China’s government on Wednesday will offer a record $4.2 billion in new financing to help it spur the construction of a major energy infrastructure project, in a bid to revive the economy amid slowing exports.
The announcement, made by the Chinese People’s Bank, comes as the country is under pressure to boost its economy to avoid a recession, and as the U.S. faces a wave of protests in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring entry of refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations.
The U.N. has warned that the ban is an unprecedented attack on civil liberties and freedom of speech.
The new funding is part of a larger package of government aid that China has offered since the end of 2016, including billions of dollars in stimulus spending and billions of yuan in tax breaks.
The bank is the world’s largest lender to the economy and is China’s largest trading partner.
China’s economy has been contracting for years, as the economy has shrunk as the central government has pushed back on efforts to stimulate the economy.
The U.K. said in a report that China’s economy would contract by 1.2 percent in the year ahead and 2.4 percent in 2019, while the European Commission said in December that the country would contract 1.4 percentage points.
The news comes just two days after China’s central bank, which has been under pressure since Trump signed his immigration ban, cut its key lending rate from 5.25 percent to 4.5 percent.
China is a key U.s. trading partner and financial hub.
The United States has already cut its central bank rate from 3.75 percent to 3.5, and the Bank of England said in October it would cut its borrowing costs for a third time in a decade.
Trump has accused China of stealing American jobs, but China has not provided evidence that its trade policies have hurt American companies.
In the first months of 2017, U.k. manufacturers had been benefiting from China’s trade surplus with the U and the UK, but the trade deficit shrank to just $12.7 billion.
The Chinese announcement comes after a month-long protest against Trump’s order that prompted tens of thousands of demonstrators to march in downtown London.