut by a full percentage point to 1.7 percent if trade tensions continue to escalate.
 
According to the report, growth among emerging market and developing economies is projected to fall to a four-year low of 4 percent in 2019, while growth among advanced economies is anticipated to slow to 1.7 percent.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 5, 2019
China seeks to enable trade talks with US to proceed with equality, dignity: expert
4th June 2019

 China's official white paper on its position on economic and trade consultations with the United States is the "clearest signal" that Beijing seeks to "enable subsequent trade talks with the US to proceed with equality and dignity," a leading US expert on China said Monday.

 
"The white paper has been widely interpreted in the foreign media as China (is) widening the gap and escalating the war. I disagree," Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, told Xinhua. "I think that interpretation has it backwards. I view the white paper as quite the reverse, as preparing the way for serious negotiations."
 
China's State Council Information Office published the white paper on Sunday, denouncing US unilateral and protectionist measures, criticizing its backtracking on China-US trade talks, and expounding China's stance on trade consultations and pursuit of reasonable solutions.
 
"My point is that China's white paper restores a kind of balance in the public relationship, which can then enable subsequent negotiations to proceed with equality and dignity," Kuhn said.
 
"China makes the high-road call for 'matters of principle' and directly addresses what is reported to be the prime area of disagreement: enforcement," he said. "China asserts that if a trade agreement is reached, it will honor its commitments sincerely and faithfully."
 
"To me, that statement, now overtly public, is the clearest signal that China seeks, indeed anticipates, successful negotiations," Kuhn said.
 
"I see confirmation in the white paper's conclusion, where China stresses coordination, cooperation and stability, win-win as the only path; looking forward not backward; and solving disputes and conflicts through dialogue and consultation," he added.
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 4, 2019
Children dislike 'over-sharenting'
3rd June 2019

 Children are increasingly concerned that their images and information are being shared on their parents’ social media.

 
“If my face is frequently exposed on my parents’ social media, such as WeChat Moments, it might not be safe for me,” 10-year-old Zhang Chuyi wrote to a congress of the Young Pioneers of China in Shanghai.
 
Zhang is a fourth-grade student in a Shanghai elementary school. In her class of more than 30 students, more than 70 percent said their parents had shared things about them in a variety of ways. Most of the children did not like their images or information being shared online.
 
Zhang first began to oppose “over-sharenting” when she found out that her parents had been sharing her photos and assignments online without her consent.
 
She said she felt really embarrassed and stressed.
 
Zhang’s classmates agreed.
 
“These days, faces can be used in many ways because of facial recognition,” they said.
 
Zhou Jianjun, an official in charge of children’s rights protection in Shanghai, said: “It should be noted that most Chinese children nowadays are born around 2010. Born and living in a digital era, children are very familiar with the Internet. In fact, their consciousness of online privacy is even stronger than most adults.”
 
In order to better ensure children’s security, the Chinese government has been taking measures to strengthen children’s protection online and is also trying to enhance children’s awareness of online privacy by promoting security education.
 
“This is partly the reason behind the awakening of children’s online privacy consciousness and self-protection consciousness,” Zhou said.
 
Zhang proposal caused quite a stir online.
 
“But my child is so wonderful that I cannot help myself,” said a woman surnamed Zheng.
 
Online user “Liudianshui” said: “It is important to obtain children’s permission.”
 
Zhang said: “We need to consider their feelings. Though we are not grown-ups, our rights still need to be respected. We are our own masters.”
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, June 3, 2019
WB forecasts China GDP growth at 6.2% in 2019, 6.1% in 2020
31st May 2019

 The World Bank forecast Friday that China's economy will grow at 6.2 percent in 2019 and 6.1 percent in 2020.

 
In an external environment that has become less favorable due to slowing global growth and rising trade tensions, China's economy will need to rely increasingly on domestic demand to sustain rapid growth, according to a report released by the World Bank.
 
"In response to growth moderation and less favorable external conditions, the government introduced a fiscal stimulus emphasizing tax incentives," said Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China.
 
"While the central government has fiscal space to further increase spending if necessary, the additional stimulus should be appropriately funded either directly at the central level or through additional fiscal transfers to the provinces. Higher spending on health, education, and social protection could help boost demand and improve the quality of services, if combined with reforms to increase efficiency," he said.
 
In 2019, new tax and fee reductions and a higher cap for local government on-budget borrowing may lead to a higher consolidated deficit of about 5.9 percent of gross domestic product, the report said.
 
The report also said that net exports are unlikely to provide a sustained boost in the coming months, as new tariffs take effect and global growth slows.
 
The escalation in trade tensions, weaker business confidence, and slower global trade growth, are expected to weigh on investment and exports in 2020, prompting a downward revision to next year's growth forecast to 6.1 percent, according to the report.
 
Source: Shanghai Daily, May 31, 2019

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