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Chinese Ambassador H.E. Liu Hongyang's Article "China Does Not Want A Trade War" Published on Nation

2019-06-13

    On 13 June 2019, an article titled "China Does Not Want A Trade War" by H.E. Liu Hongyang, the Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, was published on Nation, one of Malawi's leading newspaper. Following is the full text of the article:

    Now, the global economy finds itself in a big storm. Major global stock markets and foreign exchange markets are fluctuating drastically. Global trade is suffering from shocks. Multilateralism is strongly challenged by unilateralism. The world’s multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank have repeatedly lowered their economic growth forecasts for this year. The steady growth of the world economy is becoming increasingly unpredictable. Unilateralism, trade protectionism and trade bullying have become the enemy of the world. Tariffs have become weapons of terrors. All of these sad development is the work of the US. In the past few months, allies, neighbors and cooperation partners of the US have become the victims of the “big stick” of tariffs by the US government. As the world's largest trader of goods and the largest trading partner of the US, China is the first to bear the brunt. In order to provide a comprehensive picture of the China-US economic and trade consultations, the State Council Information Office of China released a White Paper named China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations on 2 June 2019. On the sad development and trade consultations between China and the US in particular, I would like to share my following thinking:

    First, the world economy has become an inseparable whole. Free trade and economic globalization are the inevitable result of the highly developed global economic activities, which are safe-guarded by multilateral trading systems and arrangements. Economic globalization and multilateral trading systems have become the only way for global economic development and the irreversible trend of human social development. In this "global village", economic globalization has brought the world with great achievements and success through inextricably inter-dependency and chains of production and supply with one another. Win-win cooperation has become the hallmark of the economic globalization. Globalization is the trend of times. As a famous Chinese saying goes, “The trend of the world is surging forward. Those who follow the trend will prosper, and those who go against it will perish”. If one still assumes air of self-importance, moves against the trend of the times, and exhausts all mental efforts to shoot for the so-called "absolute advantage" by fortifying its own walls while sabotaging others’ development efforts, one can only end up shooting himself in the foot, and will never become “great again”.

    Second, China’s development is the result of it’s own wisdom and toil. With a history of 5000 years, the Chinese nation has always been hardworking and innovative. Since the founding of People’s Republic of China in 1949, especially since the reform and opening up in 1978, China has taken development as its top priority, comprehensively deepened reforms in various fields, actively participated in economic globalization and international division of labor, and rapidly grew into the world's second largest economy. It is undeniable that investment from US has played a positive role in China's development, but it is beyond comprehension to say that the US "rebuilded" China. According to statistics, China has utilized more than 2 trillion US dollars of foreign capital since 1987, of which the US has invested 80 billion, accounting for only 4.06%. Just 80 billion US dollars to “rebuild” China with 9.6 million square kilometers of land and 1.3 billion people is a pure fantasy! The fundamental reason for China's success is that China has found a development path that suits itself - the socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics. Besides, The success is also attributed to China’s actively seizing and integrating into the tide of economic globalization, and the diligence and wisdom of the Chinese nation.

    Third, China will not give in on issues of principle. For the China-US economic and trade frictions, China has always shown great sincerity and made active efforts. Up to now, China has held 11 rounds of high-level consultations with the US. In December 2018, the heads of state of China and the US reached important consensus on resolving trade imbalances during the G20 Summit in Argentina. After that, the Chinese side has made every effort to stay in the course of the consensus with a view to reaching a trade agreement that is equal and mutually beneficial. Regrettably, the US always changed its mind even faster than turning pages. It often happened that the statement of “things are going well” was followed by groundless accusations against China. During the course of the consultations, the US has tried every means to “outsmart” the agreed principles of the consensus, wishing to have an unrealistic “upper hand”. I just want to name a few. The US argued to maintain the imposed tariffs even after the expected trade agreement was reached. The US insisted that China abolish the "Made in China 2025" development strategy. The US demanded China to “reform” its economic system and laws. The US demanded to have a “long-arm jurisdiction” in Chinese companies with the “enforcement” of the agreement. The US has sanctioned Huawei and other high-tech Chinese companies using its state power with the disguise of the “national security”. These have seriously violated China's sovereignty, security and development rights. Times has changed. China today is not the China of the 19th century. Believing every country has its own principles and the right to development independently, China can not yield to such unfair conditions and unreasonable demands by the US. China will never compromise on sovereignty, security and development rights.

    Fourth, China is ready. The US government should bear the sole and entire responsibility for the severe setback in the China-US economic and trade consultations. The US uses its position as a superpower to arbitrarily launch trade wars against many countries, and disturbs and undermines the global economic order. The fundamental purpose is to suppress the development of other countries and maintain its global hegemony. In the face of the US trade bullying, China is fully confident to overcome the difficulties and turn crisis into opportunity because China has the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the support of domestic consumption that contributes 76.2% to China’s GDP growth, the most complete modern industrial system in the world certified by the UN, more than 3 trillion-US dollar-foreign exchange reserve, and the unity of and strong support from its people. Meanwhile, most countries in the world support multilateralism and oppose unilateralism. As a Chinese saying goes: “A just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust one finds few followers.”

    Finally, I want to reemphasize that in the wave of globalization, China’s development will not be smooth, and there will be difficulties, obstacles and even storms. China will stick to multilateralism and continue to deepen reform and opening-up. China's door will not be closed, but will only open wider. We are deepening exchanges and cooperation with countries around the world through Belt and Road initiative, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China International Import Expo and other platforms with a view to achieving to build a community with shared future for mankind through mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation. China would like to reach an agreement with the US based on principles of equality and mutual benefit. However, cooperation comes with principles, and negotiations have a bottom line. China will never compromise on major principles concerning sovereignty and development rights. The solution to the China-US trade disputes lies entirely on the US’ sincerity and good faith. But no matter what the choice is going to be, China is ready. China is open to negotiations. China does not want a trade war, but will fight to the end if forced.

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