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June 20, 2019

China reportedly plans to allow more foreign business in potential boon for Trump administration

December 12, 2018
President Trump gestures as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., last year. (Alex Brandon / AP)

China is quietly planning to replace a protectionist economic policy with a new program promoting greater access for foreign businesses, according to a report Wednesday.

People briefed on the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Beijing’s top economic agency and senior advisers are in the process of scraping the so-called “Made in China 2025” policy, which aimed to make the country a global leader in high-tech industries.


In its place, the Chinese government plans to implement a more moderate plan that would focus less on dominating manufacturing and more on participating with foreign companies, the sources said.

If implemented, the plan would pose a victory for the Trump administration, which has engaged in an aggressive trade war with Beijing for months. However, it’s unlikely China will go as far as the administration is hoping, as President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party will be hard pressed to give up its strict control of the country’s economy.

The plan is reportedly expected to be rolled out early next year.

The U.S. and China remain locked in a tariffs standoff, though President Trump agreed this month to postpone more import hikes on Chinese goods for 90 days while negotiations continue.

China’s economy czar and U.S. trade envoys discussed plans for talks on a tariff battle, indicating negotiations are going ahead despite tension over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Trump indicated Tuesday he would be willing to let Wanzhou go free if it helps the trade negotiations. The tech CFO is suspected of having done business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

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