It’s not often Quentin Tarantino rates a mention in a Chinese news context, but he does this week thanks to his decision to not agree to make cuts to his latest Hollywood movie to meet the requirements of China’s content overlords. They were apparently unhappy at the unfavorable treatment given to the late kung fu star Bruce Lee in the movie. It would have meant hundreds of millions of extra box office revenue. Quentin said no. It plays into the integrity theme of last week. Which is an uncomfortable segue through to Mike Pence who In a speech took to task the NBA and Nike for their positions vis-a-vis the content overlords. The China-US decoupling just infects more and more areas of everything.
As to the trade deal between the two countries, there is still no sign of one being signed. Trump made some comments about the Chinese having agreed to huge agricultural product purchases, but there are also reports that the Chinese side is holding out for a complete suspension of tariffs on Chinese goods entering the US before the ag purchases are finalized. So who knows. There is always the possibility of Trump doing a Kurdish swerve and just fixing a deal, but it seems unlikely, even though it would provide a day or so of distraction from the impeachment circus.
There are signs out there this week to suggest the Chinese economy is doing okay, and further signs to suggest mounting problems. In the absence of transparency, take your pick. Next week we will have a plenum, the big annual party meeting, and while the slowing economy will no doubt be addressed, it is a safe bet, we believe, to assume that strengthening party work and the position of the party in a leadership role in all respects is likely to be the main message.
Enjoy the weekend.
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