OPINIONS China's forced counteractions to US trade bullying defend national, global interests

OPINIONS

China's forced counteractions to US trade bullying defend national, global interests

By Ni Tao | People's Daily app

16:57, July 19, 2018

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In the wake of the US' latest tariff moves, condemnation of its protectionism and unilateralism was virtually universal. So far, retaliatory measures have been announced by China, Canada, the European Union, Mexico, India, Russia and Turkey.

When the United States willfully launched this trade war and exited from groups based on its own interests on the pretext of "American First", it's natural it will become an enemy to all.

Apparently, the health of the global economy doesn't appear to cross the Trump administration's mind, and the US leader's stated rationale is simple: trade wars are good, and easy to win.

Trump and his administration are probably betting that the US, with its stupendous economic power, could force others to bend to Washington by threatening disruption to the rules-governed global trade mechanism.

That is the typical mindset of a bully, who believes with strength it comes submission by others. The White House might want you to see its current occupant as the "ultimate dealmaker", but what has so far been revealed after failed trade negotiations between Washington and its trading partners was the Trump administration's unreliability and troubling propensity for making bold and unrealistic policy goals for others to obey.

"Unfair" has become a frequent lexicon from the US government when it comes to bashing free trade. In Trump's depiction of the US status in the global trade system, the US has ended up being "a piggy bank that everyone keeps robbing." But the US itself is actually widely considered as the principal architect for the current international trade rules, which has benefitted and is benefitting immensely from it.

For the purpose of meeting its political needs at home, the US has produced a whole set of truth-distorting logic based on the "zero-sum" mentality. This mentality has been further reflected when the US president labeled the EU, Russia and China, "a foe" of the United States on Sunday. Two days later, the EU signed a sweeping free trade deal with Japan saying they were sending a "clear message" against protectionism.

To reap political dividends, Trump's victim strategy turns US trading partners into scapegoats for the underlying problems in the American economy and society, which are caused by domestic structural reasons, but it will unfortunately drag the world economy into "the trap of uncertainty", seriously worsening the global economic environment, destroying the global industrial and value chain, hindering global economy recovery, triggering global market fluctuations and hurting the interests of multinationals and average customers in the world. That's why the world must strike back more firmly if the US continues to act in an arbitrary and reckless manner.

The Chinese government has repeatedly stated that it doesn't hope to be in a trade war, but is not afraid of engaging in one. China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement that China's forced counteractions is an inevitable choice to defend national and global interests. China will continue to firmly push ahead with reform and opening up according to the plans and pace that are set, and work with the rest of the world to firmly uphold free trade and the multilateral trading system.

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