China-US trade negotiations resumed on Tuesday (July 9), while Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan rarely attended the World Peace Forum one day ago, sideways responding to the challenges of trade wars against China, emphasizing strategic strength and confidence.
Since the China-US trade war more than a year ago, Beijing has repeatedly emphasized “strategic power”. What does this mean?
On July 9, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made a call, and Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan attended. China-US trade negotiations officially restarted after the G20 Osaka Summit.
At present, although the G20 Osaka Hite will allow the China-US trade war to be suspended, the two sides will also succumb to the increase in tariffs, but this does not mean that the situation will certainly be optimistic. The differences between China and the United States on trade agreements are obvious. The United States is more conservative about the outcome of the next round of negotiations. Larry Kudlow, economic adviser around Trump, recently said that the quality of the negotiations More important than speed, it can be seen that negotiations have a long way to go.
On July 8, Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Peace Forum hosted by Tsinghua University in 2019, and responded to the China-US trade war. He said that China will persist in doing its own thing, respond to the uncertainty of the external environment with strategic strength and self-confidence, and firmly follow the path of peaceful development. “Strategic power and self-confidence” is actually China’s attitude toward trade wars.
In this context, Beijing’s recent statements on the trade war have become more and more firm.
Beijing responded strongly to trade negotiations
Prior to this speech by Wang Qishan, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce had twice responded to questions about the China-US trade war.
On July 2, the Ministry of Commerce of China held a special press conference to release China’s use of foreign capital from January to May this year. The data shows that the global foreign investment has risen against the trend, and the actual use of foreign capital was 369.06 billion. Yuan Renminbi (1 yuan is about 0.15 US dollars), a year-on-year increase of 6.8%, and overseas capital has not been “evacuated” because of the trade war.
The Director of the Department of Comprehensive Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce, Chu Shijia, said that in the face of complex international economic and trade environment and complicated domestic reform tasks, the Ministry of Commerce is fully committed to “stabilizing foreign trade and stabilizing foreign investment”. It cannot blame all problems and difficulties on China-US trade frictions. The external migration of enterprises is directly linked to economic and trade frictions.
On July 4, at the regular press conference of the Ministry of Commerce, the Chinese side showed the “card” for the China-US negotiations. The spokesman said that if the two sides can reach a trade agreement, they must cancel all the tariffs imposed by the US on Chinese products. At the same time, they hope that the US can implement its commitments and stop using the state power to suppress Chinese enterprises as soon as possible.
At the same time, the Ministry of Commerce did not give specific plans for China’s commitment to purchase US agricultural products. British media Reuters reported that the Chinese side can only determine the commitment to purchase agricultural products under the premise of a comprehensive agreement.
Urging the United States to “release” Huawei, and canceling all tariffs as a clear condition for negotiating trade agreements, these seem to make China’s response seem more “tough” than before.
The essence of China-US contradiction
China’s choice to deal with the trade war in this way stems from the cognition of the contradictory nature behind the China-US trade war.
There are structural contradictions between China and the United States. This is the inevitable result of China’s rise and global political shock. The rise of China’s strength and the relative decline of US influence have made the United States and even the Western world centered on the United States anxious.
The US’s suppression of Chinese technology company Huawei is the best example – it’s not just about national security in the United States, but from the frontier technology and information, the United States’ inability to adapt to China’s rising strength, and the two countries’ Structural contradictions. The United States must grasp the global dominance of science and technology, as well as at the economic and trade and geopolitical levels.
Behind the trade war is the fact that the global landscape is changing. Western economic and political systems, and even ideology and cultural systems, face challenges in this change.
It is for this reason that the Chinese side knows that neither “hard-hitting” nor “surrender” is the solution to the problem, because no matter whether it is concession or not, the United States cannot truly “leave” the leading-edge Huawei, and it is even more impossible to voluntarily give up the containment. China’s strategy, especially now after the Trump administration has shaken anti-China sentiment.
For China, China-US relations need to be stable, but it is most important to continue their own development. In this process, the role of strategic determination will be highlighted. How to escalate the tensions in the escalation of the situation without increasing tensions in the United States and safeguarding its own rights and interests will be a long-term test for China.