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US-China Trade War Negotiations

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A news report by China.org.cn on China’s attitude towards China-US trade friction.

On June 2, China released a white paper titled “China’s Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations.” It reviewed the tortuous economic and trade negotiations between China and the United States over the past year, clarified China’s position on the subject, and addressed issues of common concern for various sectors of society and the international community.

The white paper contained ample statistics confirming that the China-U.S. trade friction provoked by Washington has done little good for the United States but harmed others. China has repeatedly stressed that no one will win a trade war. The economies of the two countries are deeply integrated. They have jointly formed a complete industrial chain, and are so closely connected that the root of the ties cannot be changed, even if there are problems in the external environment.

For more than a year, the friction has gradually caused erosive effects. Recently, U.S. businesses have voiced strong objections to raising tariffs, saying that the tariffs will only result in higher costs and harm American consumers and companies. The hikes also threaten the U.S. capacity for innovation, and could provoke countermeasures against U.S. farmers. All of these may eventually damage U.S. employment and economic growth.

China has a large economy, huge market and extensive leeway in policy. It is fully capable of dealing with a whole range of uncertainties. Its economic stability and long-term growth are well recognized by many around the world. Its future development will not be impeded by temporary difficulties.

The white paper also conveyed a series of undeniable facts. They demonstrate that the current difficulties in negotiations are caused by Washington’s repeatedly breaking promises and not acting in good faith. At the three most critical moments during negotiations, Washington unwisely launched new measures to impose tariffs on Chinese goods. These measures gravely affected the atmosphere of negotiation, and violated the principle of equal consultation. To be frank, in the whole process, Washington has taken up the tariff as a weapon, and tried to turn negotiation into a game in which it can freely impose pressure on the other, dictate terms to the other and ask the other to give in, while making no attempt to compromise on its own side. These behaviors fully demonstrate Washington’s unilateralism in negotiation.

Economic and trade relations between China and the United States are too important to let them be broken. These ties affect not only the two countries, but also worldwide industrial, supply and value chains, as well as the stability and development of global trade and the world economy.

In this regard, the white paper noted that China remains willing to conduct serious talks and discussions with the United States, as long as the activities are carried out in an equitable, mutually beneficial and credible fashion, so as to reach an agreement that will prove acceptable to both sides. Despite all prior and present difficulties, we should build a consensus that cooperation is the only choice for China and the United States, and only a win-win situation can lead us to a brighter future.

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