China moves to stem damage from trade war with US ahead of talks

China is stepping up its efforts to protects its economy from the ongoing damaging trade war with the US, ahead of fresh talks to resolve the dispute next month.

The People’s Bank of China said it would step up adjustments to counter its slowing economy on Sunday, and to ensure there is “adequate liquidity” for the financial sector.

In a statement on Weibo, the social network, the PBOC said China will “continue to implement a prudent monetary policy and increase the strength of counter-cyclical measures”.

The PBOC’s pledge came as the Chinese vice-commerce minister, Wang Shouwen, said Beijing would open up more sectors of the economy to foreign investors. Wang also announced that Beijing will send its top negotiator, vice-premier Liu He, to lead negotiations with the US in early October.

Those talks will take place after a week-long holiday to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Recent economic data has shown that China’s economy is suffering from Washington’s imposition of tariffs on over half its exports to the US. Factory output growth has hit a 17-year low, and car sales have fallen in 14 of the last 15 months.

China’s commerce minister, Zhong Shan, told a news conference in Beijing on Sunday that the trade dispute is causing unprecedented challenges.

The US president, Donald Trump, claimed last week that China wants to make a trade deal “very badly”, and that it could come sooner than the markets expect. But Washington is also considering new limits on US investments in China.

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According to government insiders, this could include preventing Chinese companies from listing on the US stock market. Curbing the ability of US government pension funds to buy Chinese equities is also being considered, according to government insiders.

Shares in Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce company, tumbled by 5% on Friday night, after the plan was reported.

The prospect of Chinese companies being barred from US exchanges alarmed the Nasdaq, which warned that the move could hurt investors.

“One critical quality of our capital markets is that we provide non-discriminatory and fair access to all eligible companies. The statutory obligation of all US equity exchanges to do so creates a vibrant market that provides diverse investment opportunities for US investors,” it said in a statement.



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