U.S. decoupling with China a misjudgment runs counter to trend of history

A newly opened Tesla store in Shanghai Daning International Commercial Plaza attracts many consumers, August 14. (By Yan Daming/People’s Daily Online)

The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, and strong attacks have been launched by the COVID-19 epidemic. Faced with such changes and attacks, how to step in the right direction and keep strategic focus is an important task for all countries.

At a crucial moment when humankind is required to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, some U.S. politicians, however, have propagated the decoupling of China and the U.S. out of a narrow and bigoted mind, in a bid to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries and people between the two countries.

Such an attempt of these U.S. officials has aroused concerns among international observers. Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, warned that the pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people in an article published on The Wall Street Journal.

In the era of economic globalization, beggar-thy-neighbor policy is particularly disgraceful.

Driven by an overbearing and domineering mentality, some American politicians blamed other countries for the domestic problems of the U.S. on no grounds and resorted to confrontation with China to solve such problems.

They tried to hold China accountable for the outbreak, worrying that China should provide medical supplies for other countries in urgent need and help them out.

Burning with jealousy, they have contained certain Chinese enterprises that have pioneered in developing 5G technology.

Meanwhile, they have fabricated the so-called “China threat theory”, trying to intimidate or tempt other countries into suppressing China together with the U.S. and hoping that companies from these countries would move their industrial chains out of China, which is absolutely ridiculous.

Since China and the U.S. established diplomatic relations over 40 years ago, the two countries have given full play to their complementary advantages in economy and formed a deeply integrated community of shared interests.

The bilateral trade in goods between China and the U.S. has increased by more than 250 times compared with that back when the two countries established diplomatic relations, and a total of 72,500 American companies have invested in China.

Ninety-seven percent of the U.S. companies reported increased profitability in China in 2019, said an annual survey conducted by the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC).

Data from the USCBC also suggest that from 2009 to 2018, U.S. exports to China supported more than 1.1 million jobs in America.

About 84 percent American companies are unwilling to withdraw from China, according to a survey carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Since the beginning of this year, American companies like ExxonMobil, Honeywell, Tesla and Walmart have deepened their investment and cooperation in China. This April, China once again became the largest trading partner of the U.S.

China and the U.S. embarking on a journey of win-win cooperation suits the inherent need of the two countries for economic development, and is the result of the normal development of international relations as well as a natural scene of the peaceful coexistence of mankind.

Facts have shown that the “coupling”, integration and cooperation of the China-US economy is a wise move based on the common interests of both sides.

“Decoupling” will harm both the U.S. and other countries in the era of economic globalization.

To forcibly split the world market and cut off the global industrial chain and supply chain, the U.S. will surely have to pay a high price and the world is believed to suffer huge losses.

China is the only country in the world that has possessed all the industrial categories in the United Nations industrial classification. A population of 1.4 billion and more than 400 million middle-income earners have made up a super-large market of China.

For many years, it has been a major stabilizer and driver of world economic growth.

U.S. decoupling from China is foolish and its efforts to cut off the independence on China will eventually cost it the important economic relationship with China and even the world, said an article published on Foreign Affairs.

Excluding China from the U.S. innovation system may prompt China to weed out the U.S. from its innovation system and cause the U.S. to lose its right to use other innovation systems, the article continued.

Over time, countries that try to decouple from the global economy will end up suffering more from the lack of diversified sourcing and unavoidable local shocks, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), a non-partisan, non-profit think tank focused on international economics.

It has become quite clear that decoupling with China is not an excellent remedy for the U.S. to cure domestic issues, but a poison for world economy.

Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend.

By advocating decoupling from China, some U.S. politicians hope to distort the truth and buck the historical trend, which is merely nonsense and a wishful thinking.

China will never stop its development and growth and China-U.S. cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit accords with the common interests of people from the two countries and even the entire world.

Anyone that makes a misjudgment on this issue and goes against the trend of the times and history will only shoot themselves in the foot.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)