Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Chinese newspaper rebuts criticism of trade war with US


China’s top newspaper yesterday rebutted growing criticism in government circles that Beijing should have taken a lower profile to head off its trade war with the US, saying that, like an elephant, China cannot hide its size and strength.

The growing trade conflict is causing rifts within the Chinese Communist Party, with some critics saying that an overly nationalistic Chinese stance might have hardened the US position, sources close to the government have said.

The party’s official People’s Daily took direct aim at those it said were naysayers in an unusually public rebuttal to a debate that has been happening largely behind closed doors in policymaking circles in China.

While condemnation of the White House has come at home and abroad, there are those who have spread “specious” views on the Internet, it said in a lengthy commentary.

“One of these puts the blame on China, saying that ‘China’s strategy is too confident and high-profile, incurring a one-two punch from the United States,’” the newspaper said.

“Another of these criticizes China, saying that it shouldn’t strike back,” the newspaper said. “The meaning is — as long as China caves in, the United States will raise its hand high in mercy, and the Sino-US trade war won’t happen.”

However, it was absolutely not the case that China brought this upon itself, the newspaper said.

History showed that the US had always gone after countries, such as the former Soviet Union, Britain or Japan, that were perceived as threatening its global dominance, the newspaper said, adding that had brought China into the firing line with its enormous and growing economy.

“After more than a century of hard work, China has returned to the center of the world stage, and this is the basic fact we must observe in the China-US trade friction,” the People’s Daily said.

“Such a large size, such a heavy thing, can’t be hidden by ‘being low key,’ just like an elephant can’t hide behind a sapling,” it said.

China this week said it would slap additional 25 percent tariffs on US$16 billion of US imports in retaliation against levies on Chinese goods imposed by the US.

The move was the latest round in escalating tit-for-tat trade tensions, with US President Donald Trump aiming to pressure Beijing into making concessions.

Beijing was emerging as an “unprecedented opponent” for the US, the People’s Daily said.

“No matter what China does, in the eyes of the United States, China’s development has already ‘damaged the supremacy of the United States,’” it wrote.

However, rising trade tension with the US has become the biggest threat to the stability of the Chinese economy, Chinese State Council Development Research Center Deputy Director Wang Yiming (王一鳴) wrote in a separate column in the People’s Daily yesterday.

With trade headwinds under way, Wang called for a slew of measures to stabilize exports, including improving a state tax subsidy policy that provides tax incentives for Chinese companies to increase their exports, as well as stepping up funding support for Chinese exporters.

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