China’s State Council issues a white paper

Tuesday, 04 June 2019 10:55:24 (GMT+3)   |   Shanghai

The State Council Information Office of China on Sunday issued a white paper to provide a comprehensive picture of the China-US economic and trade consultations, and present China's policy position on these consultations.

In addition to a preface and a conclusion, the 8,300-character white paper devotes three sections to elaborate on the damages of the trade frictions provoked by the United States, the US backtracking on its commitment in the consultations, and China's commitment to credible consultations based on equality and mutual benefit.

The white paper said that the Chinese and American economies were highly integrated and together constituted an entire industrial chain in today's globalized world.

The two economies are bound in a union that is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature, therefore equating a trade deficit to being taken advantages of is an error.

"The restrictive measures the US has imposed on China are not good for China or the US, and still worse for the rest of the world," the white paper said.

The US tariff measures led to a decrease in the volume of China's exports to the United States, which fell by 9.7 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2019, dropping for five months in a row. As China has to impose tariffs as a countermeasure to US tariff hikes, US exports to China have dropped for eight months in a row.

The uncertainty brought by US-China economic and trade friction made companies in both countries more hesitant about investing. China's investment in the US continued to fall and the growth rate of US investment in China has also slowed.

Instead of boosting American economic growth, the US tariff measures have significantly increased production costs for US companies, pushed up domestic prices and undermined American people's livelihoods.

The US protectionist measures also damaged the multilateral trading system, seriously disrupted global industrial chains and supply chains, undermined market confidence, and posed a serious challenge to global economic recovery and are a major threat to the trend of economic globalization, the white paper said.

With the outlook for China-US trade friction unclear, the WTO has lowered its forecast for global trade growth in 2019 from 3.7 percent to 2.6 percent.

At a press conference in Beijing Sunday, Chinese vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen denied US accusations that China backtracked on its position in trade talks, underscoring that China has demonstrated the greatest sincerity and a strong sense of responsibility for resolving trade disputes through dialogue.

It's irresponsible to accuse China of backtracking, Wang said, "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."

Historical experience has proved that any attempt to force a deal through tactics such as smears, undermining and maximum pressure, will only spoil the cooperative relationship. Historic opportunities will be missed, the white paper said.

It stressed that trade deals must be equal and mutually beneficial, and China will never compromise on major principles concerning China's core interests.

As the two largest economies and trading nations in the world, it is only natural that China and the US will experience some differences over trade and economic cooperation, the white paper said. "What truly matters is how to enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation and manage differences."

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