Countermeasures only answer to US tariff escalation

BEIJING (Xinhua) – After the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced it would slap additional 10 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports from September 1, China has declared in a clear-cut way: it will take necessary countermeasures.

The trade friction between the two countries has lasted for over a year, and some people in the US have confronted China with flip-flopping, maximum pressure and trade bullying. Such capricious acts are still escalating.

China has strong perseverance and capability to protect its own interests. Facing a firm and resolute China, the US side proved unable to reconcile itself to its futility and launched a new round of offensive.

But what is the use of that? This will merely show once again that China is not afraid of maximum pressure, will prove that there are no winners in a trade war, and that escalating economic and trade friction only harms China and the US, and the world at large.

Some people in the US are waving tariff sticks, and the damage these actions have caused to themselves is nearing critical levels. In fact, some people in the US openly admit that they are worried that if all the remaining USD300 billion worth of Chinese goods are hit with additional tariffs, then US consumers will have to face higher prices during the holidays shopping season. It will cause more pain to the US side than the Chinese side.

Tugboats manoeuvre a container ship at a port in Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province. PHOTO: AP

It seems they know that by heading down a blind alley, they will inevitably hit a wall. Yet they have proven reluctant to turn back, and thus are doomed to bump their heads.

Some people in the US should ask themselves, why have these aggressive moves in the name of protecting national interests always ended up with contrary results? In an era of globalisation, the world’s two largest economies are so closely intertwined that it is impossible to set them apart, and the edifice of Sino-US economic cooperation, built by people from both sides over the past four decades, will not be brought down merely by tariff sticks.

Is there a solution to the Sino-US trade friction? The answer is yes, and it has already been demonstrated in the consensus reached between the two heads of state in Argentina and Osaka, Japan, namely that differences should be settled through consultations based on equality and mutual respect.

As a major world economy, China has the capability of deterring any provocation and attempt that infringes on the country’s interests, safeguarding its principles on major issues and fighting until securing a fair and just result.