Car tariff cuts signal new round of opening-up

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/22 22:33:40

The Ministry of Finance announced Tuesday afternoon that the country will cut tariffs on imported cars to 15 percent from July 1 and import tariffs for auto parts will be cut to 6 percent. This can be viewed as a clear signal of a new round of China's opening-up.

After the reduction in import duties, imported cars in the Chinese market will be cheaper and domestic cars will face fiercer competition. But China's auto industry today is not the same as it was when it joined the World Trade Organization a dozen years ago. A group of domestic car brands are emerging and are competitive especially in the field of electric automobiles. The conditions are ripe for China to reduce its auto import tariffs.

Some people's first reaction was that this was the result of pressure from the US, which recently launched a trade war against Beijing. The truth is lowering import tariffs for cars has been planned since last year. It is a step that China must take for overall reform and opening-up as well as an inevitable move to promote an international trade balance and to meet people's desire for a better living standard.

Being deeply involved in globalization, it is impossible for the outside world to have no influence on China's decision-making. To be more accurate, it is China's domestic demand for opening-up, pressure from the outside world and China's right to make its own decision that together promoted Beijing's decision to open its doors more widely in an orderly way.

Historical experience shows that the integration of civilizations is not just about learning from each other. Most of the time it is realized through collision and even confrontation.

Learning from others is of course important for developing countries to achieve modernization, but holding onto independence is more significant. The latter is the key for developing nations to decide what path they will take and how to learn from the outside based on their own national interest.

The reason why China's reform and opening-up is successful is that while the country learns from the world, it also resolutely resists unreasonable pressure piled on by external forces.

China has goodwill toward the world. It has accumulated the strength to safeguard its own interests while forming a philosophy of mutual benefit for itself and the outside world.

The biggest beneficiary of China's reduction in import duties for cars this time will be Chinese consumers. After foreign cars become cheaper, Chinese national brands will need to work harder. It is sincerely hoped that relevant manufacturers will be able to convert pressure into a driving force, improve their products and win more Chinese consumers. After they can make their way in the Chinese market with lower tariffs, they will be able to go global.



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