US attempt to bully China into submission risks hurting global economy
Washington on August 1 announced it will impose an additional 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, starting in September, and labeled China a currency manipulator on August 5.
These moves have breached the consensus reached between Chinese and US heads of state on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan in June, and further escalated trade frictions between the world’s top two economies.
Since July 2018, trade hawks in Washington have unilaterally provoked trade frictions with China, seeking to force Beijing into giving in to Washington’s unreasonable demands. Their bullying goes against the spirit of free trade and international norms and risks hurting the global economy and damaging the international trade regime.
China never wants to fight a trade war with anyone, but will do so whenever necessary. As China defends its development rights and core interests, it is also fighting for trade multilateralism with the World Trade Organization at its core and a fair environment for global development, demonstrating a strong ability to control risks and a sense of responsibility as a major country.
In the postwar era, more and more developing countries have actively participated in economic globalization, and they have achieved rapid development.
Such a situation has helped cut costs, boost investment worldwide and increase the purchasing power of the growing middle-class populations, thus further tapping the potential for global growth, and helping move globalization forward.
The US has been the biggest beneficiary of globalization. It has been working to reinforce its economic supremacy through global resource allocation.
US industries, making full use of their financial dominance and technological edge, have stayed firmly at the upper end of the value chains, and reaped huge profits. However, with a collective rise of developing countries and emerging markets, the international order and division of labor are becoming more balanced. A hegemonic Washington is not willing to see this.
China, the world’s largest developing country, is sharing development opportunities with other countries and regions by expanding imports and foreign investment as well as the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative provides a new model for cooperation that promotes a more balanced benefit distribution worldwide, and presents more options as economic globalization is facing a headwind.
However, the Cold War mentality has led some in Washington to view China’s rise as a threat to its global dominance. Their real strategic motivation in pressuring China on trade issues is to deprive China of its own development rights and to make sure it stays at the lower end of the industry value chain.
Therefore, China is not just fighting for itself. It is helping shape a fairer global economic order and safeguarding the development rights of developing countries.
Economic globalization has given rise to emerging economies. It is impossible to reverse the trend with protectionist and unilateralist practices. It is a reasonable choice for the US to acknowledge the development rights of the developing countries, and join them in making a bigger pie of global development. The article is a commentary from the Xinhua News Agency. opin[email protected] globaltimes.com.cn