‘No win­ner’ in US-driven trade war

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page - By ZHANG YUNBI in Beijing and CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton Con­tact the writ­ers at zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China does not in­tend to be­come em­broiled in a trade war with United States, and the two sides have agreed to con­tinue com­mu­ni­cat­ing on trade is­sues in the near fu­ture, which in turn will cre­ate con­di­tions for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion, se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cials said on Sun­day.

The com­ments were made as the re­cently an­nounced in­ten­tion of the US to im­pose tar­iffs has height­ened global con­cerns over po­ten­tial trade con­fronta­tions, par­tic­u­larly those be­tween the world’s two largest economies.

Although Beijing does not want a trade war with the US, it “will never sit by and watch while its rights and in­ter­ests are in­fringed upon”, Zhang Ye­sui, spokesman for the first ses­sion of the 13th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, said at a news con­fer­ence in Beijing on Sun­day.

The right way to han­dle trade fric­tions is to make the cake of co­op­er­a­tion big­ger and find so­lu­tions acceptable to both sides through di­a­logue, said Zhang, who once served as Chi­nese am­bas­sador to the US.

Poli­cies based on er­ro­neous judg­ments or pre­sump­tions will dam­age bi­lat­eral ties and lead to un­in­tended con­se­quences, Zhang warned.

Vice-Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs Li Baodong said “there is no win­ner in a trade war”. China hopes the US will com­ply with in­ter­na­tional rules, par­tic­u­larly those of the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Li said.

The two coun­tries have been en­gaged in talks in this re­gard, and Beijing has made all-round prepa­ra­tions, Li told re­porters on Sun­day on the side­lines of the two ses­sions. He is also a po­lit­i­cal ad­viser.

China feels a great sense of duty, and con­sid­ers not only its own growth but the sus­tained de­vel­op­ment of the world econ­omy, Li said, adding that the coun­try hopes the re­cent pos­i­tive mo­men­tum of the world econ­omy will be cham­pi­oned.

“China and the US, the two ma­jor coun­tries, bear spe­cial du­ties in this re­gard,” he said.

Chen Fengy­ing, a se­nior world econ­omy re­searcher at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said China is among the po­ten­tial vic­tims glob­ally that stand to be af­fected by pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures in Wash­ing­ton, and “timely li­ai­son at the gov­ern­men­tal level” is needed to avoid a de­te­ri­o­rat­ing “free fall” of the sit­u­a­tion.

Liu He, di­rec­tor of the Gen­eral Of­fice of the Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Fi­nan­cial and Eco­nomic Af­fairs, met with se­nior US eco­nomic of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin, for in-depth trade talks be­fore wrap­ping up his US trip on Satur­day.

Dur­ing the talks, Liu called for con­certed ef­forts to ex­pand eco­nomic and trade co­op­er­a­tion, as well as to set­tle dif­fi­cult is­sues and seek a dy­namic bal­ance in bi­lat­eral eco­nomic and trade ties.

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