Hegemonic US accuses China of economic aggression

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/17 23:08:41

Just before US President Donald Trump rolls out his national security strategy on Monday, the Financial Times reported that Trump is likely to define China as a competitor in every realm and will accuse China of engaging in "economic aggression." He would propose a much tougher stance on China, according to the report, citing people familiar with the document. Over the weekend, Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, used the phrase "economic aggression" when referring to China. Nevertheless, a White House official told CNBC that the report is "not accurate," and "the phrase is not specifically linked to China."

It's unbelievable that Trump will label China as launching "economic aggression." China and the US have conducted trade in compliance with WTO rules. China has allowed no gray customs clearance with imports to the US, nor did the US build controversial wholesale centers of Chinese commodities. And a big share of Chinese exports to the US are products of US companies in China. The pattern of Sino-US trade reflects the tendency of the modern international division of labor   and is the result of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two.

However, some people have repeatedly warned of precautions against China at US Congressional hearings and have called for a scrutiny of Chinese investments. Washington is using its massive comprehensive strength to recklessly define the behavior of and relations with other countries. In fact, it is the US that has recently become the biggest saboteur of international rules and challenger of free trade. Washington's attempts to adjust international trade in favor of US interests have triggered complaints everywhere.

It's hegemonic for the US to accuse any country of economical aggression since no country is able to do so. Because the US dollar remains in an unchallengeable position, the US can pressure trade surplus countries to buy US treasury bonds and often punish trading partners with its domestic laws.

At the top of the interest chain in globalization, Washington shouts out loud whenever its trading partners benefit from their trade. However, free trade is a rule of international economic cooperation and allows no substantial modification by the US administration. Calling normal trade "economic aggression" would provoke a "trade revolution" that will go beyond the tolerance of world trade, including the US. 

Problems in China-US trade need to be addressed through negotiations and consultations. It's unrealistic for Washington to try to pressure Beijing into making huge concessions. If the US misuses its advantage in interactions with China, it will invite countermeasures from China.

The US shouldn't try to extort China with public opinion and non-trade means. If the Trump government provokes insensible trade frictions with China for political gain, it will probably backfire. As no US administration has launched large-scale trade warfare with China so far, Trump should refrain from being the pioneer. A trade war with China will negate Trump's economic accomplishments.


Newspaper headline: Starting trade war with China will backfire


Posted in: EDITORIAL

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