The China-US trade war, which lasted nearly two years, was finally scheduled to sign the first phase of the agreement on January 15 after 13 rounds of high-level official dialogue, two “Xi’an special meetings” and several talks.
What does this agreement contain? What kind of signal does the wording difference between Chinese and English express? What is the political significance of the agreement signed by high-profile officials from the two countries a month later? In what manner and style will the “second stage” negotiations not yet begun? Focusing on trade issues, what are the historical changes in the relationship between the two countries? What kind of prospects are shown?
The scope of the China-US negotiations is only a trade agreement, but its significance does not stop there. At today’s node, “Hong Kong 01” will attempt to comment on the above issues with 11 articles. This is the sixth article.
Yizu Huairou does not show off his soldiers, Baigou is like the Great Wall. Taiping is an unforgettable battle.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He signed the first phase of the US-China trade agreement at noon on January 15, local time, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Since the two countries announced that they will sign the first phase of the trade agreement, the voice of China being forced to sign the “Union of the City” and the “Treaty of Horses and Horses” for China has never ceased. Even Chinese President Xi Jinping’s failure to sign in the United States was interpreted as Xi’s unwillingness to bear the responsibility of signing an alliance under the city.
Means a humiliating covenant forced to be signed under the threat of enemy force. Code from “Zuo Zhuan · Gong Gong Twelve Years”, “The defeat, return for the alliance under the city.” During the Spring and Autumn Period of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, the Chu State attacked the neighboring state and defeated the State. After the defeat of the State, the soldiers approached the capital of the State and forced them to conclude a humiliating treaty.
Regarding the China-U.S. Trade war, the topic that the world likes to discuss the most is “Who loses and wins in China and the United States?” In fact, trade, especially between the two countries, and even now is a time when global logistics is almost nowhere to be found. Winning or losing is not a simple binary opposition.
Between winning and losing-the “Union of the City”
Negotiations between China and the United States have never been simple. Just like that, in order to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), China experienced 15 years of long negotiations, and the negotiations with the United States were particularly difficult. After the China-U.S. Consultations in May 1989, China seemed to have set foot in the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade / GATT. China’s negotiations in 1995 were for “entry into the customs”. After 1995, due to the establishment of the World Trade Organization Becomes “entry into the WTO”). However, after the “June 4th Incident”, the United States categorically suspended its negotiations with China, and everything changed overnight. Various stringent orders by US officials during the negotiations also frequently staged.
On October 10, 1992, the China-US trade negotiations on the 301 investigation reached the last day. In the afternoon, the deputy representative of the United States suddenly talked, and the chief representative Carla Hills dropped the Chinese representative and went to Europe for a meeting. Later, in April 1999, Zhu Rongji, then Premier of the State Council, led a team to the United States for negotiations. During the period when the Chinese side was completely unaware, the United States released its unilaterally drafted China-US The 17-page annex to the WTO’s Joint Statement on Accession to the WTO publishes many U.S. asking prices that the Chinese have not agreed to, and calls them the results of the negotiations in an attempt to force China into compliance. At the US dinner on April 9 that year, Zhu Rongji, who was late for an hour, had revealed his helplessness, “China has made great concessions … I am not worried about stepping down. I am worried that even if I signed this agreement, The Chinese people will not agree. “
Even before the signing of the agreement with the United States in November 1999, similar unidentified bridges are still being staged.
At 5 am on November 14, 1999, Charlene Barshefsky, the US leader, gave an ultimatum to Chinese negotiator Shi Guang, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China-it must be reached by the then US President Clinton An agreement was reached before, otherwise the US delegation will announce the suspension of negotiations and leave Beijing on the morning of the 15th. While Shi Guangsheng and Zhu Rongji were energized, the U.S. delegation left the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China and left without saying goodbye.
If China today is no longer able to accept the “Under the City Alliance” from any country-including the United States, the first power, then it must be acknowledged that in order to “join the WTO”, China was inevitable in the negotiations with the US team. The ground encountered all kinds of passive and embarrassing. Around the talks about 20 years ago, at that time, questions about “China and the United States signing an under-urban alliance” were far more common than they are now. Many leftists think that if they do not sign the WTO agreement, they will not sign it. Moreover, although China still needs to be open, China’s economy could not afford the competition of the international community.
Back in 2020, what is the actual situation in China 19 years after joining the WTO? In fact, the Chinese economy entered the fast track of development during the subsequent Hu Wen decade (Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao), which grew rapidly from the sixth largest economy in the world, surpassed Japan in 2011, and became the second largest economy in the world. Today, it has become the world’s largest economy on many indexes.
Weakness and strength: Is Chinese clothing soft?
In fact, before the first shot of the China-U.S. Trade war in 2018, Trump had already fought the EU and Mexico two times. The reason why there was not much public opinion was that these two regions and countries quickly agreed to the United States. Requirements.
