Alibaba ex­ec­u­tive warns trade war pain will be felt glob­ally

Global Times - - Erview -

The es­ca­lat­ing trade war be­tween the US and China is ca­reen­ing to­ward a “cold war or geopo­lit­i­cal war” that will re­ver­ber­ate around the world, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive at Alibaba Group has said.

Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s ex­ec­u­tive vice chair­man, ac­cused the US of start­ing the trade war over “an un­founded fear” that China’s rise threat­ened the na­tional se­cu­rity of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, the South China Morn­ing Post said on Thurs­day.

Tsai was speak­ing at a con­fer­ence hosted by the news­pa­per in Kuala Lumpur on Wed­nes­day, a day after US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­peated his threat to slap tar­iffs on an ad­di­tional $267 bil­lion of Chi­nese im­ports.

Alibaba, China’s big­gest ecom­merce com­pany, owns the Hong Kong-based South China Morn­ing Post.

“It is re­ally ill-ad­vised for the US to launch a war of some sort tar­get­ing China, think­ing that they can treat China like the way they treated Rus­sia by iso­lat­ing the econ­omy and bring­ing on pain,” Tsai was quoted as say­ing in the re­port.

“We are so in­te­grated that the pain is go­ing to be felt all over the world,” he added.

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma told the con­fer­ence via video link that he be­lieved the US would “suf­fer more” from the dis­pute, the news­pa­per said.

Ma said in Septem­ber that the trade dis­pute could last for two decades and be­come “a mess” for all par­ties in­volved.

Ma had a high-pro­file meet­ing with Trump last year where Ma promised to create 1 mil­lion jobs in the US linked to small mer­chants sell­ing items on Alibaba plat­forms.

Trade re­la­tions have since de­te­ri­o­rated be­tween China and the US in a tit-for-tat es­ca­la­tion in tar­iffs.

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