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U.S.-initiated trade war irresponsible and unacceptable: experts

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    11:25, June 27, 2019

Following the decision made by the U.S. Commerce Department in June to add another five Chinese entities to its ‘entity-list’, trade tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated to a new level, with many experts noting that the U.S. decision to start a trade war with China is “irresponsible and unacceptable” for the global economy.

So far, the U.S. has already slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products, and has threatened tariffs on a further $325 billion.

“The Trump administration’s decision to start a trade war with China is a manifestation of protectionism. We cannot say for sure how long the U.S. will hold its protectionist stance, but it will surely bring damage to the U.S. economy. We can see signs of this already,” Boris Shmelev, director of the Center of Political Studies at the Institute of Economy of Russian Academy of Science, told People’s Daily Online.

Echoing Shmelev, Molebedi Gordon Sisi, divisional head of Governance and Compliance in the city of Ekurhuleni in South Africa, told People’s Daily Online that the tariffs the U.S. imposed on China are merely a method to reduce China’s growing influence, as well as to disrupt China’s economic development.

“I think the tariffs that America are imposing on China is intentional, and it emanates from the animosity that has been brewing for some time now. Unlike America, China does not want to rely on capitalism and exploiting others, but wishes to share the benefits with others, a move that threats the U.S.,” said Sisi, adding that many countries are now interested in China’s proposal of fair trade, openness and mutual benefits.

“The U.S. was once a country that promotes openness, but now it has become a country obsessed with trade protectionism. I think China’s stance on free trade and international cooperation is wise, and with such thought, China may embrace new stimulus for its economic development,” said Shmelev.

In an effort to tackle rising global protectionism and unilateralism, experts stressed that globalization and free trade should not be disrupted, while multilateral organizations like BRICS should play a more important role in global governance.

“The trade war is a reflection of the changing international system, and as we can see, there are many nations which have reached a consensus that multilateralism and global cooperation is a good way to promote their development,” said Ritika Passi, associate fellow and project manager of New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.

“Russia itself has been harmed by U.S. sanctions, and we share the same view with China that global trade is necessary, while protectionism will only disrupt world order and global economy. I think countries that support free trade should cooperate more to tackle the rising protectionism worldwide,” added Shmelev. 

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