APD Review | China fighting back Trump may open a new gate for dialogue

BY APD NEWSApr 02,2018 at 21:08

By APD writer Wang Peng

China’s  announcement of its imports charges on U.S. goods as a response to Trump administration’s threat of a trade war may urge the United States to negotiate with China to settle the trade disputes.

The Chinese Ministry of Finance announced late Sunday in a statement that it would retaliate for the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminium by imposing its own import charges on a list of 128 U.S. goods, including agricultural products ranging from fruit to frozen pork.

“In order to safeguard China’s interests and balance the losses caused by the US measures to China’s interests, China has suspended duties on seven categories of 128 imported goods originating in the United States from duty duties on April 2, 2018, based on the current applicable tariff rates.,” said the statement.

“Tariffs have been imposed on the importation of tariffs on 120 items of imported goods such as fruits and products, and a tariff rate of 25 per cent on 8 items such as pork and products. The current policy of tax-free and tax-exemption remains unchanged,” the statement added.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that its list of Chinese goods that will face tariffs would bemore than $50bn in total and include “largely high-technology things”.

What happened to China-U.S. ties?

In recent years, as China has accelerated its rise on the world stage, the United States has tightened its wariness on China. Especially after President Donald Trump took office, the two countries not only exacerbated their frictions in the fields of security and political, but also the essential bilateral economic and trade relations, which have been playing a role as “ballasting stones” and “stabilizers” in Sino-U.S. relations for long. But now, this “problem solver” becomes the “problem” itself.

In response, China has made a lot of concrete work to ease the tensions between the two countries. For example, the “100-Day Action Plan of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue” was jointly drafted and implemented by the leaders of both countries at their last summit.

China and the United States later signed deals worth 253.5 billion U.S. dollars during Trump's visit to China and China promised to accelerate its financial liberalization.

The “honeymoon” of China and the United States seemed to have reached a peak when the two leaders met and talked in the Forbidden City in Beijing.

However, with its“National Security Strategy Report” and the “National Defence Strategy”, the United States has clearly named China as a “strategic rival.”

Trump also signed the “Taiwan Travel Act”, which violated China’s red line. The U.S. President announced its plan of a trade war against China on March 23, all of which drastically changed the situation of bilateral relations and even created the frustrated atmosphere of betrayal among Chinese people. In one word, Trump’s string of tough moves awaked China.

An all-out trade war?

Possible, but not likely.

China has actively integrated itself into the world, entering the WTO even facing heavy censure. Today, the facts have proved that China’s path of opening-integration and reform-progression is successful and beneficial to both China and the world. The overall poverty alleviation of the its people provides a huge market and opportunity for all countries in the world.

In the previous China-US Mar-a-Lago Summit, the Chinese president stated that “We have one thousand reasons to promote Sino-U.S. relations while there is no reason to damage it. Cooperation is the only correct way between us.”His words revealed the nature of Sino-U.S. relations and pointed out their path of the future.

China’s counterattack is not to trigger a tradewar but warn the United States in a determined, polite, and prudent way.

To sum up, if Washington accurately understands Beijing’s intentions and sit downfor dialogue, then China and the United States can still be good friends and partners.

On the other hand, if the United States misinterprets those words and decisions made by China, a trade war will cause huge losses for both countries, as well as the world economy as a whole.


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