China won’t cave in to Trump’s trade bluster

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/25 23:18:39

The trade row between China and the US has been a hot topic at the China Development Forum in Beijing where executives and scholars, including those from the US, warned of the risks of a trade war. "The trade war must be avoided at all cost, like nuclear war," Larry Summers, former US treasury secretary was quoted as saying.

But it seems the conceited US government won't listen to reason. The White House said Friday that the US move to raise tariffs against China was already beginning to get results and "many other countries are now negotiating fair trade deals with us." But when China's Ministry of Commerce reacts to the Section 301 investigation with retaliatory measures against tens of billions of dollars in US goods, the US won't be so conceited.

The US has been wielding sticks worldwide over the past year. Washington needs to be taught a real lesson and such a lesson can only be taught by China, the world's second largest economy. Some people think China should tolerate trade frictions and let other countries take the lead. But as a world trade powerhouse, China has to strive for its own interests.

Beijing and Washington may choose to finally negotiate. However, we cannot base our actions on that possibility. We should prepare for the worst-case scenario which is a large-scale trade war with the US.

There are different views on the US government's motives to start a trade war. Some think Washington is seeking economic gains to support Trump's re-election. Some believe it is part of the US elites' scheme to contain China's rise, and will continue to be a trend.

By no means can China back off. China will either be crushed by Washington with a growing appetite. Or it may engage in an epic trade war to renew the knowledge of the whole US about China's power and make it establish respect for China.

Can China achieve this? Yes, it can.

Above all, China is not one to wage a trade war and has a system advantage. It enjoys strong solidarity domestically and is highly resilient to pain brought by a trade war.

Second, it's wishful thinking for the US to try and pressure China together with its European allies. Most countries do not trust the current US government and have good trade ties with China. As countries seek to benefit from both China and the US to maximize their interests, they won't want to be a pawn of Washington.

Third, the US is likely to play the Taiwan and South China Sea cards to assist the trade war. But there has been remarkable progress in China's ability to control the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea situation and is fully capable of frustrating US attempts. China also has a trump card to deal a blow to Washington over international issues such as North Korea.

Fourth, China has a huge potential for development. A massive trade war may hurt the Chinese economy, but will force it into a transformation that facilitates releasing China's full potential. Hence, China won't be afraid of US provocations.

If the US wants to force China to give in, it should do it to its allies instead. A strong China only wants to be an equal partner, not a vassal.

The gap between China and the US has narrowed and the US' global leadership has dropped to its lowest. Washington is just bluffing with a trade war that won't deter China.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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