China had no choice but to retaliate. Since the United States released its list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports subject to 10 percent additional tariffs on July 11, China has been weighing up its countermeasures in the interests of the peoples and businesses of both countries. Just a few days ago, while the US said it wanted to return to the negotiating table, it also announced that it was considering raising the tariffs to 25 percent. The United States damaged the interests of the Chinese nation and its people by taking matters further. China was forced to take countermeasures in line with its trade laws and international rules. China is doing this to prevent the trade dispute from escalating further. It is shouldering its responsibilities to its people, while also seeking to protect free trade, multilateralism and the common interests of other countries.
There is no winner in a trade war. China's response takes into consideration both quality and quantity based on the interests of the people, the capacity of companies, and the operation of the global industry chain. These measures are reasonable, flexible and focused.
First, China won't resort to the irrational strategy practiced by the US. Instead it follows a people-centered policy and considers all factors in its decision-making, so as to minimize the impact it may have on its people and enterprises. Under his so-called "art of the deal" strategy Trump resorts to bizarre and extreme blackmail in an attempt to affect China psychologically. However, such tricks simply won't work.
Ironically, of the $200 billion worth of products subject to additional US tariffs, many have a limited impact on China. And the Office of the US Trade Representative has postponed the deadline for submitting written comments on the products affected from August 30 to September 5. It is clear the US government has found it hard to implement these tariffs.
Two hours after China announced its retaliatory measures, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said in an interview, that China hadn't matched the tariffs dollar for dollar. But the truth is, in the light of the United States' bluffs and inconsistencies, China doesn't have to respond like for like. In its blind pursuit of votes, the Trump administration may feel no remorse in harming its own national interests and the interests of the world. However, with the interests of the Chinese people in mind, the Chinese government has solicited opinions and carefully assessed policy impacts, before finally deciding on the four-tier countermeasures that are rational and restrained.
China's decision to impose additional tariffs at four different rates on 5,207 imported US products, worth $60 billion, is based on the extent to which these American products can be replaced by alternatives in the lives of the people and in business production. Meanwhile, the four different rates were determined after a meticulous assessment of the US goods affected and their impact. Should the US target Chinese goods worth $50 billion or $200 billion with either a 10 percent or 25 percent tariff, China has fully prepared countermeasures designed for any eventuality.
If the US takes further aggressive steps, China reserves the right to introduce further countermeasures, as a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce commented. China has a huge domestic market, the world's most comprehensive range of industries, the institutional advantage of the ability to mobilize resources for major undertakings, and an unswerving strategy of opening up to the outside world. These unique advantages enable China to withstand any external shocks. In the United States, the Trump administration's unilateral protectionism policy is facing a growing wave of opposition. For example, at a hearing by the U.S. Trade Representative's Office on additional tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods at the end of July, only six of the 82 speakers were in favor. Clearly, White House policymakers have become the minority on the issue of tariffs against China and stand on the opposite side to the electorate.
The Trump administration has been escalating the situation by bluffing and engaging in aggressive blackmail, in disregard of the interests of the American public and businesses. At the same time, China has remained fully prepared and has exercised calm and restraint in order to minimize any adverse impact. China seeks to resolve trade disputes on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. It is then self-evident which of the world's two largest economies brings stability to the global economy and which is the troublemaker.
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