Politburo study session signals tighter information controls; Canada-China; SOE reform
Welcome to the last week of the Year of the Dog. Even though the Lunar New Year official holiday in China does not start until February 4th it should be a fairly slow week. Barring any big news next week Sinocism will not be publishing on its regular schedule since China will be effectively shut down.
This week there is of course a lot of attention on Liu He’s visit to DC for the January 30-31 trade talks. I hear Liu He arrives in DC today, and my thoughts from Friday about the talks have not changed.
The talks will continue to be a grind, but I still believe Xi is very motivated to make a deal, as the trade war is one more risk he does not want right now. More importantly I hear he is very concerned about the push from some U.S. officials towards "decoupling" and so views a deal as a way to blunt those forces even as the U.S.-China competition heats up across multiple dimensions. But the deadline for this round of talks is March 1 and it would be surprising if the Chinese side put the…