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Commentary: Institutional advantages boost confidence for China to win trade war

By Mei Xinyu (People's Daily Overseas Edition)    10:09, July 17, 2018

Ten days ago, the US invoked a trade war with China and the latter hit back with confidence. 

China was forced to take counteractions, which is an inevitable choice to defend the right to develop of the country and its people, and to safeguard the global multilateral trading system.

In addition to explicit factors such as China’s righteous position and strong national strength built up in the past 40 years of reform and opening up, a key reason for China’s confidence in winning the trade war lies in its great institutional advantages that allow it to concentrate all national efforts on big issues and give it strong capabilities to organize and mobilize the efforts.

"Our biggest advantage is that we, as a socialist country, can pool resources in a major mission," Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee once said.

It is such advantages that allow China to instantly mobilize all resources to implement major decisions upon creation, rather than purely discussing without making decisions or executions.

The US national policies and paths change with the shifts of ruling parties, and in sharp contrast to this is China’s impressive persistence to the guideline of unleashing and developing productive forces.

It is such institutional advantages that make China achieve the tremendous transformation from a poor and weak country into one that has stood up, grown rich, and become strong in a very short period of time in the history of global economy.

It is also because of such institutional advantages that China could effectively mobilize all efforts to not only address the trade war, but also prepare for possible changes of the global economy.

Mobilization is a powerful strength. Some reports have depicted time-taking debates, loud words, ever-changing policies, hesitation, and inexecution as merits of Western politics, while describing the strong mobilization capability of China as “inappropriate”.

Taking a review of the birth and evolvement of human civilization and the history of the rise of the West, people will naturally come to a conclusion that mobilization capability is the foundation for the emergence of civilization and human society, as well as a premise for a nation to survive and develop.

It is also a key factor that determines whether or not a society can survive wars and disasters and whether a country and nation can develop.

Igniting a trade war at this very time, the US was possibly thinking that the periodical economic change is beneficial to itself, but it should not overlook China’s strong mobilization capability and firm resolution.

China is completely equipped with the favorable conditions to win the battle against major financial risks and counter external risks and is confident with the tasks. It will advance all missions as scheduled, according to a meeting held by the State Council’s Financial Stability and Development Committee on July 2.

China is also adept at adjusting its policies. It recognizes the imperfection of its institution and policies, but the strong capabilities to organize and mobilize can drive it to continuously improve itself and adjust policies in different environments on the premise of overall stability.

Because of this, we believe that this epic trade war serve as a pressure test for Chinese economy, and help the country discover the specific policies which are against economic rules, in accordance with which it can carry out reforms.

The largest benefit this trade war has brought to China so far is that it has effectively stimulated the Chinese society to work harder, strengthen innovation of key technologies, and take actions.

China’s policies are efficient and the Chinese ruling party has a strong sense of responsibility. Democratic centralism helps the central leadership absorb wisdom from various sides and improve efficiency.

On the contrary, the Western parliamentary system leads the politics into a situation in which everyone is responsible yet no one shoulders the responsibility. People take credit for successful policies but keep away from failures. This mechanism further reduces efficiency.

The world is full of competitions. Efficiency determines whether or not a country or nation could survive and develop and all political institutions have to ultimately be tested by the principle of efficiency.

According to The Art of War by ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, the best way to command a military operation is policy-making, then diplomatic approaches, then defeating the enemy with armed forces and then attacking their city.

To a great extent, it was the American system that made the US policymakers declare a war to almost the world and China hit back through the “diplomatic approaches” soon after the war started.

China doesn’t just restrict its sight onto the current situation. With the institutional advantages, the country not only strives to effectively address current challenges but also looks afar.

China is under the strong leadership of the CPC, a visionary ruling party with united and strong will, while the US parties take turns to rule the country and the present government just addresses problems during its tenure, and is even only focusing on the midterm election.

It is probably out of the mind of the US government how to lead its economy out of a recession that is bound to occur in the future.

(The author is a researcher with the Ministry of Commerce.)

 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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