Newshub Political Reporter Lloyd Burr was travelling with the Prime Minister and when he sat down with him in Xi’an, started by asking how worried he is about China’s economy hitting a Great Wall…
John Key: We can see issues in the Chinese economy, particularly around some of the loans they’ve got, some of the regional banks and some of the lending overall, but we tend to be on the slightly more optimistic side. I mean, the Chinese leadership have been telling us they expect to grow at about 6.5 percent. They grew at 6.7 percent for the first quarter. And we certainly still continue to see, as I say, demand on the consumer side for what we’re selling, so, look, let’s wait and see, but in the best assessment we’ve got, it’s still tracking along reasonably okay.
Lloyd Burr: That downturn must be worrying, especially since the high in 2014, and when President Xi came to visit in New Zealand, he said, I think his quote was, ‘There’s more Chinese demand than you can possibly supply,’ but that sort of hasn’t run true, has it?
Well, no, I think he’s actually right if you think about the fact they’ve probably got about two or three hundred million middle-income consumers. They have 1.4 billion people, and the big challenge for the Chinese administration is to take that billion-plus people out of very low levels of income and put them into middle-income consumers. That will happen. The question is just how long it takes to happen.