Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday that he wanted to work out a preliminary trade deal with the United States but would be ready to retaliate if necessary.
Call for Deal
“We want to work for a ‘phase one’ agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality. When necessary we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this trade war and this is not something we want.” Xi told an international business forum in Beijing.
At the forum, Xi also met with the International Monetary Fund Chief Kristalina Georgieva. Xi stated he had full confidence in China’s development and that the country’s economic resilience and potential would not change according to remarks carried by the Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, figures released on Friday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revised up the nominal 2018 gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.1% to 91.93 trillion yuan ($13.08 trillion). The data appeared to put the GDP on track to achieve Beijing’s goals of doubling its economic size by 2020 from 2010. The revision raised suspicions that Chinese authorities might be manipulating the numbers.
Minutes the European Central Bank (ECB) published from its October policy meeting showed that the former President Mario Draghi stepped down with a call for unity as the bank struggles with its objectives of boosting inflation.
Some policymakers though urged a “wait and see” approach. The majority found a “broad agreement” that monetary policy needed to “highly accommodative for an extended period of time.” The ECB has come under fire for going deeper into the negative interest rate territory under the last months of Draghi’s tenure.
Lagarde to Begin Strategy Review
ECB’s new President Christine Lagarde announced that a review of the continental central bank’s strategy would begin in the near future as she made her first major speech on Friday. She stated the importance of maintaining a sufficient level of public investment along with private investment.
“We will continuously monitor the side effects of our policies. Monetary policy could achieve its goal faster and with fewer side effects if other policies were supporting growth alongside it.” she also said.
UK Elex Manifestos
The United Kingdom’s opposition Labour Party revealed a radical and socialist manifesto for the December 12 snap elections on Thursday. The party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn released his plans to huge public sector pay rises, much higher taxes on big corporations and an extensive nationalization of infrastructure, including energy, water, rail, postal service and broadband internet.
The pound sterling retraced and lost earlier gains after the Labour manifesto was announced.
British Deputy Finance Minister Rishi Sunak told ITV that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party election manifesto will be released by next week.
SK-Japan Security Pact is Dying
South Korea is preparing to let a years-old intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan effectively die on Saturday over a diplomatic crisis that involves the two country’s pre-WWII history. The US has made clear it does not want its two allies to end their security cooperation after denuclearisation talks with North Korea collapsed.