By Alan Murray and David Meyer
July 12, 2018

Good morning.

I’m in China this week, and have been surprised how little conversation there has been about the intensifying trade war. We held a press conference in Guangzhou Tuesday to promote the Fortune Global Tech Forum that was attended by local press, and not one asked about what, to my news nose, was the most obvious topic for discussion.

Turns out, there’s a reason for that—as this Reuters article makes clear. The Chinese government is trying to play down trade war talk and keep it out of the headlines. That’s part of a broader strategy of taking the high road, embracing multilateralism, and hoping Trump continues to alienate his natural trade allies. This story in the South China Morning Post offers an interesting take on the government’s thinking. It’s not clear how far the Chinese government will go to satisfy Trump’s trade demands; but what is clear is that it has little intention of overreacting. That should be a relief to global companies doing business here.

I spent this morning at Fuxian lake in Yunnan province, which has been the focus of a remarkable government- mandated clean-up effort in recent years—relocating farmers, closing mines and factories, and redirecting sewage. The now-pristine lake, nestled in the beautiful mountains of western China, will be the site of the Fortune Global Sustainability Forum next fall—bringing together business and non-profit leaders with a focus on preserving the global environment. It’s a stunning setting. Stay tuned: more details to come.

News below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

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