By Liu Zhiqin Source: Global Times Published: 2018-8-15
The most frequent excuse used by US President Donald Trump to support his reckless decision to launch a "trade war" against China is that China has taken advantage of the US. Many people, especially some Americans, seemed to be convinced, though the facts suggest differently.
Has the US really let China take advantage in trade for the past 20 years? If so, at least Trump and his family businesses - and many other US businesses - managed to make money in China. Their achievements show that they were able to take advantage of China's policy and business environment. The fact that Americans were able to do business in China successfully and share the fruits of Chinese development epitomizes the business cooperation between China and the US.
The second question is, what kind of technologies did the US own that were stolen by Chinese partners? So far we haven't seen or heard real evidence of these accusations. If there is really proof, the US probably cannot wait to use it against China.
China never "steals" jobs from the US. Quite the contrary, Chinese companies have helped US employment. Those Chinese companies that are listed on US stock markets have provided millions of jobs including those for brokers, lawyers, consultants, advisors and asset managers. Not to mention that China-US trade has supported many jobs in the wholesale sector. China's economic rise is not aggression against the US, but the use of complementary forces to help Americans live better and more convenient lives.
Moreover, Chinese products are widely used among American consumers, and it may be hard for them to find alternative suppliers.
There are millions of Americans who have done business with China in the past 40 years and become famous elites in the US. It is disappointing that they do not show gratitude to the Chinese market that helped them to get rich.
China has followed the philosophy of keeping actions in line with words. This is basic business ethics. The US is now adopting many measures to intensify the tension between the world's two largest economies. The trade tension between the US and China is an ill-intentioned, man-made conflict meant to stop China from growing. It will surely damage the core interests of most American people. The US is misled by the desire to have all benefits - higher economic growth, cheaper consumer goods, a better quality of living and irreplaceable global status.
A solution to the trade conflict must be found with great sincerity, honesty and frankness. If both sides take this attitude, trade tensions can be easily settled without any unnecessary losses.
We hope the US can truly understand China. Only when the US is willing to learn from China instead of seeing China as a strategic competitor, can the two countries overcome all possible obstacles to rebuild and readjust their relationship and make joint efforts to sweep away all barriers on the path to mutual prosperity.
Some US politicians who are seeking to overtake China with a "trade war" might be disappointed. China's economic development will continue to provide many opportunities to foreign friends who are sincerely doing business with China. The achievements of China's development belong to the whole world. China welcomes friends from every corner of the world to come to China to try their chances and build up their futures to benefit their people.
The author is a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.