China Reassures Caribbean Amid Trade Tensions With Us

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The chairman of China's securities regulator said at a major party meeting previous year that Sun and other senior figures prosecuted in the crackdown were "conspiring openly to usurp party leadership". "And I don't blame China; I blame our representatives that - our people over the past, our Presidents and negotiators and trade representatives - that they allowed this to happen", he said.

In a separate report, the China Passenger Car Association said passenger vehicle sales increased by 3.3% to 2.02m units in March from a year ago.

He was echoed by Alexander Salitsky of the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations, who has remained upbeat about the future of the yuan, pointing to "China's permanent readiness to expand the corridor of the yuan's convertibility".

He also said "Cold War mentality" and arrogance had become obsolete and would be repudiated.

But the rise in imports was steeper, at almost 19 percent. "They are ready to pull the trigger", Salitsky pointed out.

While China was busy selling more to the USA, it was buying more from other countries, and ran a $9.86 billion deficit with the rest of the world in the quarter.

The surplus reached $58 billion in January-March, customs bureau spokesman Huang Songping said at a briefing in Beijing.

That sent its quarterly trade surplus with the United States surging 19.4 per cent to US$58.25 billion (RM225.6 billion), though the March reading narrowed to US$15.43 billion from US$20.96 billion in February.

The data follows weeks of tit-for-tat tariff threats by Washington and Beijing, sparked by USA frustration with China's massive bilateral trade surplus and intellectual property policies, which have fueled fears of a global trade war.

Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at Everbright Sun Hung Kai, said the market was cheered by Xi's speech because it was framed in more positive terms which could ease trade tensions, but he voiced caution about promised reforms. Its imports from the US rose 8.9 percent in the quarter and 3.2 percent in March.

Washington says China's US$375 billion trade surplus with the United States is unacceptable, and has demanded Beijing reduce it by US$100 billion immediately. China exported $137.8 billion worth of high-tech products in the first quarter, up 20.5 percent on-year. China's Maritime Safety Administration said the exercises began on Wednesday and were to have lasted through the end of Friday.

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