The author is former chief economist, Asia and Hong Kong Bureau chief of the Economist Intelligence Unit and senior economist in the OECD’s Investment Division, where he worked with China to improve its policies toward investment.
China's year-on-year GDP growth was 6.9 percent in 2017, higher than the "around 6.5 percent" target set by the government. Analysts generally forecast that growth will ease this year but remain on track.
The two sides might eventually resort to negotiation, in which case, incidentally, China has intimated that it would offer concessions, no doubt including ones that will benefit China as well as the US (for example, better protection of intellectual property, and further opening up to foreign investment in services).
The country aims to create at least 11 million jobs in 2018 and keep the urban registered unemployment rate below 4.5 percent, according to the report. The surveyed unemployment rate should be kept below 5.5 percent.
"We should focus more on workers' rights and interests when resolving overcapacity in steel and coal, as well as during industrial consolidation and reorganization," Wang Xiaofeng, spokesman for the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, said on Tuesday.
China's top labor union has called for more support to help workers find or create jobs, especially during the ongoing efforts to cut capacity in the steel and coal industries.
In recent years, governments at all levels have been working to trim overcapacity. In 2016, the State Council issued two guidelines to fight against excess steel and coal production, demanding a reduction of nearly 500 million metric tons of coal and 100 to 150 million tons of steel in three to five years.