President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping (not shown) make a joint statement at the Great Hall of the People on November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China.
Beijing is surely watching closely as a deadline for proposed American tariffs on China draws near, but any concern has been blunted by just how well the Chinese economy has been doing in recent months.
The U.S. is due by Friday to release the final list of products subject to the 25 percent levies the White House announced last month on $50 billion in imports. U.S. President Donald Trump is trying to bring down a $375 billion annual trade deficit with China, and he’s using the threat of a trade war to force concessions from Beijing.
For its part, the Chinese leadership would surely prefer to avoid such a conflict and has attempted to appease Washington with offers to increase purchases of American products. But if push comes to shove, the fundamental strength of China’s economy could help alleviate the damage of any outright trade confrontation, experts said.
“All measures broadly indicate that China still is actually doing quite well economically right now,” said Shenzhen-based economist Christopher Balding, adding that data also suggest consumer confidence is high.
“So I don’t believe there would be a lot of either popular or political support for any type of easy backdown to Trump,” Balding told CNBC. “I think there would be relatively wide support for pushing back to some degree.”