I heard this on NPR:
“I think there’s a pretty major impact if you just look at the numbers,” says Victor Shih, a political economist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies the Chinese economy. China exports more goods to the U.S. than to any other country in the world, and those exports have dropped by more than 12% this year alone, he says.
On top of the trade war, China’s economic growth has been slowing down for years. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how many of China’s current economic troubles are due to the trade war or the existing slump. But tariffs have undoubtedly contributed to slower growth since the early months of 2018, when the economic standoff began, experts on the Chinese economy say.
Perhaps the current talks will see some progress.
Maybe the Chinese are feeling the slowdown. Maybe they aren’t. It is hard to tell, because the Chinese government, with the complicity of tech giants and Big Media, maintain strict censorship within China, and pump out copious amounts of propaganda.
So, for example, an incident that I heard on the radio, but which did not make it into the NPR online transcript, was the interruption that occurred while the reporter was in a manufacturing plant in China. Government officials appeared, had the reporter and her team sequestered in a conference room for an hour while they grilled the plant officials. The reporter asked later if the plant manager trusts what the Government says. The answer was a rambling meander which amounted to “we trust government.”
So, since it is so hard to say, the Chinese can possibly bluff their way through talks again. I hope President Trump holds firm. I think China is hurting more than us. But I don’t think anyone really knows for sure.
Even the Chinese don’t know. They drink their own Kool-aid. They will only find out that China has struggled due to economic slowdown after the Central Committee says so.
It is long past time for a reckoning with China. Good for President Trump.