Unstoppable Industrial Upgrade
The Trump administration blames the U.S.’ domestic troubles on China and ignored WTO regulations to launch a trade war targeting the “Made in China 2025” development strategy. This move, which ignores laws of global industrial development, will hinder the economic development of the world.
This year, the U.S. has persistently exerted trade friction on China, which eventually triggered the first shots of a total trade war. Additionally, the U.S. has targeted the “Made in China 2025” strategy, deeming China’s aspirations to catch up with the technologies of developed countries and taking over global highend manufacturing an “economic invasion” of the U.S. This accusation neglected objective law of industrial development, and the measures it prompts will heavily damage global economic order and the industrial division system.
Since the 1980s, thanks to its reform and opening up as well as low labor costs, China has developed a sound business environment that has attracted a massive chunk of global manufacturing, greatly improving the country’s industrial production system and increasing its production capacity. Eventually dubbed the “world factory,” China has enriched the supply of industrial products worldwide, benefiting the entire planet. Trade between China and the U.S. shifted from deficit to surplus with the dramatic changes in trade structure: China exports mostly manufactured goods especially electronic commodities to the U.S. while importing agricultural products like soybeans.
The trade relations and structure between the two countries have resulted from their respective industrial competitiveness and comparative advantages. When the division of labor in global manufacturing transferred from industries to commodities, China’s comparative advantage became prominent with stronger competitiveness in manufacturing low- and middle-end products than the U.S. and European countries. This has expanded China’s market share rapidly. Relatively speaking, the U.S. and European countries lacked comparative advantages in some manufacturing sectors. And during global industrial transfer and re-division of labor, Chinese enterprises took over manufacturing and processing from U.S. and European companies, freeing them up to focus more resources on high value-added production chain steps like design and marketing, which facilitated the U.S. and European countries in their transfer to service-oriented economies.
China’s manufacturing primarily features low- and middle-end products that exert tremendous pressure on the country’s environment. China’s ina’s manufacturing needs to evolve to a new stage corresponding to its ris- ing labor costs. The “Made in China na 2025” strategy was thus designed to facilitate such an upgrade in accor- dance with objective laws of industrial trial development.
The adjustment of global industrial division objectively demands involved countries accordingly adjust ust their economic and social structures es as well as patterns of income distribution. But during the industrial transfer of multinational corporations, the U.S. government has not handled well the issues like employment and wealth distribution, causing great trouble in the country. The Trump administration blames internal struggles on n the conflicts with China and ignored WTO regulations to launch a trade war targeting “Made in China 2025” 5” strategy. However, a trade war cannot not solve American domestic problems and will only hinder the economic development of the world.
The “Made in China 2025” development strategy endeavors to solve ve problems plaguing Chinese manufacturing like modest product quality, , rising labor costs, dense resource consumption and costly environmental al pollution. Solving these problems will not harm other countries’ interests, s, but improve the level and quality of global industrial division and cooperation while making constant contributions to the world. Over the past four decades since China implemented its reform and opening up, the country ry has gradually become more involved ved in global affairs and developed its economy by following international al rules and norms, becoming a major or driver of world economic growth. Oppressing the development of China—an emerging economy—is akin in
to dragging world economic advance. Donald Trump seeks unilateral trade protectionism in an effort to change the established development track of global industrial division and lower the efficiency of it. This runs contrary to the objective law of global industrial development and harms both sides.
If the U.S. stops exporting hightech to China and slaps tariffs on imported Chinese commodities, Chinese enterprises will only be impacted in the short term. In a long run, running contrary to the trend of globalization, Washington’s move will eventually damage the interests of American enterprises and people. The U.S. cannot stop China from transferring and upgrading its manufacturing industry because the drive is rooted in Chinese people’s aspirations for better lives. Innovation is becoming the driving force of China’s economy. Following the objective law of industrial development, the “Made in China 2025” strategy presents a roadmap for China to accelerate technological innovation in manufacturing and outlines policies and a system to fully utilize the market economy laws to encourage enterprises’ technological innovation inputs. China attaches great importance to intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, which is also an important part in implementing the “Made in China 2025” strategy and in building an innovation-oriented country. China has constructed and continued to improve its legal system for IPR. With its huge market, solid industrial system, innovation-oriented development and strict IPR protection, China’s industrial upgrade will not be stopped by outside forces.
May 25, 2018: Workers assemble products in a computer numerical controlled workshop in an electronics materials factory in Shandong Province. VCG