While the world slept, US trade war with China took its toll on the Chinese economy.  

According to an official data released on Monday, essentially because of the war, China's economy grew at slowest pace in 28 years in 2018, losing more steam in the last quarter as it also battles a massive debt pile.

The 6.6% growth comes in above the official target of around 6.5% and matches a forecast by analysts polled by AFP but is down from the 6.8 percent chalked up in 2017, according to China National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

In a sign of the struggle Beijing faces, growth in the last three months of the year clocked in at 6.45%, matching a low seen during the global financial crisis 10 years ago, with economists widely expecting the slowdown to deepen.

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"Everyone is widely concerned about the direction of the international situation where there are many variables and uncertain factors," said NBS commissioner Ning Jizhe, noting trade protectionism was in vogue.

"For the world's second-largest economy, where trade accounts for one-third of GDP, this has an impact," he said, adding "downward pressure" on the economy has increased.

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