(Photo: Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States)
Washington (People's Daily) - In the wake of the US’ announcement of $50 billion in trade tariffs against Chinese imports last week and China’s recent retaliatory tariffs, China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, spoke on behalf of China’s interests in interviews with CNBC and CCTV on April 3.
Cui started by denouncing the US’ Section 301 investigation tariffs, calling them a “step in the wrong direction” for dealing with global trade disputes.
Cui then cited an old Chinese saying that it is impolite to only receive and not give back – meaning that China will use the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement mechanism and fight back in accordance with Chinese laws to match the US’ actions in both intensity and scale.
Cui then emphasized that both China’s and the US’ economies are closely connected and share common goals and that any unilateral trade actions will hurt both countries. He specifically noted that tariffs do not protect American farmers, businesses or consumers and the results from these trade actions will invariably hurt the public.
He mentioned that China has done everything in its power to avoid a trade war, since its effects will likely hurt its own citizens as well. However, he also noted that China will fight back if it is given no other alternative.
When asked if the US’ action are targeting the “Made in China 2025” initiative to upgrade various Chinese industries, Cui said it is only natural and logical for China to produce more products to provide its citizens with better lives.
“We open our markets to the world and hopes the world can open its to China,” Cui said. “The US doesn’t want us to buy nor want us to manufacture, what kind of logic is behind that?”
Cui also touched on the allegations that China forced US companies to share valuable technology as a condition of doing business in the country, saying that the accusations were “groundless” and that there was no proof to support the accusations.
As to intellectual property protection, Cui said that China has strengthened its measures to protect intellectual property and has achieved significant progress. China protects the intellectual property of all companies, including those from the US, in accordance with Chinese law. Many senior executives have also expressed satisfaction regarding the protection they received to Cui.
He also said that China is always open to enter discussions with the US, but that they are sometimes not interested in addressing their concerns in a constructive and mutually-beneficial manner.
However, as the possibility of a trade war looms, Cui said that it is still possible for the US and China to enter a dialogue to table these tariffs and reach a resolution.
“If both sides are willing to serve their people’s interest in the long-run, the choices are clear,” Cui said.