China’s latest trade data almost seems designed to make Donald Trump’s head explode.
As the former US leader clamors for relevance from his Florida lair, Beijing reminded us how much of a bust the trade war on which Trump pinned re-election really was. Though the US economy shows signs of stabilizing, China’s exports surged nearly 61% year-on-year in the first two months of 2021.
That shows two things. First, China is the vanguard of the global recovery. Second, Trump, in the end, barely laid a glove on Asia’s biggest economy.
But a third element might matter most to the global financial system. It’s how President Xi Jinping appears to have internalized the fallout from four years of trade warring – and pivoted accordingly.