5 years ago

The trade war has subtle variables, China cannot retreat to core interests.

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china trade war

On October 10th, Beijing time, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Hefei, the Chinese premier of the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, conducted the 13th round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultations with the US, but the outside world clearly felt that the China-US trade war is being given to both sides. As a result of more serious injuries, the two countries are slipping into the “deep water zone”.

Both China and the United States are hit hard by trade wars

For the new round of economic and trade talks between China and the United States, many people have noticed a subtle change. On October 8, when China officially disclosed the Liu He negotiation trip, he did not mention his title of “Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy.”

This detail adjustment has greatly reduced the expectations of the outside world. If Liu He has this title to negotiate in the United States, it means that he is authorized to make major decisions. On behalf of the negotiations, there is likely to be significant progress. On the contrary, the absence of this title reflects that this round may be only a practical consultation, and may not have significant results.

On the same day, the US Department of Commerce added a total of 28 institutions and enterprises from China’s local public security organs and technology companies to the trade blacklist, which also added a shadow to the upcoming China-US trade negotiations.

One background of this round of negotiations is that both China and the United States are suffering from a major blow to the trade war. The US economy and multinational corporations have long suffered. The World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report recently announced that the US champion’s throne was replaced by Singapore, which is believed to be due to the China-US trade war. Some recent signs from China indicate that the country is also suffering from serious damage from trade wars.

China’s GDP growth rate in 2019 was 6.4% in the first quarter and 6.2% in the second quarter. Most economists expect China’s economic growth rate in the third quarter to be around 6.1%, and continue to test China’s lowest growth rate in the past 30 years.

In mid-September, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang admitted that the Chinese economy can maintain a growth rate of more than 6% during the 24th meeting of the Chinese and Russian prime ministers. The Chinese economy is facing factors such as slowing world economic growth, protectionism and rising unilateralism. Certain downward pressure.

In late September, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said at a press conference that “foreign trade has faced unprecedented challenges since this year.” “Chinese companies face more difficulties, especially due to trade frictions.”

In addition, some observers have noticed that China’s tone of the trade war has changed. The French newspaper World article said, “The first year of the trade war was thought to have no effect on the Chinese economy. The Communist Party’s propaganda said that the main victims were American companies. Then, as the Chinese economy slowed down, the situation changed. After this, the slogan is that no one can win from a commercial or technical conflict.”

It can be seen that on the one hand both China and the United States are suffering huge damage from the trade war, and it is urgent to press the “pause button”; on the other hand, the two sides either barely make a move or stick to the bottom line, they are insisting on sticking their teeth and refuse to give in. The two countries are inevitably slipping into the “deep water zone” in mutual pull.

As far as the Chinese side is concerned, although recent signs indicate that it is under tremendous pressure from the trade war, it is certainly impossible to make concessions on principle issues and core interests.

China has difficulty in principle concessions

The trade war issue is very complicated and not a purely economic issue. Many viewpoints believe that there is a contest between China and the United States, and there are fundamental and structural contradictions. Therefore, this trade war is inevitable and will not end in the short term.

As far as the “eight appeals” put forward at the beginning of the US negotiations, the “core interests” that touched China have at least three aspects. First, economic development cannot be hindered by the interests of the US, especially “Made in China 2025”. The second is sovereign independence. The Chinese government has the dominant power over the economic development of the country. It cannot be interfered by the US and accepts the US to monitor it. The third is national security. It cannot be restricted by people because of excessive market opening, such as agriculture involving the national economy and the people’s livelihood.

On September 29, Wang Fuwen, deputy minister of the Ministry of Commerce and deputy representative of international trade negotiations, one of the Chinese negotiators, made a statement when he talked about Liu He’s visit to the United States. “China’s position on the negotiations is consistent and clear. The Chinese principle has been emphasized many times.”

China has experienced setbacks and risks both at home and abroad for more than half a century. Now it has grown into the second largest economy in the world where the only superpower America feels threatened. The reason is to uphold its own position and interests and maintain continuous development. Inertia, always able to make choices based on their own advantages and disadvantages.

China has experienced a more severe domestic and international situation than it has in the past, and there have been few concessions on matters involving principle issues and core interests. Nowadays, the possibility of compromising the United States on these issues of principle and core interests on the issue of trade wars is almost non-existent.

In fact, the China-US trade negotiations have gone through 13 rounds since the beginning of 2018. The reasons for the many disappointments in the middle are that on the one hand, the US demands are difficult for China to contact; on the other hand, China is on the issue of principles and core interests. hold fast.

For example, “Made in China 2025” once caused the US to focus and be vigilant. The Chinese side later lowered the propaganda and adjustments, but China apparently did not give up the plan. In the process of the continuous trade war between China and the United States, China’s plan is also continuing to move forward.

The China-US trade war has been a long tug-of-war. Both sides have punched and punched the meat and suffered serious injuries. Moreover, the top leaders and elites of both countries are aware of this, and in the end they are still caught in the dilemma of mutual harm.

In fact, from the perspective of cooperation and mutual benefit, it is in the common interest of China and the United States to suspend the China-US trade war and reach partial agreements.

This should require some degree of compromise between both parties.


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