Sat, May 18, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Chinese state media evoke patriotism as trade dispute with the US escalates

‘FIRM AS A BOULDER’:The ‘People’s Daily’ said that after more than 5,000 years of history, China has faced all imaginable challenges and would continue to do so

Reuters, BEIJING

Workers manufacture products that are to be exported to the US at a factory in Binzhou, China, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

A trade war with the US will only make China stronger and will never bring the country to its knees, the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily wrote yesterday in a front-page commentary that evoked the patriotic spirit of past wars.

Beijing has yet to say whether or how it would retaliate to the latest escalation in trade tensions, which saw Washington put Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (華為) on a blacklist that would make it extremely difficult for the telecom giant to do business with US companies.

The world’s two largest economies are locked in an increasingly acrimonious trade dispute that has seen them level escalating tariffs on each other’s imports in the middle of negotiations, adding to fears about risks to global growth and knocking financial markets.

The US is not sincere about wanting to resume trade talks with China and has damaged the atmosphere for negotiations with its recent moves, Taoran Notes, a WeChat account run by the China Economic Daily, said in a post late on Thursday that was reposted by the People’s Daily.

Without sincerity, there was no point in coming for talks and nothing to talk about, it said.

China, which on Wednesday reported unexpectedly weak growth in retail sales and industrial output, yesterday said that the effects of trade frictions on its economy were “controllable.”

“[We will] fully study the impact of the additional tariffs imposed by the United States, and promptly introduce countermeasures as needed to ensure that the economy operates within a reasonable range,” Chinese National Development and Reform Commission spokeswoman Meng Wei (孟瑋) told a media briefing.

In the commentary, the People’s Daily described China’s determination to protect its national interests and dignity as being as “firm as a boulder.”

“The trade war can’t bring China down. It will only harden us to grow stronger,” it said.

“What kind of storms have not been seen, what bumps have not been experienced by China, with its more than 5,000 years of civilization? In the face of typhoons, the nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people have confidence and stamina,” it added.

Huawei unit HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體), which purchases US semiconductors for its parent, has been secretly developing backup products for years in case Huawei was one day unable to obtain the advanced chips and technology it buys from the US, its president told staff in a letter yesterday.

“Today, the wheel of destiny has turned and we have arrived at this extreme and dark moment, as a super-nation ruthlessly disrupts the world’s technology and industry system,” the letter said.

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