Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China’s support for Africa’s “economic autonomy and sustainable development” while on an official visit to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Eastern African country Ethiopia.
Chinese people treated more than 200 million local patients, helped Africa build more than 10,000 km of highways, 6,000 km of railways and hundreds of airports, ports and power stations over the last decades, Wang stressed.
Rejecting “rumors” according to which the growing economic ties between China and Africa resulted in a growing debt burden for the latter, the Chinese official implied that other countries might be attempting in discrediting China’s support that he depicted as “a model not only for South-South cooperation but also for international cooperation with Africa”.
According to official statistics, China became Africa’s largest trade partner in 2009, rising from less than $20 billion in 2002 to a staggering $215 billion in 2014.
Latest available annual figures showed a relative slowdown in bilateral trade with $170 billion in 2017, however up 14.1 percent year-on-year. China’s exports to Africa reached US$94.74 billion, up 2.7%; China’s imports from Africa reached $75.26 billion, up 32.8%; the trade surplus was $19.48 billion, down 45.2% year-on-year.
In the first stage, you believe this can work and that you will reap many benefits from putting the pressure on your business partners, however in a second stage, you realize that you have gravely damaged confidence and future growth opportunities with the same business partners.
This two-stage process sums up what a number of business leaders have explained in recent weeks as US President Donald Trump has strengthened his “America First” trade policy, notably deciding new tariffs for Chinese imports worth hundreds of billions in US dollars (USD).
On the one hand, people close to the Trump administration emphasized POTUS “hard approach” is a means of negotiation with a view to reaching a better balance for US trade; on the other hand, some business people and experts stressed on the fact that China has shown no sign of yielding to Trump’s pressure and that such a resilience could start a negative chain reaction for the global economy and thus for the US economy too.
Donald Trump’s policy is also to said be shortsighted as China will become more and more powerful in the future and more capable of crafting new ways of neutralizing US economic clout for instance by developing deeper, larger trade relations with Europe.
The “trade war” waged by US President Donald Trump against the United States’ major economic partners, especially China, seems to increasingly impact foreign stock markets.
While Wall Street reached new highs recently, the China stock market lost almost USD 1.000 billions YTD and Cyceon found out that the technical analysis of the monthly charts of the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index (HSI) shows potential for consolidation.
In the meantime, China exports growth slowed and the turnover of the Shanghai stock exchange shrank to 4-year low, possibly an indication of a loss of investors’ interest in the Chinese market; at least for some time.
This looks like a warning sign similar to the one observed in 2015 but for different reasons.