The Chinese sent a message to the world about trade talks with the United States via an op-ed piece in the People’s Daily, a government-controlled medium. No matter how much pressure the United States puts on it via tariffs and other threats that are part of trade negotiations, it is prepared to live with what may become difficult economic trouble.
The article in The People’s Daily was written by “Zhong Sheng, a homonym in Chinese for ‘voice of China’, is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.” Among other things, the author said:
The erratic weather in Washington seems to tell what happens between the world’s two largest economies. In a highly hard and sensitive atmosphere, China and the US kicked off their 11th round of high-level trade talks on May 9.
Both sides have made substantial progress in better protection of intellectual property rights, expanded market access, balance of bilateral trade, and many other fields, but diverged on some agendas related to China’s core concerns.
After the US beat a battle drum by announcing a new round of tariff hikes on Chinese imports, China also declared its decision to take necessary countermeasures.
It is not clear what those measures will be. The United States raised tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% last week.
The US wielded the tariff stick once again because of its misjudgments on China’s strength, capability and willpower. By further escalating the trade tensions, does it really want to compel its trade ties with China to a crossroad of breakdown?
The Trump administration said the Chinese backed away from agreements they made in talks before last week’s increase in tariffs.
Those who think the talks may drag on and hurt both the United States and Chinese economies are probably right.