The United States announced in March 2018 a waiver of 25% steel tax and 10% aluminum tax on the EU. Even with strong opposition from Europe, the once-exempted tariffs were added back on June 1 of that year. Trump had an argument with French President Macron because of trade issues. Macron tried to dissuade the United States from deciding to impose tariffs, but Trump did not seem to listen. Macron was also polite, saying directly on Twitter, “We don’t mind G7 changing to G6.”
Trump also threatened to impose tariffs on EU cars, which would have a serious impact on German carmakers. Therefore, we can more intuitively understand the gunpowder-flavored picture on the G7 published by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Twitter on June 12, 2018, and why many Germans said, “If this photo is sent during the election, Merkel supports The rate has definitely gone up. “
Compared with the European Union, the dispute between the United States and Canada is more obvious. Although Canada has long followed the United States, when Trump ran for the 2016 election, he called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the “worst trade agreement,” claiming to renegotiate with Canada and Mexico. In mid-2017, the consultation was concluded. As a result, like the European Union, the United States began to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico on the grounds of national security.
Earlier, the United States had a larger trade war with Japan. In the more than 30 years since World War II, Japan’s economy has grown rapidly, and in the early 1980s, the US-Japan trade surplus reached 37 billion U.S. dollars, occupying a major part of the US foreign trade deficit. Japan’s industrial capacity at that time gradually surpassed that of the United States, which made the United States feel a sense of crisis. Since 1975, the United States has launched a total of 15 “301 investigations” against Japan, and was even referred to as the “Pearl Harbor Incident in the 1980s.” In 1985, under the auspices of the United States, the five nations, including Japan, signed The Plaza Accord in New York. The five governments jointly intervened in the foreign exchange market and induced the depreciation of the US dollar against major currencies in order to solve the US’s huge trade deficit. As a result, Japan adopted a loose monetary policy and a proactive fiscal policy, which eventually caused a crazy real estate bubble and ushered in its “lost 20 years.”
Through these seemingly irrelevant matters to China, it can be seen that whenever the United States, the world’s number one power, wields a weapon of trade war, only China today has waged a long and various form of resistance. From March 2018 to the present, China and the United States have conducted 13 rounds of high-level negotiations. Among them, there have been two “Xi’an special meetings.” The temperature has been cold and warm. The public opinion of the two countries has been arguing endlessly. It has even become the biggest factor affecting global development. .
Therefore, external analysis and opinions on the specific content of the first-phase agreement signed by China and the United States must be different. However, it is undeniable that compared with other countries, China is already the most difficult opponent to overcome in this round of trade negotiations.
The next development window?
So, what will happen to the two countries after the signing of the first phase of the China-US trade agreement? For China, after reducing various US foreign trade constraints, China will have more energy to focus on its own domestic development. China may usher in another turning point not only in economic but also in military and other developments.
But the impact of the China-US agreement is only part of the story. On January 11, 2020, officials from the National Development and Reform Commission of China announced that China’s gross domestic product is expected to be close to 100 trillion yuan (1 yuan or about 0.14 US dollars) in 2019. The annual CPI (Consumer Price Index), new Indicators such as employment growth, residents’ income, and the RMB exchange rate are all in a reasonable space. China’s per capita GDP is expected to exceed US $ 10,000 for the first time, which represents a major transformation of China’s social structure.
Judging from various economic indicators in 2019, China’s economic growth is shifting from the “high-speed stage” to the “medium-high-speed” “high-quality development stage”, but China is still the world’s economy with a GDP of more than one trillion US dollars. The fastest country. However, when the Chinese government has arranged economic work in recent years, the trade-off between “quantity” and “quality” has changed. In the report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017, the main contradiction in Chinese society changed from “the contradiction between the people’s growing material and cultural needs and backward social production” to “the people’s growing needs for a better life and inadequate balance “The contradiction between development” signifies that the focus of the Chinese government’s economic work has shifted from “quantity” to “quality”.
Corresponding to this, the “three major battles” proposed by the Communist Party of China in 2017 are to prevent and resolve major risks, and to precisely eliminate poverty and prevent pollution. The “three major battles” have solved the problems of high financial leverage, intensified differentiation between the rich and the poor, and serious environmental pollution caused by the pure pursuit of “quantity” in the Chinese economy since the reform and opening up. The purpose is to lay the foundation for high-quality economic development in the future. At the end of 2019, the CPC Central Committee issued a heavy document “Creating a better development environment to support the reform and development of private enterprises”, which will also create policy conditions for China’s private economy to get rid of various concerns and embark on the fast track of development.
Therefore, for Zhongnanhai, in a relatively stable external environment, efforts to successfully achieve domestic social and economic transformation are a period of development for China. In fact, just before the signing of the first-phase agreement between China and the United States, there were a number of foreign institutions in China predicting that the Chinese stock market would usher in a surge in 2020. And 2021 will be the “first century” of the Communist Party’s senior officials, that is, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. Judging from the CCP’s ruling style, Zhongnanhai will do its best to create a good opportunity for itself to meet this important historical moment.