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US should take a long, hard look in the mirror rather than blaming China

By Xiang Yi (People's Daily)    14:42, May 28, 2019

"Fixating on scapegoats is apparently much easier than taking a long, hard look in the mirror," said Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute of Global Affairs in an article he recently published.

Roach also pointed out that the US chattering class has it all wrong and the China bashing is more an outgrowth of domestic problems than a response to a genuine external threat, and Washington has been loose with facts, analysis, and conclusions.

In 2016, the Foreign Affairs Magazine of the US called the trade war a "scapegoat". The real problem for the US "trade anxiety" is "diminished domestic opportunity and social mobility". Besides, "the economic ladder that allowed previous generations of low-skilled Americans to reach the middle class is broken."

Washington should focus on actually fixing its domestic problems instead of searching for external enemies to blame them on, said Maksim Oreshkin, Russian Minister for Economic Development.

As Oreshkin sees, the US provoked trade dispute to establish an imaginary overseas enemy, but the real enemy is the long-standing structural issues of its own economic policies.

As the US government accuses other countries of stealing its domestic job opportunities through "unfair trade", China has become a main target of blame for being the largest source of trade deficit of the US.

However, facts speak louder than words. According to data from the United Nations, China-US trade volume increased 4.4 times from 2001 to 2017, and the US unemployment rate dropped from 5.7 percent to 4.1 percent in the same period.

The US has seen a rapid growth of imports from China and a steady decline of unemployment rate especially since 2009, which indicated the collapse of the US accusation on the substitute relation between commodity imports and unemployment.

On the contrary, as the US manufacturing increased its imports from China by 32.4 percent in general from 2010 to 2015, the relevant job opportunities grew by 6.8 percent, according to a report issued by the Congressional Research Service in two years ago.

The above figures have just proved what Stephen Roach said – “An insecure US is afflicted with macroeconomic imbalances of its own making and fearful of the consequences of its own retreat from global leadership."

Over the recent years, the US has issued a series of documents that targeted China as a strategic competitor, including the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China. Such move exposed the anxiety of the US strategy-wise.

The US in the past months has been abusing national power to exert unreasonable pressure on Chinese technology companies including Huawei, and slowing the approvals for Chinese staff applying for senior engineer jobs at US semiconductor companies. The approval that used to be finished within only a few weeks now takes as long as six to eight months.

The US, showing hegemony to other countries, is also exposing its insecurity and lack of confidence to the fullest. Even the US public believes it won’t help at all for the US to seek "imaginary enemies".

Diverting domestic contradictions by blaming other countries is like a sick man forcing other healthy people to take medication. Such absurd action will only make the US a "trouble maker" in the international community rather than leading to any remedy.

During the trade dispute with China, the US leaders failed to create any new job for the country but placed heavier burdens on the world economy, said German magazine Der Spiegel in a recent article.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has also cut its growth expectations for the world economy because it believes trade tensions have already slowed global growth, and will keep threatening future investment and growth.

There is no such thing to ask others to pay for one's own mistakes. Instead of blaming others, the US should take a long, hard look in the mirror of itself. Its unilateral actions will only tarnish its own reputation and burn its own bridges. 

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

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