On 2 June 2019, the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China released a White Paper, namely China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations, which has become global headlines over the past weeks. We have noticed the reactions of the international community and understand the concerns of various parties. Indeed, the escalation of China-US trade row will not only harm the interests of either side but also impact the global economy. Here, I’d like to reiterate the following points:
Every setback in China-US Economic and Trade talks was the result of a US breach of consensus and commitments, and backtracking. The White Paper offers a complete and accurate account of the whole process of consultations and presents the facts and truth. In the previous more than ten rounds of negotiations, the more the US government is offered, the more it wants. Resorting to intimidation and coercion, the US persisted with exorbitant demands, maintained the additional tariffs imposed, and insisted on including mandatory requirements concerning China’s sovereign affairs in the deal. All of these served to delay the resolution of differences. The US government accusation of Chinese backtracking is totally groundless.
The trade friction between China and the US is a question of openness and connectivity versus exclusion and protectionism. China follows the ideas of the former. On the contrary, the US relying on its superior power frequently resorts to the threat of raising tariffs and triggering “trade wars” without hesitation. In order to gain an unfair competitive advantage, the US government even put Huawei Technology Company on a “blacklist”and banned the sale or technology cooperation. The unilateral measures and protectionism of the US go against the WTO rules, damage the multilateral trading system, disrupt global industrial chains and supply chains, undermine market confidence, and pose a serious challenge to global economic recovery and a major threat to the trend of economic globalization.
Concerning the differences and frictions on the economic and trade front, China’s position has been consistent，clear and firm. We believe cooperation serves the interests of the two countries and conflict will hurt both as well as the world. Dialogue and consultation are the correct choice. China is willing to work with the US to find solutions and to reach a mutually beneficial and win-win agreement.
China does notwant a trade war, however China is not afraid of fighting one and won’t give ground on issues of principle. During consultations, a country’s sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and any agreement reached by the two sides must be based on equality and mutual benefit. Both China and the US should see and recognize their countries’ differences in national development and in stage of development, and respect each other’s development path and basic institutions. China will continue to get support from the friendly countries in this just cause against trade bullying and power politics.
No challenge can hold back China’s development. China remains committed to its own cause no matter how the external environment changes. The fundamental solution to economic and trade tensions is to grow stronger through reform and opening up. China’s inclusive development will have more positive interactions with the world, which in turn will advance the development and prosperity of both China and the world.
RAO Hongwe Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Rwanda