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US risks losing face and billions of dollars by failing to keep its word

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    17:12, August 06, 2019

Recently, the United States threatened to impose a new 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States, violating the consensus reached by the two heads of state at the G20 Summit in Osaka and the understanding that there would be no new tariffs. The US decision to escalate trade tensions was grade-A dumb and sends a message that the United States cannot be trusted.

The sudden escalation flies in the face of the interests of the Chinese and American peoples and has forced China to hit back. Chinese companies have suspended purchases of US agricultural products and more countermeasures may be in the works. It is a rational response to an irrational move by the United States and should come as no surprise, as China has repeatedly said that it does not want to fight but is not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.

China has been sincere in its efforts to overcome differences between the two sides. In July, some 2.27 million tons of US soybeans were shipped to China and another 2 million tons are expected in August, followed by another 300,000 tons in September. Unlike the US side, China has followed through on its end of the bargain to ease the tensions.

The suspension of US soybean and other agricultural product purchases by Chinese companies are costing US farmers billions of dollars. It is a response and the “fair treatment” that US side should have expected.

Repeated failure to keep its word is also costing the United States in terms of credibility and reputation, and is sending a message that the world can no longer rely on the United States.

The United States is acting like a bully, plain and simple. It has become normal for the United States to go back on its word. After the 12th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations in Shanghai from July 30 to 31, the US side turned against China and threatened more tariffs and has since taken other actions to attack China’s development, despite praising the trade talks as “constructive.”

Some people in the United States do not hide their obsession with “winning” at all costs and have no respect for international rules and the international system. They fear the United States is losing its hegemonic position. But their actions are damaging the US image and have exposed an apparent crisis of confidence in Washington.

Trump’s new tariff threat shows that the United States is playing tricks in an attempt to undermine China’s development. It is nothing short of a power grab, but China will not just sit idly by and do nothing. To think otherwise is wishful thinking.

The Chinese economy is resilient enough to withstand the fight and China is confident it can remain strong in the face of US bullying. The facts are China has a strong political system, its people is unified, and its domestic market is expanding at an impressive rate.

A dark cloud has once again formed over the China-US relationship. This mess was started by the US side. Now, the ball is in America’s court. It can continue to fight with China, or it can resume trade talks on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

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

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