Wang Yi: The United States (US) Will Only Eat the Bitter Fruit of Its Own Making by Escalating Trade War

On the afternoon of August 2, 2018, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media after attending the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore. A journalist asked Wang Yi's views on the claim of the United States (US) that it will raise 25 percent tariffs on 200 billion US dollars worth of Chinese exports to the US, and whether the Chinese side is willing to restart negotiation with the US side.

Wang Yi expressed that the use of domestic law to deal with trade frictions between countries and the attempt to take unilateral actions to resolve one's own concerns violate the basic principles of the World Trade Organization, go against the trend of the times and move in the wrong direction against the historical progress. Such actions will fail to achieve the goal, and will only end up eating the bitter fruit of someone's own making.

Wang Yi said that now is the era of globalization, not the 19th century. Goods of various countries are mutually combined and existed through value chains and industrial chains. What we want to ask is that does the US want to impose tariffs on its own companies as nearly 60 percent of China's exports to the US are produced by foreign companies in China, including the US multinational companies. Many Chinese exports to the US are irreplaceable in the US market. Does the US want to increase the cost and burden of its own people by imposing tariffs? In addition, if the US side tries to reduce China's exports to the US by imposing tariffs, it cannot solve the trade imbalances it claims because it actually will import similar goods from other countries.

Wang Yi said that the goods have been globally produced and consumed by the US for a long time in this world. Now the US side is willing to produce more goods, which is a good deed. At the same time, the consumer market in China is constantly expanding. China is ready to import more goods that meet the needs of the Chinese market from other countries around the world. Presumably, the US enterprises are not willing to give up the constantly expanding Chinese market.

Wang Yi said that designers of relevant US trade policies should calm down, listen carefully to the voices of consumers in the US, attach importance to the universal aspiration of the US society, and listen more to the call for justice from the international community. The US side's attempt to put pressure will not have any effect for now and for the future. The Chinese side is willing to have dialogue and consultation with any country that hopes to have dialogue and negotiation with China, including the US. However, it must be conducted on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

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