A senior Chinese diplomat has urged the United States to look inwards rather than waging a war against China over the trade deficit.
Yang Yanyi, China’s former ambassador to the European Union and Committee Member, Foreign Affairs Committee of 13th CPPCC, said America’s own economic structure including its extraordinarily low savings rate was to blame for the trade imbalance. “Rather than domestic reform, the US is taking a short cut by taking relentless aim at anyone seen standing in the way of making America great again. Excessive tariffs would increase production costs for 60 percent of American firms,” said Yanyi.
She further said the threat of tariffs and sanctions had rattled the global supply chain and may push the US economy towards recession.
Referring to the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at the G20 meeting, Yanyi said the decision to restart talks was a positive for global markets. “Cooperation is better than conflict and dialogue is better than confrontation. China and the US have overriding common interests. Hope negotiating teams can work out differences and reach an agreeable conclusion,” she noted.
However, Zhu Feng, Director, Institute of International Studies at Nanjing University, added a note of caution. According to him, the trade and tech war was more because of strategic and political reasons than because of commercial considerations. “Even if we conclude a trade deal, can de-escalation be expected? The answer is no, because China-US wrestling is about America’s growing fear and concern that China would eventually put America’s dominance in jeopardy,” Feng said.
Both Zhu Feng and Yanyi emphasised that the US had benefitted enormously due to trade with China. Since 1979, US-China trade has increased by 258 percent.
Trump has softened his stand on Chinese telecom major Huawei after his meeting with Xi. After imposing a ban, Trump has now allowed US companies to sell products to the firm. Since last year, the US has been urging allies not to partner with Huawei, which it has accused of espionage.
Responding to allegations against Huawei, Yanyi said, “This ferocious attack by the US on Chinese tech companies has met with strong opposition. Huawei's cooperation is conducive to strengthening economic growth. Hope India would make decisions independently on Huawei's participation. Working with best technology would enhance prosperity for both countries.”
Professor Feng said Huawei deserved India’s respect as it had created almost eight thousand jobs in India. “Let’s not overreact to these threats. It would be unfair,” he pointed out.
First Published: IST