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China commerce minister says trade measures on Australia are prudent and restrained

China’s commerce minister said on Monday that trade remedy measures on Australia have been prudent and restrained when asked about hefty tariffs on barley imports from Australia. Earlier this month, China announced anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totaling 80.5% on Australian barley imports from May 19. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tom Daly; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Would China extend its boycott to Australian resources and energy?

With tensions flaring between Australia and China, the resource trade could become a political battleground. However, some commodities are safer than others, Xunpeng Shi writes. Already-fragile Australia-China relations have been put under even more strain in recent days by China’s ‘anti-dumping’ actions against Australian barley exports and trade sanctions on Australian beef. While both the Australian and Chinese governments seem to agree that the reason for the beef ban is failing to meet Chinese health standards, the saga of Australia’s leadership on the COVID-19 probe suggests that the barley sanctions ...

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In Dropping Growth Target, China Acknowledges Severity of Its Economic Challenges

Under leader Xi Jinping, China has established itself as an increasingly assertive global player, pushing back forcefully against challenges at home and abroad. But even as Beijing tightens its grip on Hong Kong and steps up its rhetoric against the U.S., senior leaders bowed to the inevitable on Friday, acknowledging the scope of the challenges facing the economy–the bedrock of much of the country’s recent strength. On Friday, Premier Li Keqiang abandoned the country’s annual gross domestic product target for the first time in more than a quarter-century, citing “factors ...

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ECB Is Ready to Expand Stimulus Program, Minutes Show

European Central Bank officials are ready to step up bond purchases next month if they consider such a move necessary to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the minutes of their April policy meeting. The ECB in March unveiled a EUR750 billion ($820 billion) bond-buying program to support governments and businesses in the face of plunging economic growth. But the bank surprised some analysts by leaving the program’s size unchanged at its April 29-30 meeting, while sweetening the terms of loans to eurozone banks. The minutes ...

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Ex-Goldman chief economist says China’s economic response to the coronavirus crisis has been ‘timid’

Compared to many countries, China has rolled out little additional support for its economy that’s been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, said former Goldman Sachs chief economist, Jim O’Neill. “It is striking when you look at China’s contrast to so many other countries in the rest of the world so far, how little fiscal expansion China has introduced,” O’Neill, now the chair of U.K. think tank Chatham House, told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill on Wednesday. “I think they’re being both prudent and very cautious and certainly, given the scale of the ...

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How bad are China’s economic woes?

While economists say China’s economic data can’t always be trusted, they now have a new dilemma – there is no data. On Friday, China said it wouldn’t be setting a target for economic growth for this year. That’s unprecedented – the Chinese government hasn’t done this since it began publishing such goals in 1990. Abandoning the growth target is an acknowledgement of just how difficult a recovery in China will be in a post pandemic era. And while recent figures have shown that China is on the way out of ...

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Coronavirus is dark side of an urban interconnected world: Kemp

Like earlier pandemics, the coronavirus is the dark side of a highly productive, urbanised, interconnected and increasingly prosperous world. Yet urbanisation has persisted, in spite of all the problems it creates, including pollution, disease and high living costs. Now some commentators have begun to wonder if coronavirus and lockdowns employed to suppress it will mean profound changes in transportation and living patterns. Will the popularity of megacities diminish? Will public transport systems be redesigned? Will supply chains move closer to home? And will international leisure travel shrink? The answer is ...

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Economy Recovering, but Unemployment Likely to Remain High, Trump Adviser Says

The first shoots of an economic recovery from shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic are starting to emerge, but the U.S. is likely to face a sustained period of record-high unemployment. Policy makers confronting that possibility are preparing plans to offer additional stimulus to the economy in the coming weeks and months. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said Sunday that he already sees signs a rebound is occurring, pointing to businesses reopening and credit-card data showing consumers are starting to increase spending. Still, he said May’s unemployment rate, which ...

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We now have the proof: greening the economy doesn’t come at the price of prosperity

Everest is once again visible from Kathmandu, after decades shrouded in pollution. Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen to levels last seen in 2006. Nature has returned to our streets with a quack and a flurry, and people are waking to birdsong in inner cities as the roar of traffic recedes. Clear skies bring little cheer at the food bank, however. Birdsong might lift the heart, but it won’t pay the rent. The environmental renaissance that has come with lockdown shows both the necessity of cleaning up our filthy air and ...

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The US and China must learn to balance competition and cooperation in the coming era

We live in a critical time. Few world leaders could have imagined that humanity in 2020, armed with advanced technology and unparalleled civilization, would be put on pause by a pandemic. The unprecedented difficulties our society is facing pose tremendous challenges for world leaders and for each of us: from how individuals can stay connected to how countries co-exist; from isolation and reducing human contact to maintaining global virtual connectedness; from preparing for the pandemic with minimal disruption of economic activities to reopening the economy without risking public health; from ...

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EU ‘frugals’ formally oppose Merkel-Macron plan for coronavirus grants

EU member states Austria, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands stated their opposition on Saturday to a French-German plan for a 500 billion euro (447.8 billion pounds) coronavirus recovery fund that would issue grants, calling for a loans-based approach instead. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the surprise proposal on Monday to set up a fund that would offer grants to European Union regions and sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. The idea of grants, however, is anathema to the EU’s self-styled “frugal four”, who generally oppose ...

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Coronavirus: Leading economist warns of 10 years of depression and debt

Economist Nouriel Roubini has warned of a prolonged downturn and sluggish recovery from the coronavirus. Nicknamed Dr Doom for his gloomy predictions, Professor Roubini said there are some jobs that simply will not come back after this crisis. Even if the global economy recovers this year from the impact of the coronavirus, it will be “anaemic”. He warned of “unprecedented” recession. Professor Roubini foresaw the financial crisis in 2008 before many others. “During the global financial crisis it took about three years until output fell sharply,” he told the BBC’s ...

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China drops mention of GDP goal as parliament opens, virus slams economy

China dropped its annual growth target for the first time on Friday and pledged more government spending as the COVID-19 pandemic hammers the world’s second-biggest economy, setting a sombre tone to this year’s meeting of parliament. The omission from Premier Li Keqiang’s work report marks the first time China has not set a target for gross domestic product (GDP) since 2002. The economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter, the first contraction in decades, hit by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which started in the central Chinese city of ...

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Premier stresses achieving main economic, social development targets

Premier Li Keqiang stressed striving to achieve this year’s main targets for economic and social development, though the country is facing difficulties and challenges like never before. Premier Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks on May 23 while taking part in deliberations of the government work report with fellow deputies from Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to the 13th National People’s Congress during its ongoing annual session. Premier Li called for ensuring stability on ...

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French state debt could be over 115% of GDP by year end – budget minister

France’s state debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is set to increase to more than 115% by the end of the year due to the cost of coronavirus crisis measures, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said in an interview with TV station RTL on Sunday. “It will be no doubt more than 115% at the end of the year,” RTL quoted him as saying on its website. He added that the government did not plan to increase taxes to reduce the debt. At the end of March, the INSEE official ...

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