rump evidently believes that his trade war has inflicted more damage to China’s economy than Mao’s Great Leap Forward or Cultural Revolution.
At a campaign rally in North Carolina on Monday, the US president boasted that China had its worst economic year in 57 years.
In fact, China’s GDP grew at 6.2 percent over the second quarter of this year, the slowest rate since 1992, 27 years ago.
While Trump has sometimes correctly cited this statistic, he has more often given much higher numbers, including 35 years, 50 years, 52 years, 54 years, 57 years, and 61 years. Though he’s obviously pulling these numbers out of his quite spacious ass, he’ll occasionally cite them as what “a lot of people are saying.”
Update: Trump said Friday, "They are having the worst year they've had, I understand, in 61 years." https://t.co/lUSxlyGxaX
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 2, 2019
Trump’s high-end estimate of 61 years would mean that China’s GDP growth is the worst its been since 1958, the year of the launch of the Great Leap Forward which would end three years later with even the Chinese government admitting to a 27.3 percent drop in economic growth.
In the calamitous decade-and-half that followed, China’s GDP would slip into the negatives again at the start and end of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution before rising to new heights in the 1980s amid economic reforms which were halted for several years following the Tiananmen Square crackdown resulting in a 3.9 percent growth rate in 1990.