Editorial: Cooperation is the only correct solution to China-US trade tensions
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Trade is the bedrock of China-US ties. Economic and trade relations can always stabilize and promote overall China-US relations. However, in recent days, the US government has provoked and escalated economic and trade friction between the two sides, which not only greatly damaged the China-US economic and trade relations that the government and people of both sides have worked hard for years to build, but also seriously threatened the multilateral trading system and the principles of free trade.

On September 24, the Information Office of the State Council released a white paper titled "The Facts and China's Position on China-US Trade Friction." With massive numbers of facts and detailed data, this white paper reviewed China-US trade and economic relations comprehensively and systematically. The white paper emphasized that the nature of China-US trade and economic relations is mutually beneficial and win-win, and pointed out that the US government is engaging in protectionism and trade bullying. The white paper clarified China's policy position and fully demonstrated China's determination and will to push for a reasonable settlement of the issue, maintain the healthy and stable development of China-US economic and trade relations and firmly safeguard the multilateral trading system.

China-US trade volume has hit $583.7 billion in 2017, 233 times the level in 1979 when the two nations established official diplomatic relations. Such figures serve as solid proof that the cooperation between China and US is a win-win proposition rather than a zero-sum game. People and firms from the two countries benefit massively. Although friction may arise when bilateral trade involves huge business volumes, multiple partners and many different industries, the two nations should seek agreement while shelving differences and take proper approaches toward conflicts.

However, the US government unreasonably accused China of “economic invasion,” "theft of intellectual property,” “unfair trade,” “state capitalism” and other stigmatized accusations, by publishing reports such as the Section 301 investigation of China. This is dismissive of the reality of Sino-US win-win ties. The Trump administration also recklessly disregards the tremendous efforts China made to secure the impressive performance after reform and opening-up. The wrongful policy papers and unfair claims from the US are disrespectful to both Chinese and Americans, and will broaden disagreement, escalate trade tensions and eventually hurt the fundamental interests of both nations.

Cooperation leads to win-win benefits while confrontation leads to mutual losses. With the world facing increasing uncertainties, instabilities, and insecurities, China is always working together with the international community. Conforming to trends, upholding justice and shouldering its due responsibilities, China firmly safeguards its national dignity and core interests, promotes the healthy development of China-US trade relations, and works to reform the multilateral trade system. China also adheres to the protection of property rights and intellectual property and the legitimate rights of foreign enterprises in China. The country will firmly enhance the deepening of reform and opening up, and promote win-win cooperation with other developed countries and numerous developing countries, in order to build a community with a shared future for mankind. 

China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and will fight one if necessary. We are confident, resolute and capable of dealing with all kinds of threats and challenges. No external factors can stop China's development. China has kept the door to negotiations open, but negotiations can only happen when there is mutual respect, equality, good faith, and credibility. Negotiations cannot be conducted under the threat of tariffs, or at the cost of China's right to development.

There is a Chinese saying which goes, “The finer details fall into place when they align with the bigger picture.” It's the same with China-US relations. We should look at the bigger picture rather than focus on the divergences. China is the world's largest developing country and the US the world's largest developed country. Economic and trade relations between the two sides concerns the well-being of the two peoples and is related to the peace, prosperity and stabilization of the world. It is vital to strengthen mutual trust, promote cooperation and manage divergence to deal with China-US trade friction and problems. Cooperation is the only correct option and only by win-win cooperation can China-US relations head for a better future.

(Compiled by Han Xiaomeng, Bai Yuanqi, Qu Qiuyan, Wang Xiangyu and Bao Han)