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China shifts economic policy as it braces for trade clash

Banks to buoy state-owned companies with $150bn in debt-equity swaps

China has put economic structural reforms on hold for the time being, opting for growth-friendly policies.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China is putting structural reform on hold and shifting to policies intended to support growth as it prepares to shield its economy from the effects of a trade war with the U.S.

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, is now pressing major lenders to swap more than 1 trillion yuan ($152.9 billion) of corporate debt for equity, a move that suggests a shift away from downsizing inefficient state-owned enterprises.

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