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FT commentator says attack on China "is the wrong war"

(Xinhua)    15:31, June 15, 2019

BEIJING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- "Today's attack on China is the wrong war," chief economics commentator at the Financial Times (FT) Martin Wolf has said, warning against framing relations with China as a zero-sum conflict.

Many are framing or suggesting an "insoluble conflict" or a "perpetual conflict" between the United States and China, he said, citing as an example U.S. State Department Director of Policy Planning Kiron Skinner's analogy of the unfolding China-U.S. competition to "a fight with a really different civilisation."

Skinner has claimed this would be "the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian."

This is dangerous, said Wolf, a British economics journalist, in a signed article carried by the FT.

"It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason," he said.

"Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies," Wolf said. "The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China."

He mentioned the white paper issued by China earlier this month on trade consultations with the United States, saying Chinese positions are right on many points.

"The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable," he said.

"The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated," he wrote, noting that accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the U.S. Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules.

An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail, he warned. "In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out."

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