US accusation on China of backtracking is groundless: Chinese scholar

By Wang Ke, People’s Daily
The US is being totally groundless by accusing China of backtracking on commitments during bilateral economic and trade consultations, and it is well illustrated by a white paper released on 2nd June 2019 by China’s State Council Information Office, said a Chinese scholar named Tu Xinquan, dean of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
The white paper, China’s latest official statement on China-US economic and trade relations, is of vital significance, said Tu.
It marks the second time for Chinese government to issue an authoritative report on China-US trade issues after The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction released last September, he introduced. It focuses on China-US economic and trade consultations and explains China’s position.
The China-US trade and economic consultations have not been free of setbacks, each of them being the result of a US breach of consensus and commitments, and backtracking, said Tu, citing the white paper.
The document cited three instances of the US backtracking on its commitments over the last year, painting a clear picture about who is the real promise-breaker, said Tu.
History has proved that any attempt to force a deal through tactics such as smears, undermining and extreme pressure will only spoil cooperative relationships, leading to miss of historic opportunities.
In addition to a preface and a conclusion, the 8,300-character white paper devotes three sections to refute the groundless accusations of the US. It has a more clear-cut theme compared with the previous one, and cites remarks and statistics from the US government, the American Chamber of Commerce in China and the World Trade Organization, refuting false US accusations with facts..
China is committed to resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation. It has conducted multiple rounds of economic and trade consultations with the US in an effort to stabilize the bilateral economic and trade relationship, Tu said.
China’s position has been consistent and clear – that cooperation serves the interests of the two countries, that conflict can only hurt both, and that cooperation is the only correct choice for both sides.
Regrettably, however, trumpeting “America First”, the current US administration has adopted a series of unilateral and protectionist measures, such as increasing tariffs on Chinese products.
“By starting the trade friction against China, the US has not only undermined interests of both countries, but also exerted extremely negative impact on the world economy,” Tu pointed out.
In fact, in today’s era of economic globalization, the Chinese and American economies are highly integrated and together constitute an entire industrial chain. The two economies are bound in a union that is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature. Equating a trade deficit to being taken advantage of is an error, Tu said.
The tariff measures have not boosted American economic growth. Instead, they have done serious harm to the US economy. According to research by the US National Retail Federation, the 25 percent additional tariffs on furniture alone will cost the US consumer an additional $4.6 billion per year.
Economic globalization is a firmly-established trend of the times and beggar-thy-neighbor unilateralism and protectionism will receive no support, Tu said.
The trade protectionist measures taken by the US go against the WTO rules, damage the multilateral trading system, seriously disrupt global industrial chains and supply chains, undermine market confidence, and pose a serious challenge to global economic recovery and a major threat to the trend of economic globalization.
“The white paper demonstrates China’s attitude to resolutely oppose unilateralism and protectionist practices of the US,” Tu said.
In the white paper, China once again emphasized that it is committed to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit, Tu said. The Chinese government rejects the idea that threats of a trade war and continuous tariff hikes can ever help resolve trade and economic issues.
As the white paper stated, guided by a spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, the two countries should push forward consultations based on good faith and credibility in a bid to address issues, narrow differences, expand common interests, and jointly safeguard global economic stability and development, Tu said.

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