|The Cyprus Mail Publishes Ambassador HUANG Xingyuan's Article Entitled "Trade Liberalization Needs Our Protection"|
On 7 April 2018, The Cyprus Mail, Cyprus's largest-circulation English newspaper, published Ambassador Huang Xingyuan's Article Entitled "Trade Liberalization Needs Our Protection".
The full text is as follows:
On 3 April 2018, based on the results of the unilateral findings of the 301 investigation, the U.S. government announced that it would impose an additional 25 percent tariff on imported products origin from China. Approximately US$50 billion of Chinese exports to the United States is involved. The U.S. measure clearly violates the relevant rules of the World Trade Organization, seriously violates China's legitimate rights and interests under the rules of the World Trade Organization, and threatens China's economic interests and security. In response to this emergency, on 4 April 2018, Chinese government annouced that we will equivalently take measures to impose additional 25% tariff on imported products origin from the United States and approximately $50 billion of China's imports from the United States in 2017 will be involved. Although the effective date hasn't been annouced, it caused great concern from the public: does that marks the first gunshot of the China-U.S. trade war? What other actions will China take? There are questions the world has to care.
For a long time the Chinese leaders have sent a very clear message to Americans on various occasions that China and the United States have more common interests than differences, and cooperation is the only correct choice for both. China reiterated all along its hope to work together with the United States to enlarge the cake of cooperation. It asked the United States to relax controls over the export of high-tech products to China as a way to narrow the trade deficit, and refrained itself from joining the trade war with the United States. However, President Donald Trump makes it difficult for the good wishes of the Chinese leaders to be realized.
President Trump is wielding the big stick of trade protectionism as his recipe to solve economic and trade issues, as he is used to solve diplomatic issues through sanctions. His philosophy is "spare the rod, spoil the child". Surprisingly his blackmail tactics have made a few countries to retract their heads into their shells.
The lure is there-as long as one concedes to the United States and jumps on the bandwagon to carry out tough measures against China, it can be exempted from the U.S. tariff measures. Under this circumstance, some rush to be close with the United States and show loyalty, and other politicians shift targets towards the East, point fingers and cast blame upon China. The innocent bystander China is hurt, while the one provoking a trade war is emboldened.
The "big tariff stick" raised by President Trump is based on three wrong judgments: first, China is the cause for the large trade deficit of the United States; second, the former presidents of the United States were all blinded and only he has eyes; and third, the sticks can solve all problems. Nowadays, the appeasement policies adopted by some European countries and the behavior of "forgetting friendship for profit" are opening "Pandora's box" that will make these ridiculous judgments to succeed. If it continues, the world trade order defended by the Europe itself in the past will collapse, and international trade rules will be brutally trampled on. This is very dangerous for the world trade, and even more harmful to the world fairness and justice.
It is known to all that the U.S. trade deficit with China is a result of multiple factors, one of which is the United States does not want to share with China its premium products and truly valuable goods. Relying on export of fruits, soybeans, and recycled metals will never narrow the trade deficit. Relaxing the control on export of high-tech products to China may be a solution for the United States, and the Chinese government has proposed this for a long time.
As two huge markets linked by the "Belt and Road", Europe and China share extensive common interests and similar positions in actively advocating free trade, firmly safeguarding the international multilateral trade system and enhancing global economic governance. Europeans can also understand that surrendering to the stick only invites more sticks. It takes hard work to establish a rule, yet it takes only a minute for a decision to demolish it. More importantly, China serves as the largest contributor to the world economic growth and trade as well as the staunch supporter for world peace and development. Therefore, actions to contain China's development is actually a betrayal of the world progress, especially when the global economy is just moving onto the track of recovery. The environment for trade liberalization is in need of protection from the international community. To this end, China has set up a model in which it strives to maintain fairness and justice in international trade even at the expense of sacrificing its own interests. If Europe does not have as much courage as China, then being even a "bystander" is a better option than being a helper in aiding a tyrant.